Dave Simpson

Wyoming Tribune Eagle/W. Stroot

Let’s touch some bases as campaign season is officially underway:

— “Ted Bundy Was A Republican!” proclaimed the bumper sticker on a car parked next to mine at our local Walmart.

I ducked into the store to do my shopping, thankful that I didn’t run into the driver of that car. While I used to relish political debate, it has become a blood sport, and conservatives like me are commonly, cruelly, labeled “buffoons” spouting “unbridled idiocy.”

One time in a newsroom over which I presided as publisher, I suggested that labor unions were much the same as political action committees. They laughed me out of my own newsroom, hooting in disbelief that their boss could be so incredibly ignorant.

Younger readers might not know that that Ted Bundy was a serial murderer who killed young women in Washington, Colorado and Florida, but who once also dabbled in local Republican politics in Washington state. He was electrocuted in Florida in 1989, and good riddance.

The person with the bumper sticker wants us to know that Ted was a Republican, as if all Republicans lean toward serial murder, and should be strapped into Old Sparky like Ted.

(Oh yeah? Well serial murderer John Wayne Gacy was a liberal Democrat. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.)

Takes all kinds, I guess, which was confirmed the next day as I drove on Interstate 80. A cattle truck passed me, with a sign on the front that said, “Trump 2020.” And in bold letters across the back of the trailer it said, “No More Bull Schiff. We Stand With Trump!”

Before the last presidential election, a relative sent me a T-shirt proclaiming “Make America Great Again.” It fit great, and reflected my beliefs, but I only wore it once, in the privacy of my basement. Because politics in this country has become so bitter and hateful that wearing a MAGA hat or shirt is tantamount to an act of war. The relative who sent me the shirt was once asked to put a sweatshirt over his MAGA shirt, or to turn it inside out, when he dared wear it into a casino.

It’s come to that.

We’ve seen video of MAGA hats being snatched off the heads of Trump fans, even a child in one instance, and soft drinks dumped on their heads. I wouldn’t wear my MAGA shirt to exercise, because it would be seen as a provocation among the young group that gathers there.

I keep hearing that diversity is a goal we have to reach, but between the guy who owns the cattle truck and the person with the Ted Bundy bumper sticker, I think we’re plenty diverse already.

— A car frequently parked at our library sports a bumper sticker that says “Turn Off Fox News!” (You see a lot of liberals at libraries.) This person no doubt wants to return to the halcyon days when news from liberal anchors on ABC, CBS and NBC was all you could get.

This person apparently can’t tolerate even a single news source that doesn’t lean way left

My late father had a bumper sticker on the wall in his workshop that said, “Caution: I Don’t Brake for Liberals!” He thought it was funny, but didn’t put it on the bumper of his pickup in largely liberal Wisconsin. Smart.

For years I had a bumper sticker that said, “If God’s Not a Bronco Fan, Why Are Sunsets Orange?” That was before pro sports became a soap box for contempt for our country. (No more football, or Broncos, for me.)

I kick myself for not buying a bumper sticker in Wisconsin with this message:

“Eat More Lutefisk!”

(Who could disagree with that?)

— I was proud as punch this week to learn that a Forbes Magazine survey of the highest taxed cities in America showed my current home town of Cheyenne, Wyoming, coming in DEAD LAST. We’re the cheapest.

Woo Hoo! Break out the party hats and noise makers. Peel me off the ceiling.

Stand by, however, fellow beleaguered fans of frugality (BFFs). Decimated mineral tax income in our state has the war drums for higher taxes beating louder than ever.

Dave Simpson has been a newsman for four decades, working as a reporter, editor, publisher and columnist. He lives in Cheyenne. He can be reached at davesimpson145@hotmail.com.

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