Amid an election season partly defined by the record-breaking distaste for its major party candidates, one person emerges whose near-unanimous popularity is uniting the country. His name is Kenneth Bone.
KEN BONE IS A DAMN ICON pic.twitter.com/ouZD1nE6Qi
— Colin Jones (@colinjones) October 10, 2016
During last nights Town Hall debate, where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump sparred in front of an audience of undecided voters, Bone rose to ask a question about energy policy. What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs, while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss for fossil plant workers? he asked the candidates.
Before he could even finish the question, Twitter erupted in celebration of the man, partly for his fresh-to-death red sweater and black-rimmed glasses combo—an early contender for Halloween costume ideas—and partly for the earnestness of his question, which rang like a siren song between the sound of two ships raucously warring at sea.
Ken Bone Halloween costume kit pic.twitter.com/Ew1KffDgcl
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) October 10, 2016
Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear snazzy red sweaters. pic.twitter.com/aZddcAXDlV
— Ken Bone (@TheKenBone) October 10, 2016
— Cole Wright (@ColeWrightNFL) October 10, 2016
— Skelebrad (@toreap) October 10, 2016
Trump answered the question by saying hes all for alternative forms of energy, but that we should take advantage of domestic clean coal and natural gas reserves. While Trump is right that solar energy isnt enough, some environmentalists say that embracing coal would be catastrophic. Clinton, on the other hand, responded by touting the importance of embracing alternative energy to stave off climate change, while acknowledging Trumps claim that her policy would put coal miners out of work. She has proposed a $30 billion plan to revitalize communities where coal is currently an important job creator.
Addressing another audience question, this one about the rise of Islamophobia, Trump said Muslims need to come in and report when they see things going on, with things presumably referring to suspicious behavior (for the record, the FBI says Muslim-Americans already do that).
Regardless, Trumps call for Muslims to report suspicious behavior was meme-ified with the creation of the #MuslimsReportStuff hashtag. This tweet kicked off the narrative.
I'm a Muslim, and I would like to report a crazy man threatening a woman on a stage in Missouri. #debate
— Moustafa Bayoumi (@BayoumiMoustafa) October 10, 2016
Shortly after, thousands of people flooded Twitter using the hashtag to reject Trump’s imperative that Muslim-Americans more than anyone else need to “see something, say something.”
I'd like to report that we don't know more about terrorism because we're Muslim, and just as clueless as everyone else #MuslimsReportStuff
— Nader (@BonsaiSky) October 10, 2016
— Shaista Aziz (@shaistaAziz) October 10, 2016
#MuslimsReportStuff Gremlins 2 is the rare sequel that completely deconstructs the franchise. For my money, it's better than the first.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) October 10, 2016
Of course, as memes do, not all were the result of policy questions. The lighthearted ones were spread just as far and wide—welcome moments of levity during a wild-as-hell debate night that started with an unprecedented press conference where Trump used Bill Clintons rape accusers to redirect attention away from the abusive and sexist remarks he said about women in a leaked tape from 2005 (reminder: Hillary, not Bill Clinton, is running for president).
There was that time Trump loomed menacingly over Clinton.
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 10, 2016
It Follows pic.twitter.com/PJHK1mMIFL
— Katie McDonough (@kmcdonovgh) October 10, 2016
There was the meme where both Clinton and Trump appeared to be singing a duet.
"I really can't stay"
"But baby it's cold outside" pic.twitter.com/OwYsxVmAPJ
— spooky beanscone (@gracexfay) October 10, 2016
HERE WE GO, YO,
HERE WE GO, YO
SO WHAT'S WHAT'S THE SCENARIO, YO pic.twitter.com/hGO1FnYpF2
— Elahe Izadi (@ElaheIzadi) October 10, 2016
There was the cameraman who randomly zoomed in on Clintons face, a la The Office or Curb Your Enthusiasm.
The cameraman who accidentally defined an election pic.twitter.com/QJSgDDkFTA
— Nick Marr (@nick_marr) October 10, 2016
There was that time people had no idea the Syrian city was named Aleppo.
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) October 10, 2016
— Zac (@TheNoise1) October 10, 2016
— Sean Parker (@spikep) October 10, 2016
And, of course, the many reactions of the audience members, whose facial expressions sum up what its like being an American in this crazy, crazy election year.
— Gillian Brockell (@gbrockell) October 10, 2016
— Deuce (@DeuceOnTheAir) October 10, 2016