Kenneth Bone on the Issues (I Bet)
Kenneth Bone on the Issues (I bet).
Toward the end of the second presidential debate, average citizen Kenneth Bone asked a question about energy policy. Immediately, the internet embraced and celebrated him. By 2 am Eastern time, there were more than 89k tweets using #kenbone. Today he has been interviewed by CNN and is the subject of multiple news articles. Why? Because somehow Kenneth Bone just seems like a good person and people have responded to that impression with widespread warmth. One Twitter user wrote “Kenneth Bone would never grope anyone or delete emails.” Exactly.
I don’t know Mr. Bone nor his positions on issues. Yet — surely like others who mysteriously esteem him — I bet I can guess accurately his views on certain topics:
On Trump’s comments to Billy Bush about women: “That’s a terrible way to talk about people and I would never choose to be around anyone who talks that way.”
On Hillary Clinton’s private server and emails: “I think it’s important to know the rules and to follow them — especially public servants — and no one should be above the law.”
On the refugee crisis: “Of course we have to be careful about who enters our country, but those people need our help.”
On race relations: “I think America would be a better place for everyone if we treated each other with respect, kindness, and compassion.”
On police brutality against African Americans: “I’m horrified by what I’ve seen and there’s no excuse for it, ever.”
On police: “I support our police and I’m sure that almost all of them go to work wanting to protect and serve the public.”
On paying income taxes: “I think if you’re lucky enough to earn money in this country then you should pay income taxes. I’ve always paid.”
On income inequality: “I don’t think there should be poor, homeless, hungry people in a rich country like ours, so that should be fixed.”
On the Second Amendment: “I think people should have the right to own guns but there have been too many shootings in this country and that has to stop.”
On LGBT rights: “I don’t believe in discriminating against people.”
On the coarsening of politics: “I don’t think we should hate people just because they disagree with us, because we’re all Americans.”
On Russia: “We don’t need more enemies but we can’t be pushed around or let other countries get pushed around.”
On abortion: “Well, I’m not sure I like the idea of abortion but I just don’t think the government should control anyone’s body.”
Finally, on the issue which he asked about in the debate, energy policy, I imagine his general position is that “It’s important to develop new sources of renewable, sustainable energy but the country should commit to retraining people who will be economically dislocated by the transition from fossil fuel dependence.”
Again, I have no idea whether Kenneth Bone would agree with any of these opinions; this is entirely an exercise in conjecture. These views are moderate, limited, and based on respecting and caring about other people. They are decent positions. Kenneth Bone has been hugged by the internet and other media because he seems like a decent person, which is why I fancifully bet that he would endorse these positions.
Perhaps the reason that I and others were drawn to Kenneth Bone is that last night we desperately wanted someone on the debate stage to express these kind of viewpoints, someone who seemed ineffably trustworthy and beyond reproach. It wasn’t the candidates running for president.
Although it’s true that I have no idea what kind of president Kenneth Bone — of all people — would be, given what we know about Clinton and Trump, I’d rather take my chances with Kenneth Bone.