OK, this story is not new. I don’t know how I missed it. Peterson is running for Auditor of Alabama. There has already been a four way primary, and Peterson is in a run off. The run off is 15 July.
We posted here about the two run-ins with the law that Paterson had, so I am surprised to see him back on the scene. According to this website from Feb., he was found guilty on both charges and the sentence included some jail time which seems like overkill to me. He is appealing and had a jury trial scheduled for May. I have searched to see what came of that trial date, and couldn’t find anything. Peterson briefly and somewhat cryptically addresses the incidents here. He says he saw some doctors and had some tests and was diagnosed with “short-term memory problems” which he has addressed with medications and vitamins. While the incidents sounded medical to me, and I said so at the time, as someone who knows a little something about these things, I am skeptical that his explanation is giving us all the information, but I won’t publicly speculate further.
That said, Peterson seems to be taking a lower profile this time. Here is his ad for Auditor. It contains the recognizable imagery, but Peterson doesn’t speak.
Here, Peterson goes off on Obama about the Bergdahl prisoner swap.
First of all, I’m not sure what Bergdahl has to do with being Auditor of Alabama. Second, I don’t totally agree with Peterson here. I don’t in principle have an objection to a prisoner swap. As the original Bergdahl as deserter Rolling Stone article we discussed here makes clear, if we were going to end the war in Afghanistan, then we really had to get Bergdahl back. Ending the war and leaving him over there wasn’t really an option. I do, however, think the Administration handled it very badly, which they have no excuse for because the politics of it all were predicted precisely by the Rolling Stone article in 2012. Instead of announcing it like it was some sort of triumph, they should have announced it solemnly and prepared people for the controversy. Obama also was required by law to inform Congress, and his failure to do so should be pursued.
That said, I still find something very powerful about Peterson’s folksy, down home delivery. As things become less left vs. right and more the Elite and their minions vs. the people, I believe that people like Peterson will help bring that message home. I think it would serve us well to study his presentation. I’m not suggesting people play a role. You have to be who you are. But Peterson is going to be one type in the rebellion. Brainy outsiders like Brat and hopefully a couple of billionaire populists like Perot and Trump will contribute to the mix as well.