Dave Simpson: Maybe We’re Being Led By Idiots

Columnist Dave Simpson writes: "Given our open southern border, crime in our big cities, the wild federal spending spree, consider the possibility that we are led by idiots."

Dave Simpson

June 15, 20214 min read

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A note pad and the stub of a pencil are always at the ready on the table next to my recliner, so I can jot down column fodder.

Lately, I’ve got a whole stack of notes, because, as the fortune cookies say, “May you live in interesting times.” We’re living in interesting times, friends. Let’s check some notes:

– Multiple times, I have seen reports from the Texas border, featuring local sheriffs lamenting the flood of immigrants surging across the border onto ranches and into their jurisdictions.

(I once interviewed a university chancellor from Nebraska, and made the mistake of referring to “illegal aliens.” You’d have thought I reached across the table and slapped him in the face. He was shocked at my craven insensitivity. Seemed like plain English to me.)

Almost every one of those Texas sheriffs on TV was wearing a 10-gallon cowboy hat. It made you smile, and think, “Well, at least Texas is still Texas.”

Remember Bum Phillips, coach of the Houston Oilers and then the New Orleans Saints? He was famous for wearing cowboy hats, except during games in indoor stadiums. He explained that his mother had a rule:

“Don’t wear your hat in the house.”

– When politicians who are already $28 trillion in debt ask “how are we going to pay for” additional spending, try not to laugh. I know it’s tough. But, try.

– Imagine scrimping and saving all of your life so your kid could someday go to a fancy Ivy League college like Yale. Imagine your kid getting top grades and high entrance exam scores, and finally getting admitted to Yale.

Then imagine picking up your local paper and reading about the New York psychiatrist who gave a lecture at a Yale symposium titled “The Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind,” in which she said, “I had fantasies of unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way, burying their body, and wiping my bloody hands as I walked away relatively guiltless with a bounce in my step.”

Wouldn’t that give you a whole different feeling about your local community college? Or a plumbing apprenticeship?

– One of the true blessings in my career in newspapers is that I was able to retire before it became necessary to refer to individuals by their preferred pronouns. Keeping it straight who wanted to be called “them/they” instead of “he” or “she” would have made a tough job tougher. Good luck to them young editors out there.

– My daughter went to grad school at Duke University (no brag, just fact), and that was enough to turn me into a Blue Devils basketball fan. (I figured I wouldn’t live long enough to see the University of Wyoming back in the championship game,)

So I noted with sadness the announcement last week that coach Mike Krzyzewski will retire next year.

Over the years, I have become numb to the use by sportscasters of the word (?) “winningest.” It’s enough to make an English major blanch. But this time, one report I heard put me over the edge:

Coach K is “the MOST winningest” coach ever, she said.

(Lord, what have we done to deserve this?)

– One of the New York newspapers greeted the release of President Joe Biden’s proposed $6 TRILLION budget with this bold headline:


Republicans probably took satisfaction in that headline, but in truth, if Democrats are Hog Wild, Republicans are Three Quarters Hog Wild. You don’t get to $28 trillion in debt all by yourself.

– An electronic billboard in my town posted this message a few weeks back: “Shots in Arms, Checks in the Bank – Thank a Democrat!”

Without even addressing the question of who played a part in making those vaccines possible, the “checks in the bank” part should have ended with this:

“Thank your Grand Kids.”

– And finally, given our open southern border, crime in our big cities, the wild federal spending spree, and a panoply of other things to keep you up at night, give some thought to this quote from pundit Ben Domenech:

“Consider the possibility we are led by idiots.”

Dave Simpson can be contacted at davesimpson145@hotmail.com

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Dave Simpson

Political, Wyoming Life Columnist

Dave has written a weekly column about a wide variety of topics for 39 years, winning top columnist awards in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska.