Former president Jimmy Carter speaks at Mercer graduation
As 2020 looms on the horizon, and the Trumps are positioning themselves as America’s Royal Family ©, this country may want to go in a different direction.
A drive through decimated rural Western Pennsylvania or the tariff-blasted flatlands of Michigan would reveal that President Donald Trump and his white tie and hyper-extended torso vest may not play there, nor in places like Texas, where the president now trails former Vice President Joe Biden, who has unassailable regular guy bona fides.
But what if I told you there was a plausible, even ideal, replacement for President Trump in 2020?
What if there was a man who worked hard and played by the rules his entire life, and he was from the rural South?
There is one candidate who checks all the GOP boxes on every conceivable demographic, and he’s sitting right under their elephant trunk?
Let me describe him for you.
He worked on a farm as a child, and then he took over that same family farm.
He is deeply religious. So much so that he could not only tell you precisely what “Two Corinthians” (wait, Second Corinthians) is, and it wouldn’t be the set up to a bar joke. He can even tell you that in 1 Corinthians 5:9, it says “not to associate with sexually immoral people.” Ahem.
He is even a deacon in his conservative church, and teaches Sunday school.
He served in the Navy and is highly educated. He’s as conversant on nuclear physics as he is on the Bible. He can stand proudly with our nation’s veterans on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, but also has the serviceman’s knowledge to navigate Pentagon politics.
His family? He’s been married just the once, and to a lovely woman who would be a gracious and thoughtful first lady. His sister was an evangelical Christian preacher. His mom did overseas service work. His brother was a relatable farmer and a beer connoisseur.
He has many lovely children, and they are all gainfully employed on their own hook. No emoluments here, just good old American elbow grease and pluck. Real Republicans love that.
He hunts and fishes extensively, and is deeply knowledgeable about how to handle a shotgun and stalk bass and trout. He can even tie his own fishing flies. Oh, and he makes serviceable rustic furniture by hand.
Not only that, he knows how to build houses and knows his way around a hammer and a two-by-four personally – no Queensmob contractors
for this potential GOP nominee. He can frame, hammer, level, lay masonry and do all the things many Trump voters do as well.
Foreign policy? If Iran gets out of line, watch out. He’ll go after them without starting World War III. Russia? No collusion for this guy. He’d even pull us out of the Olympics to make sure American values are boldly defended.
What about his roots? Although he graduated from Annapolis, he’s just a small town kid from a tiny rural high school with kids who play football on Friday nights and drive pick-ups.
Demeanor? None of this crazy tweeting stuff. Thoughtful and deliberate, he carefully chooses his words and never pops off randomly. He says what he means and follows through.
Politics? He took on the Kennedys and won. He governed a medium-sized state on a platform of efficiency and restraint, and even reorganized the government based on a streamlined business model, not like someone who went to a class at Wharton, but who actually did the job itself.
Did I mention he’s a Southerner? His mellifluous accent isn’t a g-dropping act. He can relate to regular folks and lives in a town of a few hundred people with a quaint main street and train station – great conservative visual backdrop. His favorite sport? Baseball, of course. He even pitched in a softball league. That’s pure Americana.
By now all Republicans must be salivating at the notion of this potential savior, who doesn’t pay lip service to personal conservative values. He never paid off a stripper, and never went to outrageous parties with underage models.
I look forward to Republicans giving Jimmy Carter the second term he so richly deserves.