BOSTON (CBS) – Who made the most pithy, insightful comment to date on the current presidential race? Hillary Clinton? Donald Trump? Triumph, the insult comic dog?
Try none of the above.
The answer is Ken Bone, a 34-year-old St. Louis coal plant operator who asked a question about energy policy at Sunday night’s presidential debate. His thoughtful question and striking red sweater made him an instant internet icon. But while his 15 minutes of fame are mostly being treated as an amusing sidebar, after listening to Bone on a cable TV interview Tuesday, I think more serious attention should be paid.
Bone said that the debate left him “more undecided than I was before,” because while Trump has been far more friendly toward the coal industry than Clinton, leading Bone to conclude that he would “have more career opportunities and be better able to take care of my family under Donald Trump,” he also believes that Trump Supreme Court nominees might put at risk “some of the rights we’ve fought so hard for, marriage equality, voting rights, trying to extend real equality to all Americans, and to risk losing any of that really gives me pause.”
“It’s kind of my self-interest versus the community interest, and I think a lot of us are in that same place,” he said.
That’s the most eloquent dissertation I’ve heard all year on the plight of the undecided voter, and while you may quarrel with his characterization of what Clinton and Trump might do, his sincerity and intelligence are indisputable.
Too often in our culture, we focus on the superficial and ignore the profound.
We can reverse that trend if we listen to Ken Bone’s words and pay less attention to his sweater.