Thought US politics couldn’t get any weirder? Think again! Steve Lough – a self-described “real, professional clown” – is running for Congress in South Carolina.
His announcement was accompanied by a 20-second YouTube clip which sees him juggling five yellow balls, each of which represents a South Carolina district, and a speech that saw him make the joke the internet has apparently been dying for:
They joke that the president and Congress are all clowns. Well, in my professional opinion, they are the worst clowns I’ve ever seen.
Circus puns aside (extra points for the genius red nose placement on the official website), Lough explains his decision to run was motivated by Bernie Sanders’ 2016 talk on healthcare policy. Another contributing factor was the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, which Lough says hit particularly hard; at the time, he was in the state touring and performing in schools as part of an anti-bullying initiative.
As the Sanders name-check suggests, Lough’s policies are largely liberal. Not only does he believe that “assault weapons have no place in civilian hands”, he is in favour of same-sex marriage (though he thinks churches should have a free choice), he believes military funding should be cut and redistributed, and finally that renewable energy should be a national priority.
He also has a clear-cut stance on abortion, simply stating:
Each pregnancy is unique. Only the woman and her doctor have any business making such an important decision. Trust women. They generally know what they are doing.
The idea of an actual clown in Congress might seem hilarious, but Lough’s campaign video is remarkably serious compared to that of his Democratic competitor, Archie Parnell.
Over the course of 68 seconds, we see Parnell bowling, being tatted (his tattoo, rather unimaginatively, reads ‘Parnell for Congress 2018’) and reading 50 Shades of the U.S. Tax Code. There’s even a cameo appearance by none other than Sir Trevor McDonald.
Lough’s final competitor, Republican Ralph Norman, is less exciting: he has no formal circus experience, no celebrity cameos and hasn’t even bothered to get a campaign tattoo.
Unsurprisingly, Lough isn’t afraid of either of them, and seems confident in his abilities to win. He demonstrates this confidence perfectly in his rousing campaign finale:
If old Ralph and Archie aren’t afraid of clowns now, they will be shortly!