America Aches for Lincoln Chafee

The hero we need, but don't deserve

The American people may finally get a presidential candidate worthy of the Oval Office. Lincoln Chafee, the former governor and U.S. senator from Rhode Island, is reportedly open to running for president in 2020 on the Libertarian Party ticket.

Chafee, a Republican-turned-Democrat-turned-independent, announced in July that he had joined the Libertarian Party upon moving to Wyoming to pursue his family's love of the outdoors. "If you are a restless Democrat or Republican fatigued by partisan gridlock and the resulting politicization of even the Supreme Court, look up the Libertarian Party’s platform and score yourself," Chafee wrote in an op-ed published in the Boston Globe. "I happily registered as a Libertarian earlier this year. I’m proud to stand with the party of peace and freedom."

Chafee, who briefly ran for president as a Democrat in 2016 on a controversial pro-metric system platform, chided his former party's handling of the presidential primary, alleging that "super-delegate elites perverted the system" in favor of Hillary Clinton. He criticized the "rancid connection between the Democratic National Committee and Clinton, Inc." And yet, Democrats still "did the impossible and lost to Donald Trump."

Americans do not deserve Lincoln Chafee, especially not the openly Libertarian ones. Chafee will face stiff competition for party's nomination if he does enter the race. Drug-addled fugitive tech baron John McAfee and a toothbrush enthusiast who dresses like a homeless wizard named Vermin Supreme have both expressed interest in the 2020 election.

Nevertheless, Lincoln Chafee is the hero America needs right now. If you don't agree after reading these three paragraphs from a 2015 Boston Globe profile—the finest three paragraphs ever written about an American politician—then you're part of the problem:

Arriving about a hour early for an appointment at the Concord Monitor, the candidate isn’t looking for palms to press. Instead, he stops for a picnic in a back corner of the newspaper parking lot.

"We’ll find a shady spot and kill some time," says Chafee, a former senator and Rhode Island governor. "Have a snack. That’s what I like to do."

He knocks back a Polar seltzer and a Kellogg’s breakfast bar, then strolls to the edge of the woods and discovers a streambed. "Must get rip-roaring with the snow melt," he says, with enthusiasm for nature. A yellow leaf has snagged in his hair.

Godspeed, noble wanderer. We are not worthy.