Swirling gold and green lights, a sudden rush of wind, a booming voice with no discernable speaker. President R19 Boddie says he has developed a comfortable rapport with God that goes all the way back to their first interaction when he was seven years old.
“I was laying in my bed,” said Boddie, 46, his voice crescendoing as the words tumbled out. “The Spirit just engulfed me and went straight into my heart and pushed so much negativity out of me. And I just felt love.”
Over the decades, Boddie has turned to prayer and God’s guidance as a means of overcoming hardship, such as becoming legally blind and facing homelessness. Armed with these decades of experience, Boddie showed no hesitation when God tasked him with his greatest challenge yet: becoming president of the United States.
When it comes to dates and timelines, Boddie is a human calendar; his encyclopedic knowledge of events encompasses wide swaths of human history. So even though he can spout a litany of events that occurred on Jan. 28, they pale in comparison to the divine occurrence of 2018. As Boddie sat in his living room at 7 p.m., the rumbling voice of God instructed him to take over the Oval Office.
Since then, Boddie has sought God’s advice to sharpen his policy positions and campaign platform. “He hears from God,” said Carl Millender, 49, his media representative and long-time friend. “We’re all people but, out of any other candidate out there, he identifies best with the general public. I admire his willingness to follow God.”
Boddie’s faith is unwavering even when fear creeps in. For example, despite originally picking Africa as his foreign policy nucleus, Boddie rewired his approach when a conversation with Eric Stoneham, 49, his vice-presidential nominee, led to another divine intervention. This time, God told Boddie to shift his focus to the Middle East, “I felt the spirit push me back on my back,” said Boddie. “And God said to me loud and steady, ‘Unite Israel and America as one country.’ And I cried. I started thinking about all the persecution that I would have to suffer… And I’m blind on top of that… Oh I cried, I cried.”
Despite his initial concern, Boddie has used his foreign policy strategy as a stepping stone to strengthen his healthcare policy. Under his plan, Boddie will “inherit” all other nations as provinces of U.S.-Israel. This will enable his administration to import “potent herbs” from all provinces and make them appeal to citizens in a “modern medical format.” Calling this “healthcure,” Boddie believes this approach will sustainably eliminate disease while boosting the accessibility of medicine.
To ensure a smooth transition to this foreign policy model, Boddie plans to establish a seventh branch of the U.S. military: the Praise Force. Donning all-white uniforms, the Praise Force will eradicate evil occurrences, including mass shootings, as well as protect churches, synagogues and other institutions during the transition and maintenance phases of the U.S.-Israel unification process.
“We’re submitting ourselves to building God’s kingdom,” said Stoneham. “I just can’t wait to see the people being quiet and listening to stuff that they’ve never heard before. And to see the warmth that will be in their hearts.”
In addition to this, Boddie’s own life experiences have strengthened his policy trajectory, particularly his stances on healthcure and eradicating homelessness.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Boddie began having vision problems at the age of four and was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at the age of 13. He then attended schools for the blind in Georgia and Maryland.
In his teenage years, Boddie developed a penchant for the arts and honed his skills through a variety of creative performance outlets. In the ninth grade, he particularly recalled participating in Morehouse College’s Upward Bound program, an intensive six-week summer program for high school students in Georgia. Foreshadowing his future successes, his work in the program earned him many awards for his producing and acting. It was during his time as a play producer that Boddie met both Millender and Stoneham, working respectively on “Dope Opera” in 2001 and “Save the Children” in 2014.
Boddie inevitably faced a few stumbles as he strove for greatness. However, he clung to his faith as a beacon of hope in navigating through his lowest moments, particularly his experience being homeless. Reflecting on the times he slept on the concrete ground, Boddie credits God with introducing him to his wife who helped him off the streets. “He’s been broke, he’s been rich,” said Stoneham. “President R19 is the only person who’s been to the lowest and been to the highest.”
Today, Boddie’s team has full confidence that his love for the world around him will carry him to the Oval Office at the end of the 2020 election. Take his name, for example. Born as Ramone Boddie, Boddie released a rap EP in 2017 entitled “One Stone” under the alias R19, a nickname given to him by Stoneham from the biblical chapter Revelation 19. Building on this, Boddie legally changed his name to President R19 on May 8, 2018 to express God’s confidence in the outcome of the election.
“There is no ‘If I don’t win,’” Boddie said. “Any time that demon called ‘Doubt’ tries to creep into my head or flesh, I talk to Jesus. God said I’m already the president. I’m already the president of the United States of America.”