Donald Trump’s largest margin of victory last November was in Wyoming, where he defeated Hillary Clinton by 46 percentage points. Today, however, at least one major polling group shows his support in the Cowboy State is dropping —though not to the level he deserves after his disastrous past month.

Trump is presiding over a mangled, twisted wreck of a presidency 10 months after his inauguration, and I don’t see it getting any better. His latest disgrace — berating San Juan’s mayor for criticizing the inadequate federal response to Puerto Rico’s decimation — is more than I can stomach.

Trump is an embarrassment to this nation and our fundamental values. I don’t say that lightly. Like most Americans I was taught to respect the office of the presidency even if I strongly disagreed with the occupant’s political views. But if we love our country and don’t want to see the presidency degraded even further, Trump needs to be removed from office.

I’m hardly alone. Quinnipiac University released a poll last week, before Trump’s feud with the mayor, that shows 56 percent of voters think Trump is not fit to serve as president. That’s astonishing.

Trump’s support in Wyoming has already dropped by 26 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight, a data analysis website that tracks political trends. His job approval rating nationally is only about 38 percent. Trump is still popular here and may always be because this is an ultra-red state where party is more important to many voters than job performance. But I’ll be shocked if more of his Wyoming base doesn’t ultimately abandon him.

In the past month Trump has brought us to the brink of nuclear war with North Korea, put 800,000 “Dreamers” in fear of deportation and failed, once again, to fulfill his campaign promise to repeal and replace “Obamacare.”

For days the president was strangely silent about the plight of American citizens in Puerto Rico left homeless and without food, water and power by Hurricane Maria. When he did finally start tweeting, it was to brag that officials of the U.S. territory allegedly praised him for his quick response.

Instead of focusing like a laser on the job of bringing relief to Puerto Rico, or applying his attention to the spiraling crisis on the Korean peninsula, Trump decided to wage a very public and bizarre war against the National Football League.

Does that remind anyone else of Nero and his fiddle?

Let’s review the lowlights of Trump’s September:

Tweets and taunts — Trump has increased the likelihood of American involvement in a nuclear conflict to a point not seen since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. I remember being taught to hide under my desk at school during those dark days. As long as Trump is president, we get to relive that fear because our president behaves like a child. Calling North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man” and vowing “fire and fury” is not statesmanship, strategy or diplomacy. It is bumbling incompetence — with millions of lives on the line.

Kim responded by calling Trump a “mentally deranged dotard,” which had many of us nodding in agreement even before we learned that a dotard is a person in “a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness.” The North Korean leader may be crazier than Trump, but he has a broader vocabulary.

Deporting Dreamers — Trump dawdled over his decision but finally signed an executive order to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, universally known as DACA. The decision threw a dark cloud of uncertainty over the future for 800,000 young people, and prompted loud popular backlash. When the protest started Trump quickly pointed the finger at Congress. Turns out the buck doesn’t even slow down at the oval office these days.

The bill that won’t die — Trump pledged to repeal and replace the ACA, and he failed once again. Korea, admittedly, presents an incredibly challenging set of circumstances. Likewise, immigration reform also bedevilled more capable presidents. But the inability to fulfill one’s signature campaign pledge, and that of all your cronies, while you hold all the cards? Could there be a more straightforward example of incompetence?  

Football fumble — Trump lambasted NFL players who dared to protest police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. The president tried to make the debate about patriotism, obliterating the fact that the players’ protest was about police killing African Americans.

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Trump’s tirade that he would fire any “son of a bitch” player who didn’t stand for the anthem showed he’s really the divider-in-chief. He shamelessly pitted people who recognize that Americans have the constitutional right to peacefully protest against those expressing their own right to be outraged by the players’ action.

It wasn’t lost on many people that the way Trump demonized black football players was in sharp contrast with his praise for all of the “good people” who were part of the neo-Nazis’ rampage in Virginia. Since his campaign he has consistently shown he doesn’t care about people of color.

In the end, Trump got exactly what he wanted. The talking heads on TV pontificated on his ravings against the NFL. That kept North Korea, Puerto Rico and Russia off the front pages for a week.

Unfit as he is to be commander-in-chief, Trump sure makes one heck of a PR flack.

So where is Wyoming’s congressional delegation in all this? Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso and Rep. Liz Cheney, all Republicans, refuse to criticize any of the myriad mistakes that have quickly become hallmarks of Trump’s administration. The closest any of them have come was when Barrasso issued a statement that “racism and bigotry must always be condemned, it can never be condoned,” and Cheney tweeted that “Vile white supremacist/neo-Nazi hatred has no place in America.” Neither mentioned Trump by name.

Wyomingites should note and remember their silent complicity.

Meanwhile, it remains an open question whether Trump’s campaign and/or administration colluded with a foreign power Russia to undermine the U.S. democratic process. Try as Trump might to dismiss revelations as “fake newsfrom ongoing federal and congressional investigations which uncover new shameful behavior nearly every day.

