From first glance he looks like the definition of an “average joe,” but what he embodies is something much greater: the unadulterated American spirit.
His name is not one you’d give to your kid, but neither is it one that goes overlooked. A name so provocative that it stops you in your tracks and makes you think, “Shut up… what’s his name? That guy must be special.”
The man in the loud red sweater, meant only for a Christmas dinner, is none other than Ken Bone. During the second presidential debate of 2016, irritated viewers became first witness to his cultural inception.
The biggest viral entity since Harambe the gorilla, but his message is much more important than an ape gone too soon, a crying Michael Jordan head photoshopped onto everything and memes of irrelevent candidate Gary Johnson asking, “What is Aleppo?”
Bone, an operator at an Illinois coal plant, got up from his chair at Washington University in St. Louis with the poise and gusto of an actual politician, and asked, “What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job layoffs?”
Asking the most hated candidates in U.S. presidential election history about the country’s future energy policies, in regards to how they’d be environmentally friendly while also sustaining coal jobs, Bone showed us how to truly express bi-partisanship. His example was heard loud and clear, especially with the help of that enticing mustache and a comb over that puts Donald Trump’s to shame.
The symbol that is Bone has opened the eyes of the millions of Americans who watched as he confidently asked the demagogic pervert that is Trump and the stereotypically corrupt politician that is Hillary Clinton a question that encompassed both party’s issues.
Was his question answered? Of course not, because they both are ludicrous individuals who were at each other’s throats all night instead of staying on topic.
But for all of us watching, we like to believe that that adorable little man who just screams “I’m a momma’s boy,” was content with Clinton and Trump’s ambiguous responses.
Bone woke up that morning with the intentions of going under the radar, with a well-developed and commonplace question in his olive-green blazer pocket. Then, as he heard the tear of polyester below his groin, everything in Bone’s life began to change.
The suit he declared as an outfit that would have made his mother proud had torn. He blamed his weight gain for the wardrobe malfunction, while being interviewed on CNN, so he grabbed his plan B outfit and he became the highest trending hashtag on Twitter.
Our eyes were hypnotized by the bright red that seemed to burst through our TV sets, and forced us to focus on a man who’d be ignored in any other situation, like a nightclub, bar or pretty much any social gathering.
He became the embodiment of an adjective that should never be used to describe Sunday’s debate, which is “interesting.”
Was the debate entertaining? No doubt. About as entertaining as two siblings arguing over their dad’s iPad. But interesting? Not even a shred.
Everything each candidate said was nothing out of the ordinary in this current political spectrum. Per usual, Trump defended himself poorly over his countless scandals, and Clinton avoided talking about her deleted emails and Benghazi. Clinton ignored “the Donald” in her reserved demeanor as he yelled over moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz, while constantly bringing up said emails to hide from his own reprehensible past.
The only other interesting part aside from Bone was that Trump brought some of Bill Clinton’s accusers to confront him during the debate. But these three women were not discussed after Trump’s first mention of them in the beginning of the forum, because the Commission on Presidential Debates struck down his attempt, according to Vice.
I was excited for that drama, because unlike Bone I’m immature and have accepted that this election is only worth its tabloids.
Bone, an undecided voter, knew Trump’s “uncalled for” distraction was to stray the media away from his current idiocracy of verbally stating on an Access Hollywood hot mic that he often gets away with sexually assaulting women because of his celebrity status. This is why Bone is special. He cares, he understands both sides, but he can smell an entitled brat a mile away.
Bone is an entity of true American politics, demonstrated through a simplistic man who documented his time at the town hall debate with a disposable camera. And yes, it’s 2016 and disposable cameras are still sold.
He showed us all how to be undaunted in accordance with our views, but to also hear one another’s outlooks so that someday we will not be as divided through the “leaders” we must unfortunately stand behind this day and age.
Little did Bone know, this was only the beginning of his fame. The beginning of his further exemplification of America’s once mature political climate, through his now popular Twitter influence and already multiple TV interviews. But most significantly, the beginning of his future campaign in 2020 against Kanye West. Be honest, do you doubt it?
Sadly, Bone is not who we thought he was. After hosting a Reddit AMA on his personal account, StanGibson18, redditors discovered Bone’s unruly internet past, which included misogynistic posts and declaring the death of Trayvon Martin justified.
I know what you’re thinking. Can we not just have one uncorrupted, adorably pudgy man to keep us sane in this outrageous political climate?
Angelo Errico is a senior journalism major from Concord, North Carolina.