The gentleman below and to the right is named is John “Jack” W. Bergman, and he has filed to run for Congress to represent Michigan’s 1st Congressional District on the Republican ticket. He is 69 years old, runs his own successful medical supply business and was an off and on pilot for Northwest Airlines.

LTG Jack W. Bergman USMC
LTG Jack W. Bergman USMC (Ret.)
Picture is in Public Domain

He is also a retired Lieutenant General in the United States Marine Corps. He flew choppers in Vietnam, and has seen additional overseas service in Japan and Germany where he served as Deputy Chief of Operations (J-3a) – European Command. He flew UH-1 helicopters with the Rhode Island National Guard as a reservist and was recalled to active duty several times to serve in IL, NY, KS, CA, NC, VA and LA.

His last posting before retirement in 2009 was to serve as the Commander – Marine Forces Reserve/Marine Forces North – by strength, the largest Command in the Marine Corps. And he, apparently, has been able to keep himself married to the same woman for the past few decades and counting.

Now why am I bringing this man to your attention?

Because if you are among those seeking an Independent candidate to provide an honorable, credible alternative for the American people beyond the vulgar amoral clown that is Donald Trump, and the venal immoral crook that is Hillary Clinton, then a career military man like John Bergman should be at the top of your list. The fact that he already wants to go serve in Washington (which is the reason his name is in the title) means the work of convincing him to get into politics is already done – one now only needs to convince him to switch his target to another office which happens to be on Pennsylvania Avenue

The only negative I see is his age; and even then, he is not at a disadvantage given recent history – Ronald Reagan was 69 in 1980 and John McCain was 71 in 2008 – and the fact that every one of the three people still battling now are all clustered around the same age range; Hillary Clinton is 68, Donald Trump is 69, Bernie Sanders is five years older at 74.

And, of course, he is manifestly more qualified to be Commander-in-Chief and President of the United States than all three of them.

The point I’m making here is not that #NeverTrumpers should all throw our support behind John Bergman … or that there are no other viable options (see below).

The point is that if we are looking for a Third Party / Independent candidate for November, then we need to find someone with a similar biographical profile and record of service. Name recognition is something that can be built up between now and November.

#NeverTrumpers are being shortsighted by focusing so much attention on Mitt Romney when so many other options exist.

A military man can enter the race and justify his entry with the simple, incontestible claim that neither of the two major party candidates are fit to be Commander-in-Chief over his brothers and sisters still in arms. As a non-politician, he would be almost immune to questions about his courage and commitment for his decision to jump in so late compared to a Governor or member of Congress (former or sitting). As a former military officer, he would benefit from the fact that the military is America’s most trusted public institution. As a General/Admiral, he would have immediate credibility on matters of national security and foreign policy. And finally, he would be something new – the last time a career military officer was on the ballot for the Oval Office was in 1956, when Eisenhower was running for re-election.

I’ve made this argument before; a retired General officer with high command, national security and foreign policy experience would make the ideal Independent candidate to present to the American people as an alternative to both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton – instead of being the candidate, Mitt Romney would be perfect as the Chief Financial Officer; Chief Donor Wrangler and and Chief of Contributor Outreach.

If Ted Cruz can be convinced to throw his support (and most importantly, his infrastructure) behind “The General” (or “The Admiral”), then we’ve got a viable campaign – with a real (if miniscule) possibility of getting Greg Abbott and the very heavily Republican TX state legislature (as is their explicitly spelled out Constitutionally prerogative) to open a one-day window to register the candidate for the ballot on Election Day. Even if that doesn’t work out, a one-state Write-In campaign for “The General” or “The Admiral” is doable.

 In line with all that; allow me to present the following gentlemen (order is not based on preference), in addition to Mr. Bergman, for your consideration as possible candidates for #NeverTrump (perhaps Romney himself) to try and recruit.

RANK NAME BRANCH
AGE
COMMANDS EVIDENCE OF LEANING RIGHT
GEN James T. Conway
USMC 68 ■ Commandant of the United States Marine Corps
■ Director of Operations (J-3) – Joint Chiefs of Staff
■ Endorsed Romney 2012
ADM James O. Ellis
NAVY 68 ■ Commander – U.S. Strategic Command
■ Commander – U.S. Naval Forces, Europe
■ Endorsed Romney 2012
■ Visiting Fellow – Hoover Institution
GEN Bryan D. Brown
ARMY 67 ■ Commander – U.S. Special Operations Command
■ Commander – U.S. Army Special Operations Command
■ Commander – Joint Special Operations Command
■ Wife is a Registered Republican
■ He is a Senior Advisor to the CEO of Smith & Wesson.
ADM Timothy Keating
NAVY 67 ■ Commander – U.S. Northern Command
■ Commander – U.S. Pacific Command
■ Endorsed Romney 2012
GEN Victor E. Renaurt
AIR FORCE 66 ■ Commander – U.S. Northern Command
■ Director of Strategic Plans and Policy – the Joint Staff
■ Endorsed Romney 2012
ADM Mark Fitzgerald
NAVY 65 ■ Commander – U.S. Naval Forces Europe
■ Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa
■ Commander – Allied Joint Force Command Naples
■ Endorsed Romney 2012
ADM Gary Roughead NAVY 64 ■ Chief of Naval Operations
■ Commander – U.S. Fleet Forces Command
■ Commander – U.S. Pacific Fleet
■ Visiting Fellow – Hoover Institution
ADM James Stavridis
NAVY 61 ■ Commander – U.S. European Command
■ Supreme Allied Commander Europe
■ Commander – U.S. Southern Command
■ Registered Republican Family (Mom & Sister)
Weak evidence – but Stavridis is kinda awesome.

Google them all. There are numerous others at the 3 and 2 star level (e.g. Jack Bergman, George Trautman, etc.).

Any one of these men would make a better President than Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or (Lord Almighty) Bernie Sanders.

Any one of them would be able to get #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary folks together and possibly wrest the nomination away from Trump at the convention in July.

We need a viable, credible candidate with a feasible path to the White House, as an actual valid alternative to Donald Trump (and Hillary Clinton), not just a spoiler candidate – which is what Romney would be. Given the wide swathes of the American population that despises both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, there has never been a cycle, including 1992, where an Independent or Third Party bid has had as much of a chance as now.

We just have to pick the right candidate.