Back in 1947 the singer Dick Jurgens asked his fans:
Why, oh why, did I ever leave Wyoming?
I’ve asked the same question myself. Raised in Rawlins and attending the #universityofwyoming for my undergraduate degree allowed me to grow up in what appears to be as long-gone an era as the one Jurgens crooned about. My tenure encompassed the years 1967 to 1990… a time when true Republicans roamed the state’s civic hallways, where character, integrity, solid values, and more were the norm. Where I grew up experiencing what it meant to be a Republican.
I left originally to attend graduate school (in Oregon, transitioning from a Cowboy to a Beaver in the process) which led me to see the world, but I feel I’ve never really left ‘my home’ — at least in ways that count. If I were there now I’d openly admit being tempted to leave for very different reasons.
My hope is that the Wyoming people, who comprise the ‘smallest voice’ in the union by population, will let their voices raise up and do the right thing… Trust me as I live abroad now: The world is watching.
As a new world began evolving that led to 2015 and 2016, I watched with intense interest as many of my family and friends, from Wyoming, Colorado and other traditionally ‘red’ states become frustrated with the previous federal government and how the system seemed contrary to our more traditional values. I was utterly thrilled to have Obama elected as the first black president and felt a lot of his policies and discourse were finally addressing some of the most egregious and unacceptable issues dogging the country. Similar to my family and friends, however, I was likewise not overtly happy with what the Democratic party was and had been doing… and how. It appeared even to me to have become an ‘in-group’ of people not necessarily looking out for the average Joe and Jane.
I stood in awe and horror as Donald Trump began rising through the possible ranks of the Republican party to become the nominee. I could not forget two very important things: 1) that he was NOT a Republican (and never would be); and 2) that none of his actions spoke of integrity, honor, justice or sanity. For sure, he was a self-professed sexual predator (liberally boasting of grabbing women whereever he wanted because ‘he could’) as well as being an obviously shady business man. He espoused none of the leadership qualities and characteristics that I’d been studying and facilitating for 20 years; he was and remains a shell of a supposed man and I knew he was anything but a leader.
When he supposedly won the election (not forgetting the proven meddling of the Russian government), I was moved to write how I felt there was a mechanism to get us past what had just happened: recognizing that what happened on both sides of the proverbial aisle was because we all cared.
The system stronger than democracy that will really carry us across rocky terrain to a calm sea
I was camping on the California coast Tuesday evening. I'd decided that communing with Mother Nature would be more…
I truly expected the American people would come to experience first-hand the acrid, vitriolic, toxic, very VERY non-leadership approach Trump would exhibit during his tenure… which he did… and they’d rise to the occasion and ceremoniously boot his sorry ass out of office as he was clearly unfit for the job.
Some tried to help focus the lens of discourse on the issues, letting objectivity speak for itself… but the full potential of that learning was not meant to be.
I understand why.
After studying the human brain for over 30 years and learning what it does well and what it does not do well explains that the average person does not see the world as it truly is, but how they want it to be. We are hardwired (literally and metaphorically) to act out of fear and survival, going along with our ‘tribe’ and their actions, ceding our own power and insight to the perceived power differential between us an so-called leaders, feeling the threat of not ‘fitting in’ as a real threat (because it was and is to some degree), etc.
Yet I kept holding out a bit of hope that the angry Republicans who took the opportunity to voice their frustration with a very non-ideal system (pre-Trump) and take a chance with a wild card would see that their deal with the devil was NOT turning out how they’d wanted. They’d given the keys to the kingdom to a psychopath and he was simply doing what psychopaths do…
I kept hoping that the masses would realize that Trump didn’t have the power he thought he did — for sure, the power of the world is NOT in the hands of the few leaders, but US:
I was particularly hopeful as the two partial impeachment proceedings happened because I thought these might help change the hearts and heads of many people I cared for. They, however, and he kept plodding along in an alternative reality that lead to his clear involvement in the events of January 6th, 2021. The most offensive and egregious and blatant attack on what made our country as successful as it had been in the past.
Again my hope kept me going because it seemed there remained some who felt as I did: Such atrocities could not go unaddressed. Justice must be rendered and those implicated in the activities held accountable. This would be the only way to prevent such a thing from happening again.
As the last year progressed, I kept waiting for more of my family and friends back home, as well as in other traditionally Republican states, to see Trump for what he is. I even wrote lengthy letters to many of my state politicians — including Liz Cheney — demanding an explanation how they could not see what I and many others did. History will speak loudly how some, like Cheney, supported Trump. History will speak loudly how she had a wake up/come-to-Jesus epiphany and began correcting her mistakes. Very late in my opinion, but better late than never. NO this epiphany does not exonerate her from her own egregious and horrid past — she has said plenty of things I completely disagree with (like Obama and his supposedly being Muslim… remember, Liz, the U.S. Constitution guarantees that anyone, including a Muslim, or a gay or transgender person, can become President some day!).
Others, however, did not or have yet to amend their mistakes. Indeed, they have became more entrenched in the viscious cycle of lies and hate. My disbelief led to nausea as I watched people like Harriet Hagman step in and defend Trump and his psychopathy. I wrote to her to allow her to explain herself… a request that remains unanswered. You can read about it yourself.
This leads us to the present moment. A monumental moment by all means. We stand at a juncture unlike any other. We now must choose between what is good, fair, right and part of what is the best of humankind, or the opposite.
I will watch yet again to see what unfolds in the state that used to hold my heart and soul. I wonder if the ‘good people’ who I remember from my past will remember their roots, that they will wake up to the reality that the only person that benefits from anything Donald Trump does is Donald Trump. I hope they do NOT opt for Hageman if they’re Republican. I hope my Democratic friends will realize that there is no viable way a Democrat will win an election in the state and will turn their Democratic vote into one for Liz Cheney because she is by far the best chance we have of continuing to ensure Trump becomes a memory of a very tumultuous time… I hope Liz is given the opportunity to keep alive her change of heart and not be given up as a sacrifial lamb for the most heinous of wolves the modern world has known.
Please Wyoming… transition back to the place where I wail ‘Why, oh why, did I ever leave’ with a desire to return to enjoy all the benefits that only you can provide?!!!?
We all need to remember this, but especially those of you with the Equality State:
There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone. But your dishonour will remain. — Liz Cheney