earl_l-_butzTrump still hasn’t chosen a Secretary of Agriculture, the last empty seat in the eclectic Cabinet. Maybe he’s looking for someone who can revive the legacy of Earl Butz, Secretary of Agriculture (1971-1976). Profiling the then-new Secretary, the New York Times described him as “a clever platform performer who sprinkles his speeches with barnyard humor, hoary jokes, and country talk, all of which delights his rural audience” (Duscha, April 16, 1972). Butz was a product of rural America whose priority was expanding the rural vote for the Republicans. Butz said of rural voters, “Somehow I have a deep-down feeling that the degree of good, old-fashioned patriotism that you have among people of rural America is a notch or two higher than among people in ‘downtown America.'”

“If some of those ill-informed, fuzzy-thinking do-gooders who suggest that we eat one less hamburger per week to release more foodstuffs to the world are really serious … they could make the first onslaught on this noble goal by reducing our dog and cat population by 50%.” Of course, Butz added, “I do not advocate such a thing.”

-Time 8/12/1974

Butz described himself as, “a chap who is rather articulate; a chap who doesn’t straddle issues; a chap who is not afraid to speak out.” Sounds like he would have gotten along well with the new President-elect.

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