The evils of matriculation

“Before marriage, he habitually practiced celibacy, practiced reported nepotism with his sister-in-law, and had a sister that was a thespian in New York City. Worst of all, he admitted to matriculating in college,” so said George Smathers of his congressional opponent, Claude Pepper in the 1950 Florida Democratic primary.

Though Pepper was an established, seven-term incumbent, the allegations swayed the less than literate Florida voters and Pepper lost his seat.

Of course, they weren’t allegations at all, just simple, innocent statements attesting to Pepper’s character, but the illiterate voters of the Florida Democratic Party couldn’t separate thespian from lesbian in their inbred brains, and though they may have heard of celibacy, its sexual connotation made Pepper a pervert in their clouded view.  Matriculating was the final straw, it would make you go blind and proved the celibate claims were proof of a seven-term pervert in office representing an honest, God-fearing Florida congressional district.


Pepper lost the election, but he came back later to serve several terms in the Senate.

Politicians don’t regard the electorate as particularly intelligent. They think of us as an easy-to-manipulate, largely ignorant, uneducated lot that exists solely to put them in the catbird seat of political influence with all its inherent financial opportunities.

Even when senators, representatives, and party officials aren’t on the take, they regularly access inside information to quickly build their portfolios while in office.

Republicans are quick to note that Hillary Clinton turned a $10,000 investment into millions in a very short time but ignore the same practice by Mitch McConnel and his ilk. In politics, “walleye vision” or just looking the other way is a key to staying in office.

Here’s a question to ask yourself. Who are the Democratic candidates for governor, secretary of state, and the U.S. House of Representatives from Wyoming?  (Someone cue the Jeopardy music) Can’t name one can you? They’re out there, but in our single political party state, they don’t matter much. Democrats don’t stand a chance in the Cowboy State, and as a result, we are limited to the views from one side, rather than the compromised vitality that once drove America to greatness.


Cattlemen know the vigor obtained through breeding something as simple as an Angus bull with a Hereford cow. The resulting “white faces” as we call them grow faster, are more disease resistant, and are hardier overall than either of their purebred parents. It is the power of the hybrid or cross in action. It works in cattle, it works in politics too.

That 1950 Florida election represented a vastly different America. The GOP was the party of the minority in the south, while the democrats, led by flamboyant racists like Strom Thurmond were the party that restricted voting rights, imposed poll taxes, closed voting centers in black and Hispanic communities, and remained in power by manipulating the will of the people into a few select, very white, voting districts across the former Confederacy. Obviously, the political stage has changed 180 degrees with the GOP now being the party that gerrymanders, limits polling places in minority areas, and throws up every conceivable roadblock to remain in power, by limiting the rights of a large portion of the population.

Which leads me back to Wyoming.

How can you tell if a democrat lives in your neighborhood? It’s easy, they have a Liz Cheney for congress sign in their yard.

We live in such an extreme, right-wing slanted world, that Liz Cheney, a woman who voted 97% of the time in direct line with Donald Trump’s edicts, is now considered a liberal. The daughter of “Darth Vader”, OK, Dick Cheney, one of the most conservative men to ever serve as vice-president is a liberal in today’s convoluted, insane political climate.

A few of you reading this will cry foul, you’ll claim that she only supported Trump 93% of the time, so that makes her a liberal, or “RINO” in your mind. If you support anything 93% of the time, you’re not a member of the other side, you’re a card-carrying cult member, no matter what the organization purports to be.

Which leads to some strange behavior in candidates running for offices from your local city council to statewide offices, and finally the comical right-wing rhetoric that borders on the insane in the US House race.

Take a look at secretary of state candidate Chuck Gray. Gray isn’t popular with his fellow state senators, as a man who often belittles those serving around him, then cries foul when one of his bills isn’t supported vigorously enough. Gray is a true Trumper, a myopic disciple who won’t deviate from the Donald’s game plan.

The strange thing is that Gray is running to “stop the steal.” His campaign is focused on voter fraud. If that were true, the fraud would be epic right here in Wyoming. Since the secretary of state can only control Wyoming elections and has no power at all in those liberal bastions of Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia that means that the steal in the Cowboy State was from Joe Biden and not the Donald. Really? Biden won Wyoming? Doubtful, but that’s the message Gray is sending when you look at his campaign literature.

As bizarre as the “Stop the Steal Guy” is for secretary of state, it pales in comparison with other political campaigns.

There are county commissioner candidates, mayoral hopefuls, and city council challengers across the state running on preserving the second amendment. Preserving the second amendment at the county commissioner or city level is ridiculous to a fault, but it is entertaining.

A word of advice to these men and women, stay in your lane.  I wish there was a way to convey the message in slower words, so here it is again (typed slowly) “Stay….in…your…lane.”

Campaign on the issues you can affect in the office you seek, stay away from gun rights, national politics, or any other convoluted idea that is beyond the scope of the office you seek, but you think might get you a few votes from the uniformed.

While local races are interesting, and Mark Gordon’s re-election run heats up against the likes of Rex Rammel, an Idaho veterinarian who has a bad habit of doing the paperwork so poorly in transporting cattle across county and state lines that he is the bane of brand inspectors in at least five counties.

The real race remains Liz Cheney versus Harriet Hageman.

I’m no Cheney fan. I don’t like the fact that she is really from Virginia and that she would eliminate all the federal lands in Wyoming, giving control to the state, and then have the state selling it to the highest billionaire bidder. I’ve never voted for Liz, but I have a sign by my mailbox supporting her this time.

In a twist of the Middle Eastern adage that an enemy of my enemy is my friend, I’ll support Liz.

Yes, she voted with the Donald 93 or 97% of the time, but her stance on the attempted coup de tat on January 6, 2021, earns her my vote.

I don’t care if you matriculated in college, or your sister is a thespian, the constitution is the constitution and Liz supports it. She’s no liberal, she’s not even a moderate, she is the right of the right-wing in American politics. But to her credit, she has taken a stand against the attempted overthrow of our government, and I respect her for that.

Cheney is who she is. Hageman spends a lot of time wearing Native American jewelry, and ticks off many of my friends on the reservation with a fashion statement that isn’t even close to her political stance.

After being one of Liz’s biggest groupies for the last four years, Harriet is now in the difficult position of denying she ever supported Cheney at all. Social media makes that really tough, but it makes her highly paid entourage of scriptwriters and image consultants a lot of money, too bad none of them are in Wyoming.

Her only message is that she isn’t Liz. That’s not much of a platform but it might be enough to get her the win in the Republican primary, and as we all know, that is the real race, the November ballot hasn’t mattered in Wyoming for a very long time.

Campaign however you wish, as honestly or as deceptively as you think necessary, just don’t publicly matriculate, it upsets too many voters.

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