The more Mark Sanford warns us about looming dark days, the more he sounds like The Dark Knight.

Our former governor and 1st District congressman is currently going through a very public will-he-or-won’t-he struggle to decide whether to challenge President Trump in the 2020 Republican primary.

And, as usual, he’s invited us all to watch him wrestle his personal demons.

Caitlin Byrd reports that Sanford is going to test the electoral waters in New Hampshire this week, and on Monday he released a new quasi-campaign video called “A storm is coming.”

“There’s a big storm coming,” Sanford says. “Our country is in the most precarious financial position that we’ve been at since our founding and the civil war. Not dealing with it could crush our economy, it could wipe out whatever we’ve saved, it could even destroy our republic.”

Ominous, huh? He’s referring to increased federal spending coupled with tax cuts that have exploded the deficit by more than trillion dollars this year.

The famously frugal Sanford metaphorically likens this coming disaster to hurricane season on the South Carolina coast. But he sounds more like Catwoman warning Batman of impending doom in the 2012 film, "The Dark Knight Rises."

“There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne,” she purrs. “You and your friends better batten down the hatches, ‘cause when it hits you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you all could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”

That may sound a little socialistic for Sanford, and Batman would never reveal his secret identity by putting his phone number and email address on YouTube (as Sanford did), but you get the idea.

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Sanford is struggling with dual identities: Should he start an advocacy group or “elevate the issue” by running against Trump? Either way, he wants to be a super-heroic symbol for our troubled times.

“I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that we have to do something,” Sanford says.

By “we,” Sanford means “he.” Because he clearly has cast himself as the hero we need, a crusader begging someone to ask him to don his cape.

Unfortunately, if Sanford truly thinks he can take the GOP nomination away from Trump, some people will argue he’s not Batman — he’s just batty.

Reach Brian Hicks at bhicks@postandcourier.com.

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