Anthony Adcox, 14, of Joelton, questions Metro Councilman Brett Withers at Stratford High School after Mayor John Cooper took his oath of office. Photo by Clint Confehr

By Clint Confehr

WHITES CREEK, TN — Between high school classes recently, Anthony Adcox of Joelton discussed his plans to run for Congress in 2030 and eventually for President.

He’s serious, knows classmates might laugh, but he’s Whites Creek High School’s freshman president. He’s thinking big and doing something about it.

Anthony interviewed Metro Councilman Brett Withers at Stratford High School after Mayor John Cooper was sworn in. Withers’ answers might be likened to a primer on local government.

Make America Awesome Again is Anthony’s presidential slogan. His campaign song would be by Disturbed.

Born Jan. 31, 2005, Anthony knows he must be 25 to run for Congress. His preferred college is West Point. To get in, he needs a Congressional appointment.

“Good thing I already have good relations with my congressman,” Anthony says. He met Rep. Jim Cooper last year. Their “good conversation” was about Cooper’s beliefs.

Anthony plans to run for Cooper’s seat. “Go for it,” Cooper said. The congressman encourages all young people to be informed, register to vote, vote in every election and run for office or serve their community in some way.

Anthony plans to run for Sen. Marsha Blackburn’s seat when he’s old enough. “I plan on meeting her before I aim for the U.S. Senate Page Program.” Last year, he sought votes for her at a grocery.

Anthony decided to run for President “after Trump’s win … because, if he can pull off a miracle … becoming president, who says a kid from the middle of nowhere … won’t win?”

Presidents “must have military experience,” he says. They must know what troops experience.

Anthony has some political experience. He’s class president because the president resigned to run for homecoming court. Anthony was vice president. He said student elections “became a strain” with low voter turnout for homecoming court and “two campaigns yelling at each other. It was kind of annoying” and “maybe” a microcosm of national politics.

Anthony might run for a state GOP committee seat. He’s a Republican because of conservative beliefs. “We need to keep America … strong … rather than move forward too fast…” He wants low taxes and lower spending.

On social issues he’s “more Libertarian” in what he calls “the southeast quadrant of the political spectrum” versus the “northeast, authoritarian rightwing.”

Libertarians advocate legal marijuana. Anthony’s only for medical marijuana because opioids failed. “Marijuana has a good track of not being addictive … [P]regnant women in Jamaica who smoked marijuana … had smart babies.” He’s read studies on it.

The Affordable Care Act isn’t extreme, he said. But having health insurance like other countries “is a terrible idea.”

On federal help here, he wants “more funding for education because Metro schools have high standards” even if students don’t. He’s for early education and more parental involvement.

He says Whites Creek High got a bad rap for behavior and academics, but “It’s a pretty good school.” Public schools offer a good education.

As for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, school choice, charters and vouchers, he disagrees “with the party on that, but no party has it correct” and standardized testing is problematic.

Internationally, “America should stop policing the world, but there are places where governments oppress their people [so] we should … push to get them to stop if stuff in the U.N. doesn’t work, but what country is listening to the U.N.?”

Anthony’s an assistant to Whites Creek’s athletic director. He wants a job at Chick-fil-A because it’s “Jesus chicken.” He attends First Baptist of Joelton. His mother’s in customer service. His father’s a plumber. Anthony has a younger brother and sister.

Clint Confehr

Clint Confehr — an American journalist since 1972 — first wrote for The Tennessee Tribune in 1999. His news writing and photography in South Central Tennessee and the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical...