The setting is Singapore, early June 2017, at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue, a regional security summit in Asia.  U.S. Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis has just spoken about the threat posed to the world by North Korea, as well as the potential positive benefit of the United States-China relationship on a host of issues. 

Then he is asked during a question and answer session if the American-led global political order is in the process of being dismantled.  His answer, per Defense News, was “like it or not, we are part of the world,” while insisting that the United States will “still be there.”  Mattis also asked for patience from America’s regional allies, and stated,

Bear with us, once we have exhausted all possible alternatives, the Americans will do the right thing.”

For this author, within the last portion of that response — bear with us, the Americans will do the right thing — a dim but discernible glow appeared out of the darkness, like a lighthouse in heavy fog just barely perceptible to the crew of a fishing boat returning from months at sea.  The thought hit me like a Mattis-fist in the face: ‘holy crap, he might primary the President in 2020!’

Would Jim Mattis really consider, after one term, a primary challenge to the president who named him SecDef?  Not-at-all-credible sources — mostly those inside my own head — say “of course he would, for the good of the country.”  Most sane people, though, will likely file this under #FakeNews or “wishful thinking,” alongside the Seth Rich murder conspiracy and the likelihood that a Republican congress will actually vote to impeach a Republican President.

Really, though, think about it.  Who would be better to provide an alternative to the chaos now gripping Washington, D.C., and the rest of the world?  Bear with me, and play this fantasy out for yourself.  Mattis appears to have the credibility with both Trump voters (for now) and non-Trump voting Republicans, as well as possibly a fair number of Democrats, to pull it off.  If you believe the press, who doesn’t love this guy?

Mattis is fast approaching Chuck Norris-level adoration and respect, minus the underlying humorous irony (for now).  That is to say, the Myth of Mattis has become its own living and breathing fantastical creature, imbuing the man with God-like powers and near infallibility.  One need only google “Jim Mattis memes” to see what I mean.