Rod Miller:  Snake Oil Sales in Oil City or Why I Didn’t Go To Trumpfest

Columnist Rod Miller writes: "I dont think that Trumps Jello-Wrestln, Monster Truck- Pullin, Brandon- Chantin extravaganza made Liz Cheney lose much sleep."

Rod Miller

June 03, 20224 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

I didn’t make it to Trump’s “Really Huge Ultra-Maga Grab-’Em-By-The-Wallet Pep Rally” the other day. I forget why I missed it. I think I had to take Good Dog Henry to the park or something.

But I read about it, and saw the pictures. I talked to folks who were there. And everything I have heard about this goat%#*@ confirmed to me what P.T. Barnum (or maybe it was H.L.Mencken) said regarding showmanship, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the average American.”

I am quite certain that ex-president (emphasis on “ex”) Trump didn’t leave Casper with empty pockets. But I doubt that the audience could say the same. Snake oil sells and its a bull market!

By all accounts, the event was a rousing, chest-thumping, RINO-bashing extravaganza of tribal bonding and ritual sacrifice of good fashion sense – sorta like a Grateful Dead concert except without good acid or really cool people.

I am ambivalent about Trump since he lost the election so gracelessly. To be sure, he can still attract a crowd. But so can a car crash or two dogs stuck together in the middle of the street. There are simply some things from which we are unable to avert our eyes.

I consider Trump to be the Pickett’s Charge of American Tea Party populism, the high water mark of MAGA. Its all downhill for him now, and gravity is not on his side. He has, in the parlance of our times, shot his wad.

His influence will continue to wane as more and more of us re-engage our bullshit detectors. His hardcore serfs will continue to roll coal and wave flags, but already their efforts seem defeatist and half-hearted.

Many faithful will leave the church because the snake handlin’ is over and a miracle didn’t happen.

And, speaking of Mike Lindell!! For Trump to trot this huckster out as some sort of paragon of our constitutional republic is a plot twist worthy of Mencken. The “My Pillow Guy” is indeed a sweaty man in a suit, sporting a bad 80’s pornstar mustache, and wearing an invisible tinfoil hat.

This polyester pimp had the gall to criticize how we in Wyoming conduct our elections! He rambled about dark, sinister forces that had stolen 20,000 ballots in the last election in the Cowboy State. What he lacked in facts or evidence for this bizarre assertion, he made up for with MAGA zeal.

Lindell has said that he’s spent thirty million bucks trying to prove that Trump won the 2020 election. Apparently, the U.S. judicial system disagrees with him, and he is being sued for defamation by a voting machine manufacturer. His track record speaks for itself.

For him to bring that tired old act to Wyoming and accuse us of insecure elections, and for ANY Wyomingite to applaud his tapdance at Trump’s pep rally, proves yet another Barnum truism – there’s a sucker born every minute.

If that is the level of political leadership that Trump brings to Wyoming to support his chosen candidates, then those candidates have my sympathy. The box score for Trump’s endorsement of favored candidates this year isn’t a pretty sight.

I don’t think that Trump’s Jello-Wrestln’, Monster Truck- Pullin’, Brandon- Chantin’ extravaganza made Liz Cheney lose much sleep. But, if it didn’t move the needle, it probably sold a ton of t-shirts and coozies, so there’s that.

And I guess everyone had a good time and met some new friends. And Good Dog Henry and I enjoyed our time at the park.

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Rod Miller

Political Columnist