Deep Swamp Associates

DSA / A Political Consulting Firm

Screenplay / Series / Novel

John Fraim

“Somewriters have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negativelyby restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil.”

Thomas Paine / Common Sense(1/10/1776)


A boutique political consulting/strategy firm is hired by a new administration to help mold a political strategy in a highly divided nation. The new President has attacked the government claiming there is an ongoing invisible “deep state” within the government that controls the Government no matter which party is in power. There are ongoing investigations about the President’s collaboration with foreign governments as the “deep state” attempts to remove him from office through impeachment.

His populist views have won him a slim margin of victory in the presidential elections two years ago but now at the midterm elections, he is worried about a rejection of his ideas. His radical views from outside the beltway have made him unpopular with members of his own political party, the media and almost everyone in the government.

He has surrounded himself with a small group of trusted advisors and is suspicious of almost everyone. He secretly hires a political consulting firm to help with his image. The firm has a connection to an old mentor and professor, William (Billy) Thompson, who is one of the world’s leading symbologists. The President Thompson have been old friends. They went to college together and have been good friends for many years.

William Thompson’s Department at UC Berkeley 

The President has been a follower of Thompson’s intellectual and academic achievements and watched his rise to the top of the academic world. Now, William Thompson is Chairman of the Political Philosophy Department at UC Berkeley. He is recognized as the leading authority on a new idea for a political system that offers a combination of libertarianism and anarcho-capitalist philosophy. In many ways, it is a similar political philosophy first proposed by Thomas Paine in Common Sense. In effect, the little pamphlet constituted the America media at the time. There was little else to read like Common Sensebefore a great event in history. The media of Common Sense both represented and defined the attitudes of the nation around the creation of the Constitution a few months after it was written.

Professor Thompson has updated the ideas of Paine in Common Senseand placed them in the context of modern America. His recent book, Battle of American Symbols, is the talk of the academic world. In the book, he proposes a new way of looking at the dynamics of politics in America.

The old professor has a son in his early 40s. His son is running a legendary advertising firm in NYC. He is a modern David Ogilvy.

One day, the professor is contacted by his old friend, the President. He wants him to come aboard as a consultant to his political strategy in his administration. He is interested in implementing the professor’s political theories into his administration. It is a very secret agreement, known to only the two of them.

Bill Thompson flies back to DC to meet with the President after he is offered the new position as a strategy consultant. He meets with the President at his golf course just outside the DC beltway. It was a lingering summer night in DC. A night that didn’t want to give up the summer but seemed afraid of moving into autumn.

Thompson suggests that they form a political consulting firm called DSA. Outwardly, the letters stand for Design Strategy Associates. The professor suggests they bring on board his son, a legendary advertising person in NYC. The President agrees. He has known this young man since he was just a few years old. In fact, is his Godfather. It again is based around that issue of trust for the President. He trusts the son of his good friend to create this new consulting firm.

The President pulls out a bottle of bourbon to celebrate the new contract. They raise their glasses at the President’s golf club bar just outside the DC beltway. But, it is not “Design Strategy Associates” they toast to.

Rather, “Deep Swamp Associates.”

It had the elements of two fraternity brothers in college sealing some deal.

In fact, it was really between two college fraternity brothers.

A close connection for sure. There are fewer closer connections than those years in college. Other than combat situations, these college years are important as showing the social “environment” during this period. There are fewer things more powerful (yet not studied) in one’s social environment.

(First notes on a new story idea)

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