Wondering if folks in the state that voted most enthusiastically for Donald Trump in 2020 are feeling the same anger I'm feeling lately.
I find myself swearing at the television whenever one of Trump's ads trashing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis comes on. My wife might have to consider an intervention.
There's the name calling – “Ron DeSanctimonious,” “Ron DeSalesTax.” I guess it's no worse than “Little Marco” Rubio, “Low-Energy Jeb,” and claiming world-renowned pediatric brain surgeon Ben Carson was once a gang banger, and Ted Cruz's father was in on the Kennedy assassination.
But in 2016 it was easier to ignore the hyperbole. We didn't figure Trump had a chance to beat Hillary Clinton anyway. And there was something refreshing about seeing the old status-quo political apple cart turned upside down.
Worse than the name calling, this time, are the shameless allegations in Trump's ads that the guy who scored a huge re-election victory in Florida in 2022 is the “Farmer in the Dell,” intent on raising taxes on everything and eviscerating Social Security and Medicare.
Because at one time, as a member of Congress, he voted to consider alternatives to our crazy tax system, and repairs to our clearly endangered entitlements.
That's one of the hardest things to swallow these days. Anyone, for example, who wants to fix a Social Security program that needs to be fixed, and if not, will automatically experience cuts of 23 percent as soon as 2034, is shamelessly pilloried as someone who wants to kill or “sunset” the entire program. It's such an easy lie to perpetuate.
Up until the Trump vs. DeSantis jihad, it was Democrats who always trotted out the old lie that Republicans wanted to cut or abolish your Social Security. Now Trump has joined the shameless Biden in threatening Americans with the same old lies.
Far better to find a solution to Social Security's problems than to keep getting elected claiming the other guys want to leave us high and dry. Do we really have to avoid the “third rail” of politics until automatic reductions kick in? Could be.
Not long ago, I hoped Trump would choose not to run, become the elder statesman, and throw his support to DeSantis, who seems to stand for most of what Trump accomplished, but without the knee-jerk compulsion to fight every fight, insult everyone who disagreed, and egotistically beat his own chest. Imagine how strong the Republican Party would be today had that been the case.
But instead, unbelievably, Trump has gone out of his way to diminish the governor who has accomplished so much in Florida, going so far as to ridicule the very state where he himself lives. In the process, some of his attacks have been harder on DeSantis than even those from Biden and the most ardent Democrats.
Am I listening to Donald Trump degrade DeSantis, or any one of a hundred spendthrift, big government Democrats? Or the predominantly liberal media?
That said, for all these faults, Trump accomplished more in his four unfairly embattled years as president than any president since Ronald Reagan. And in this my 72nd year, there's no telling how many more elections I'll see, so results – and the world my granddaughters will inherit – are paramount.
So if Trump is the nominee, as poll numbers seem to predict, I will swallow my anger at how Trump has behaved toward DeSantis, probably shake my head, and vote for the Republican nominee.
Because we all know that four more years of Joe Biden, or worse, part of those four years with an even more incomprehensible President Kamala Harris, are simply out of the question. The stakes are too high. Biden has made such a mess of things that even the possibility of nuclear war is coming up lately. Think about that, Cheyenne.
So it's an interesting question whether these concerns are shared by the Republicans of Wyoming, who have always been so high on Trump. If there's that same old consensus, his support is pretty much bullet-proof, given the relentless attacks Trump has endured.
But, do we condone Trump's attacks on DeSantis?
And how much damage are they doing to the conservative cause?
Dave Simpson can be reached at: DaveSimpson145@Hotmail.com