JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Mayor Pete Muldoon’s decision to remove President Trump’s portrait from its hanging place on a wall inside town hall is becoming a bit of a firestorm. Muldoon replaced the pictures of Trump and Vice President Pence recently with a portrait of Chief Washakie, the Shoshone leader of the 1800s. The town hall renovation was done by executive privilege, other council members were not involved though councilman Jim Stanford has publicly come to the defense of the mayor.
The move has elicited reaction from the political left and right—each taking their predictable sides. Democrats and/or liberals are mostly in favor of the Muldoon’s decision to take Trump down, citing various criticisms of the president. One Facebook user wrote: “Thanks Pete! It’s a little thing but Trump certainly doesn’t deserve that place of honor, in this or any other town.”
Republicans, for the most part, believe the photo swap to be disrespectful to the office. Many in Wyoming living outside of Jackson have pointed to the controversy as a perfect example of why Teton County is often considered an embarrassing part of the Cowboy State.
Wherever the story appears online, ensuing dialogue tests the constraints of each website’s discussion guidelines. It has been a polarizing issue, as divisive an pretty much any news item containing Trump’s name.
Word has now leaked out of Jackson. Tyler Lindholm, state House District #1, posted the following on his Facebook page regarding Muldoon’s move: “Did you see that the mayor of Jackson proclaimed the town is going to adopt the Paris Climate Accord and then ripped down the photo of the President of the United States? I’ve got some advice for you, Mr. Mayor. Listen up…” Lindhold then read Muldoon the riot act in a 3:21–minute video.
Meanwhile, Muldoon has felt the need to further explain his rationale with a lengthy email to his constituents where he called Trump “an extremely divisive figure,” and likened the display of his portrait in a town building to the lockstep heralding of a dictator like Joseph Stalin.
Muldoon justified his order to whitewash the wall of Washington rule, but has not elaborated on why Chief Washakie was chosen to replace the Prez.