The most embarrassing bombshell came when the New York Times reported that son-in-law-in-chief Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and four other staff members have used private email servers to conduct White House business.

Trump carved up Hillary Clinton’s character for doing the same thing. He led chants of “lock her up” at his rallies and publicly encouraged Russia to hack her private server. His tremendous ego won’t let him get over the fact that more than 3 million more voters chose Clinton over him, so she will always be his Public Enemy No. 1.

Next Trump unveiled his tax reform plan and his latest batch of untruths and broken promises. He’d promised rate cuts for the middle class that would pay for themselves. Instead he proposed an early Christmas present for the super wealthy that would skyrocket the deficit. None of it, he said, would benefit him. The death of the estate tax alone would potentially save his family up to $1 billion.  

Amid all the lies, hypocrisy, and incompetence however, what sent me over the edge about Trump were tweets about Puerto Rico. American citizens who have lost their homes and struggle to survive without food, water or power were accused by the president of wanting “…everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.” When San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz made an impassioned plea to the world to help the island he attacked her too. “Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help.” He labeled detractors, some of whom are literally dying for lack of aid and basic services, as “ingrates.” And he did it all via Twitter, from a golf course.

The primary concern Trump expressed was whether he was getting enough credit for his “great job” providing relief.

I no longer consider this man to be my president. Almost everything he’s done shows he has no moral compass. I’ll respect the office again when he leaves, which can’t come soon enough. His fans have every right to support him. In good conscience, I cannot. I hope a majority of people in Wyoming draw the same conclusion.

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Kerry Drake

Veteran Wyoming journalist Kerry Drake has covered Wyoming for more than four decades, previously as a reporter and editor for the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle and Casper Star-Tribune. He lives in Cheyenne and...

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  1. This article, and the comments on it, make me even more proud to have grown up in Wyoming.

  2. I’m glad to hear support for Trump is falling in a state I frankly didn’t expect to vote for him. As a former New Yorker and a long time Wyoming resident, known as outspoken, and maybe rude, I didn’t expect even the redder than red Wyo Republicans to go whole hog for a New Yorker who made me seem like a demure shrinking violet –a man who bragged about grabbing women’s private parts. Who didn’t pay his workers. Who called opponents nasty names, and incited violence at his rallies. Who lived in gold plated palaces ( hardly a Wyoming value), wanted Mexico to pay to build a multi -billion dollar wall to keep Mexicans out, which any practical – minded Wyomingite had to know was an inefficient plan. And even dyed his hair ! ….I thought for sure the state would go for Gary Johnson.. Did Wyomingites lose their traditional values and suspicion of urban East Coasters overniight? Or voted like a robot for any crazy fool,who had an R after his name? Or was it about a temporary reprieve for coal? Of course Liz and Mike and John are siding with POTUS if y’all voted for him. And them.

  3. Jay Morton, very well said. I too am a life long Republican. I am also a life time resident of Wyoming and a Veteran.

    I did not vote for Trump, nor did I vote for Hillary. For me, it should not be about party lines. It should be about Americans voting for the best person to fulfill the most important job in the world. This requires diplomacy and leadership, not only for America, but to bring countries together. Trump cannot do this because he can’t get past himself.

  4. Never has the future of America depended so much on one man: Robert Mueller. But my worst fear is that if Mueller reaches a place where he can indict, that may be the impetus to bomb North Korea, and the world as we know it cannot restabilize if something that drastic occurs. I am glad to hear that support for Trump is declining in Wyoming. It has been very unsettling to me to have to imagine that friends and neighbors whom I like and respect may have voted for Trump, despite all of the warning signs that he was unfit for office. One promise that may have influenced some was the promise to protect Medicare and Social Security, but that promise too is gone in the budget now under consideration. It is so distressing to see our democracy reeling and our institutions frozen in the face of all of the threats we face with a president who revels in chaos rather than offering a steady hand. In 70 years I have never been so afraid for our republic.

  5. As a life long Republican, I am embarrassed by my party as well as my WY congressional “leaders”. Their spineless acceptance of inappropriate behavior, refusal to speak up for long time values of honesty and fairness make me wonder what country they represent.

    MY America honors veterans, not slandering them with crude remarks about being captured while fighting for my country. MY America shows respect for women, not bragging about lurking backstage to leer at young females changing clothes. MY America tries to get along with neighbors, helping out even if the other person has a different skin color or religious belief. MY America respects education and being able to communicate and explain concepts on a higher than a tweet level. MY America values humility and is willing to look at other sides of an issue, not just the “party” line, in case there is something to learn. My America encourages service to others, not for the purpose of a sales campaign or higher ratings, but to lift our community and those who reside there. MY America adopts a brand and lives by it, not changing horses mid stream if the saddle looks worn out.

    In the GOP’s race to the bottom, their mad dash to lowest and least, I remember when America stood for highest and best and I’ve set my cap to recapture those ideals.