Dave Simpson: So, You Think This Is The Right Track?

Columnist Dave Simpson writes: "Most Americans 72 percent, according to a recent poll believe that America is on the wrong track.

Dave Simpson

January 25, 20224 min read

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A liberal relative posted on Facebook five years ago that every time President Donald Trump had a bad day, she would break out a good bottle of wine to celebrate.

Some of her relatives, however, live out here in Flyover Country and voted for Trump, and we were lamenting his bad days.

She would probably join one person I saw who defined Trump voters as “degraded specimens.”


My coastal relative and her husband probably had to re-stock their wine cellar after Trump left office.

I have not reciprocated. I have not broken out a bottle of good wine (I like the stuff that comes in cardboard boxes, which I call “cardbordeaux”) to mark President Joe Biden’s bad days.

The reason?

A guy can only drink so much wine.

This comes at a time when U.S. Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana said Biden “runs a taught shipwreck.”

It comes at a time when most Americans – 72 percent, according to a recent poll – believe that America is on the “wrong track.” Given the state of the southern border, the worst inflation since 1982, unmet promises in battling Covid, a truly ineffective pick for vice president, murder way up in our cities, gasoline prices through the roof, and wild deficit spending with more to come, the wonder of it is that only 72 percent of Americans think this is the wrong track.

What’s up with the 22 percent, according to pollsters, who think we’re on the “right track?” Who are these people? Are they under care for their delusions? Are they able to dress themselves?

The news here is the 22 percent. The people who think Biden and Harris are doing a great job are the classic “man bites dog” story.

Meanwhile, twice in the last week, in separate instances, my wife and I encountered the word “diaspora.” She read it in a story about the border crisis, and I heard a smug guy on “Morning Joe” (I’m a glutton for punishment) use it regarding last year’s riot at the Capitol. We both turned to our dictionaries, and learned that a diaspora is “a large group of people with a similar heritage or homeland who have since moved out to places all over the world.”

Keep an eye out for diaspora, which may become the new “gravitas” for pundits attempting to look gravitas-y. Diaspora could be heading up the charts. People who say diaspora no doubt eat “crudites” instead of cut up veggies, like the rest of us.

It harshes my mellow when people use words like “diaspora.” Makes me downright dystopian, if you’re picking up what I’m laying down. Language needs to put the hay where the goats can get it. But not this hay, and not this goat.

I perked right up, however, when I read a letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal addressing my pet peeve: People who say, whatever the problem, that we need to have “a discussion,” preferably a frank, national discussion, and that will fix everything. (When has that ever worked?)

This person wrote: “Translation: ‘You need to sit your behind down so I can lecture you about your moral depravity from my exalted position of self-anointed  moral superiority.’”


And lastly, I notice in the news that shipping containers aboard Union Pacific trains are being looted along tracks in Los Angeles at a rate of about 90 per day. The railroad hired Pinkerton guards to help cops stop the thefts, but since the prosecutor there is soft on crime, most thieves are quickly released, and head right back to the tracks to party on.

Even Joe LaFlores, who led the posse in the movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” couldn’t stop the robberies if the prosecutor wouldn’t jail the perps.

When you see the elaborate graffiti that has defaced rail cars for decades now, you have to conclude that railroads dialed back protecting their property long ago. Maybe open plunder is the next logical step on the road to perdition.

The wonder of it all? Twenty two percent think this is the “right track.”

Man bites dog.

My relative drank wine to celebrate Trump’s bad days. What we need now is wine to drown our Joe Biden sorrows.

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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.