Ken Bone encourages SLU students to get out and vote


On Wednesday, the College Republicans hosted internet sensation Ken Bone at their weekly meeting.

Ken Bone was thrust into the national spotlight after sitting on a panel of undecided voters at the second presidential debate, which was held at Washington University.

Soon after he asked his question, which pertained to energy policy and the environment, Bone started trending on Twitter due to his striking appearance and infamous red sweater.

In the weeks since the debate, Bone has continued to enjoy — or perhaps endure — national media attention.

This ordinary-dad-turned-internet-meme has reacted to his sudden fame with surprising self-awareness and good graces. He has sold t-shirts featuring his likeness to raise money for St. Patrick’s, a homeless shelter in St. Louis, and recently donned a robe, lightsaber and his infamous red sweater to go trick-or-treating as “Obi Wan Kenboni.”

Bone spoke to the University News about his recent rise to fame and appeal to people on both sides of the political aisle: “A lot of it came from the first day and the bright-red sweater and the goofy mustache and being willing to poke fun at myself. Then, for the next couple of days of interviews they’re like ‘Well, this guy actually is kinda fun to talk to, he really is a neutral guy with a positive message.’”

Bone emphasized the American people’s willingness to talk about the present issues facing the United States today rather than the usual mudslinging back and forth between candidates.

For Bone, the most pressing issue in this election cycle is energy policy, which includes climate change. He acknowledged that people are passionate about different issues — the most important thing a person can do is to go out and vote.

His all-time favorite president is Teddy Roosevelt. He said that he prefers Teddy Roosevelt “maybe not so much because of policy, some of which I didn’t agree with, but because he was like an action figure who came to life and who was in charge of the country.”

Regarding his political views, Bone said he was raised to be “incredibly conservative.” He said he is still very fiscally conservative.

“Now I have two nickels to rub together and I pay a lot of taxes and I don’t like to see my money get thrown into a campfire. I want to see the country actually get some return for that, whether it’s in responsible social programs or defense or whatever it is.”

Although he is fiscally conservative, Bone says that socially he is more centrist: “Do what you want to do with your own body. Americans should have equal rights. Who am I to tell you what you can do in your own home? As long as it’s not hurting anyone else.”

Bone stated that he had chosen a presidential candidate to vote for, but was not publicly announcing his decision. Instead, he wanted to emphasize political activeness and encourage people to vote no matter their political orientation.

Bone said multiple times, “I’m just a regular guy.” He is going to use his limelight to bring attention to pertinent issues concerning the American people and society in general.

He said that as long as he keeps getting asked for interviews, he will keep broadcasting his message. Once Bone’s “fifteen minutes of fame” are up then he will continue being the “normal guy” he has been all along.

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