Bill Sniffin: Mulling Wyoming’s Future With Or Without Trump As The Miles Go By

It was an ideal time for some serious thinking and pondering. We were enduring extensive windshield time recently as Nancy and I hauled our 2005 motorhome to its winter home in Las Vegas.

Bill Sniffin

October 11, 20204 min read

Sniffin 1
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

By Bill Sniffin, publisher

It was an ideal time for some serious thinking and pondering. We were enduring extensive windshield time recently as Nancy and I hauled our 2005 motorhome to its winter home in Las Vegas. In a car that trip makes for a long 12-hour day. In a 34,000-pound motorhome towing a car (about 58 feet long, in total), well, this trip takes two days and involves slow driving. During this trip, I was thinking about politics. 

Am I the only Republican who felt President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence did not do so well in their debates?  Democrat Joe Biden, especially, far exceeded the low expectations set for him in his debate with the president. 

Meanwhile, as I am driving along it is easy to notice how dry various reservoirs are. This has been a dry year and most water supplies are used up. Our motorhome is pretty much self-contained.  We packed enough food and drink to get ourselves to Vegas. The rig holds enough diesel fuel to go 1,000 miles and this was a 700-mile trip. We had checked with Wyoming’s leading weatherman Don Day and he assured us Oct. 7 was a perfect day.  The windmills near Evanston were still.  The smoke/steam rising from the trona plants floated straight up.

My support for Trump-Pence just makes sense to me.  But it is also parochial.  Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris support the Green New Deal, which sees limiting drilling on public lands. They want to restrict fracking. Wyoming is a fossil fuel state. Perhaps the end of fossil fuels is inevitable but a Trump-Pence victory could give us four extra years. And during these chaotic economic times in Wyoming, we need those extra years. 

When on Interstate 80, we set the cruise control at 67.  Works very well except about one out of every 20 semis have their cruise control set on 61 mph.  I hate passing anybody. But about every 40 miles, I have to pull out and drone on by a very slow semi. Perhaps these guys get paid by the hour instead of by the mile?  Who are these truckers?  Makes no sense. And, I know folks reading this groan that I have the nerve to complain? They are the ones usually trapped behind me on these 80 mph roads. Oh well. 

So, if Trump-Pence would lose Nov. 3, would the world end?  If the GOP loses the Senate, does that mark the end of times for practical folks like us Wyomingites? I have grandchildren who totally buy into the Green New Deal. Is this reflective of most young people across the land?  Baby Boomers have elected four presidents. If the Millennials and Gen Xers muster enough votes, the presidency will belong to the choice of these younger generations

We always bypass Salt Lake City by heading around to Heber City and coming out on Interstate 15 in Orem, south of Salt Lake City. This is a gorgeous drive but on this trip was much busier. Not sure why. Three big reservoirs along that route were almost dry.

If Trump wins, it will be good for Wyoming’s economy.  You could also anticipate a bright political future for the Trump family.  But if he loses, will the national GOP re-group around folks like George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, Colin Powell, and others? There might be a GOP bloodbath between the Trump crowd and those other guys. 

We spent Wednesday night at a rest area north of Cedar City, UT. A bad idea. We were surrounded by huge trucks with their engines and generators running all night long.  It was easy, convenient, and cheap but not conducive to a restful night. Luckily, we were not in a hurry. Slept in the next morning. 

Wyoming will be a predictable Republican stronghold during this election but if the rest of the country goes Democratic, we could find ourselves on the losing end of most every Congressional proposal over the next four years. We are already in economic pain, but this will make it worse. Sorry to be so glum, but I am worried about how this election is going to go on a national level. 

As we pulled into Las Vegas, it was quiet.  This is no longer the high energy city we were used to.  While Vegas seemed empty, Wyoming’s Yellowstone Park just saw its biggest September visitation ever. Looks like people are avoiding crowded casinos and heading to our uncrowded wide-open spaces.  With COVID-19 and elections, what a topsy-turvy year this has been. 

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Bill Sniffin

Wyoming Life Columnist

Columnist, author, and journalist Bill Sniffin writes about Wyoming life on Cowboy State Daily -- the state's most-read news publication.