By John J. Duncan Jr.

The day before the second presidential debate – the one in Nashville – I got a call from the White House.  The caller said his name was Brian Jack and that he was the political director at the White House.

He said, “Of all the former members of Congress, the president thinks of you the most.”

This was a shock to me.  Then he said the president got only 30 tickets to the debate and 15 were reserved for his family and close family friends.

But he said the president wanted to invite me to be his guest at the debate with one of the other 15 tickets.

I told him I was shocked, I was thrilled, and I was very grateful.  He told me I would get a call about a time later with instructions.

One instruction was to go to the J.W. Marriott Hotel in downtown Nashville to be tested for the virus.

At that point, I had never been tested, and as I drove to Nashville the next day, I hoped I was not going to drive over, get a positive test, and just have to turn around and drive back.

I was put in a group with Lee Greenwood and his wife who told me they had never been tested either, so we all sweated it out those few minutes until we got good results.

Lee Greenwood had come to the Duncan Family Barbecue in 1988 during my first race for Congress.  Even though we had always said there would be no speeches in that event, he gave a great speech and ended up by singing “God Bless the USA”.  He was a big hit.

Others in the group with me were golfer John Daley, Kid Rock, who I heard of but know nothing about, and Mrs. Vince McMahon, the wrestling promoter and Chairwoman of the President’s Political Action Committee.

I know that millions hate the president, but he and Joe Biden have both been very nice to me.

But I have never voted for a Democrat for president and feel fairly certain I never will.

It may shock some of the haters, but President Trump is a very likable man.  He grew up in the rough and tumble world of New York construction, and he is a very tough street fighter.  If you cross him, he fights back hard.

But I never had a reason to cross him.  The president has said and done some things that even his strongest supporters wish he had not said or done.

But his policies are ones that over 90% of Republicans and probably half of Independents agree with and support.

Some Republicans did not support the president because of his personality and that is their right.

But I do not think highly of former Republican members of Congress who sought publicity to tell people they were opposed to President Trump.

They would never have been in office in the first place if the Republican Party had not given them their nominations.

I think they owe some loyalty to the Party that was good to them.  It is all right to fight in a primary, but in the general election, if they cannot support the nominee of their Party, they should keep their mouths shut.

My Dad told me many years ago that once you leave office, people forget you about as soon as the ripples disappear after you throw a rock in the water.

It was nice to know that President Trump has not forgotten me.