Rod Miller: Experimenting With Political DNA In The Big Empty

Columnist Rod Miller writes, "The Wyoming Freedom Caucus, or Genetically Modified Republicans (GMRs), as I call ‘em, are the tragic result of a failed experiment in the laboratory of politics."

Rod Miller

April 28, 20244 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

The Wyoming Freedom Caucus, or Genetically Modified Republicans (GMRs), as I call ‘em, are the tragic result of a failed experiment in the laboratory of politics. 

These politicians, loose among us as we speak, are hybrids of the pure Republican doctrine of Barry Goldwater and Bill Buckley crossed with a den of pissed off populist pit vipers. Or like someone trying to graft a rabid badger’s head onto Stan Hathaway.

Some weird and twisted chromosome has found its way into the brain stem of the Grand Old Party in the Cowboy State. This genetic aberration can be seen without a microscope. 

It manifests itself with ridiculous red baseball caps, breath that reeks of sulfur and a propensity to defecate on the carpet in the chambers of the Wyoming capitol.

It manifests itself also in how the Freedom Caucus defines freedom. 

To these mutants, freedom means the freedom of government to tell us for whom we citizens can vote, what books we can read, and what women should be able to do with their own bodies.

Their definition also means government’s freedom to tell us what we should worship and where. Nor are they shy about trying to regulate the vocabulary we should use in our public discourse.

The Freedom Caucus also stands tall in their defense of government’s freedom to tell us whom we can love and whom we can marry.

The GMRs are firmly behind the freedom of our small Wyoming communities to wither and die, and for the freedom of the families of our fallen cops to go on welfare.

Their rancorous dogma is a far cry from the traditional Republican stance in Wyoming that gives her citizens the true freedom to live and let live, a stance that was defended throughout our history by Republican statesmen and stateswomen worthy of the name.

If any further evidence is needed that the Wyoming Freedom Caucus is an experiment gone seriously awry, they are attempting to modify the very definition of Republican to fit their narrow and cynical world view.

How and why we allowed this to happen in Wyoming is water under the bridge, a horse already out of the barn.

The task before us now is to sweep up the mess in the Laboratory of Democracy, to open the windows to let the stench out and to clear our heads of this gnarly nonsense.

And to mark this one down as a failed experiment and promise ourselves never to let it happen again.

From henceforth, when a politician gets up on a stump and starts loudly chanting the word “freedom," we need to pin ‘em down and ask some tough questions about exactly what they mean. 

Our bullshit detectors need to be on high alert for a snake oil salesman who has a different definition of freedom than our own. And we shouldn’t buy what they are selling.

We need to look past the patriotic trappings and populist rhetoric to make sure that their understanding of freedom doesn’t mean government’s freedom to control our daily lives in order to further some malignant partisan agenda.

In short, cowgirls and cowboys, we voters need to get a lot smarter about who we listen to and what words we believe. 

After all, the final step in any political experiment comes in the voting booth. And that’s where we can make sure that the current genetic mutation of the Grand Old Party lasts only a short generation. 

Lets not allow any political movement, no matter how vociferous and strident they are, to deny us the freedom to choose how we live here in Wyoming.

Here endeth the lesson.

Rod Miller can be reached at:

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Rod Miller

Political Columnist