Where Have You Gone, Ken Bone? (Our Nation Turns Its Nervous Eyes to You)

(Author’s note: You’ll be relieved to know PPFA’s frequent, turgid posts are not permanently back after a six-month hiatus. I found the time and motivation to make a single post with a take on where this election is headed. Just give me 20 minutes of your time, then I’ll leave you alone again.)


It’s an image seared into the nation’s collective consciousness. A balding, bespectacled, mustachioed man studies two debating candidates. The glow of his red sweater lights up the screen while the seams of his backup pants hold on for dear life. His name was, impossibly, Ken Bone, and for the better part of a news cycle he was America’s sweetheart. I literally wrote a sonnet about him.

Mr. Bone quickly became America’s mental picture of the undecided voter, a group that made up an unusually high 15 percent of voters in the 2016 campaign’s closing weeks. It was hard to imagine all the Ken Bones out there unable to decide between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but there were apparently many.

This time, however, there are apparently few. In 2020, the American electorate, like our President’s favorite crispy dinner, is Boneless.

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