In his wrestling avatar, Jacobs was depicted as the half-brother of The Undertaker, and was described by the WWE as “a monstrous abomination that seems to have been extracted directly from your childhood nightmares.”
But the “Big Red Monster” has since traded choke-slams for libertarian politics in the red state of Tennessee, where he is hoping to make his supporters’ dreams of not having to pay taxes come true.
Jacobs took a giant step forward on Wednesday, wrestling the Republican primary in Knox County with a margin of just 17 votes over his nearest rival. He will now run for mayor against Democratic candidate Linda Haney in August.
Haney is not expected to bloody Jacobs’ nose in the race, given that Knox County hasn’t voted in a Democratic mayor since the early 1940s.
The WWE’s story-line states that Kane “is consumed by an internal desire to set ablaze the lives of his fellow superstars, leaving a scorched path of destruction behind his fiery footsteps.”
As a lawmaker, however, Jacobs says he is consumed by an internal desire to set ablaze high taxes imposed on his fellow Tennesseans, and a determination to leave behind a path of small government and pro-market economics.
Following his primary victory, Jacobs told Fox News Channel that people on both the right and the left were crying out for candidates who work for them, rather than for the powers that be.
“People are sick and tired of career politicians, and we’ve seen that at the highest level,” Jacobs said. “I think as Republicans, we have to stick by what we believe in, and that is fiscal conservatism and individual freedom. I think what happens is that when Republicans get in positions of power, they forget about that.”
Jacobs, 51, was born in a U.S. Air Force base in Spain. He began competing in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) — as it was then called — in 1995, although the Kane character wasn’t revealed until the late ’90s, before going on to become one of the rebranded WWE’s biggest draws.
In 2007, he began blogging about libertarianism for the website LewRockwell.com, which describes itself as “anti-state, anti-war, pro-market.” His last article for the site, published January 2014, was a take-down of the government’s use of the National Security Agency to spy on its own citizens.
Jacobs told Fox Business in 2014 that he was drawn to libertarian ideas because he wasn’t comfortable being pigeonholed as either a right-winger or a left-winger, and liked the idea of nurturing “the civil libertarian issues of the left and also the economic freedom issues of the right, while still rejecting the big government tendencies of both sides of the political spectrum.”
He also described libertarianism as the truest representation of the American Dream, because “it’s the ability of everybody to live their life and build their life according to what they want, so long as you don’t hurt anybody else.”