Rutherford B. Hayes, Tea Partier

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Photo/Wikimedia CommonsPhoto Courtesy of the University of Texas at AustinMeet your 45th president, America. He’s the same as the 19th, really, only without the beard.

That would be 2012 candidate Rutherford B. Hayes (no relation to the former president), a Gulf War veteran-turned-businessman and as of today, aspiring leader of the free world. He’s also something of a Tea Partier; according to his website, Hayes’s most important order of business in Washington will be to weed out “socialists, communists, and marxists, as well as sensatiable[sic] condescending egos.” Time permitting, he’ll get us out of Afghanistan, institute a 10-percent flat tax, withdraw from the United Nations, return to the gold standard, abolish the IRS, fire all teachers who “indoctrinate children,” and undo the core tenets of his predecessor’s “unconstitutional” health care reform.

Whether the (kind of) famous name will be an asset or a liability, though, remains to be seen

Hayes was, after all, swept into office with the help of a systematic vote-suppression scheme and a series of backroom deals; “Rutherfraud” was like the 1870s answer to “Nobama,” except all of the allegations were true.

Hayesthe living onehas not responded to MoJo‘s requests for comment, but we’ll let you know when he does. In the meantime, he seems to be keeping busy. According to his website, he’s currently the Chief Financial Officer for “Miss Liberty America,” believed to be the first-ever Tea Party beauty paegant. Except it’s so, so much more than that:

The contestants will be judged in categories of personal interview, swimsuit, evening gown, beauty, talent, questions regarding the documents of America’s founding fathers, and Marksmanship! This will be the first pageant of its kind to introduce competency in the handling, safety and use of firearms, and CPR! The contestants must be able to save a life as well as defend one!

 

I should also note that while Hayes I is either forgotten or mocked in the United States, he’s huge in Paraguay. There’s a state called “El Presidente Hayes,” an eponymous soccer team called “Los Yanquis,” a statue, a mural, and a postage stamp. And also this:

In the late 1990s, a Paraguayan TV show fulfilled a 17-year-old girl’s wish after she miraculously emerged from a coma by giving her an all-expense-paid trip to Ohio to see the Hayes Presidential Center.

“It appears that they have sort of an inflated view of Hayes’ importance in American history,” Culbertson said. “One article said that they thought he was revered only behind Abraham Lincoln within the United States, which certainly isn’t the case.”

Yet.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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