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Ghost of campaigns past
Former Conway School Board hopeful Dwight David Honeycutt drops a steaming pile of candor on his brief moment in politics.
Campaigns are often about what might have been. Dwight David Honeycutt’s extremely misguided campaign video meant that his run for Conway School Board was over before it began. Though he never earned a vote, his 300,000+ views on YouTube made him an Internet sensation. While 2012 brought no return to the public eye for Honeycutt, Sync caught up with the would-be candidate to talk matters of policy, patriotism, past mistakes and future plans.
Q: So, we learned a lot about you in your 2009 campaign video. Like, a whole lot. But you’ve been quiet this election season. What gives? Are you out of politics or sitting on other aspirations? You still have the biggest dreams and strongest hands in the state, right?
A: First, to answer your most important question about hand strength, yes, I do, and I will gladly arm-wrestle you to prove it. I don’t exercise a lot but I’m strong in both the legs and the hands. My experience in altercations is that if you have an athletic base and a strong grip, you can ... well, you can actually kill most people and things with that and that alone. (If you don’t believe me, you’re welcome to come view my collection of bobcat pelts.) My secret? I keep a racquetball next to my armchair and I squeeze it when I see anything on TV that sends me into a rage.
Which brings us to this election season. I thought politics was the answer, and if you’re well-funded, then maybe it is. But small-time politics is like the immigrant experience must’ve been. You’re in Europe and you hear that the roads in America are paved with gold. Then you get to America and you learn that the roads aren’t paved with gold, the roads aren’t paved, and you have to pave them. So... I’ve taken myself out of politics. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as political as the next guy (by which I mean I don’t actually do s---, I just have Facebook and Twitter), but I won’t be running for anything.
What I learned is that you can go out there and you can put your heart on the line. You can go door-to-door in the freezing cold, really try to connect with the people. Break your back, your head, and your knuckles trying to get people to believe you... but in a town as small as Conway, if you s--- your pants in 8th grade P.E., none of that matters.
Q: From what I can gather from the Conway School Board website, it looks like none of the representatives had to stand for re-election this year. How do you stand for that? Are they intentionally gerrymandering the rules to keep you out?
A: I don’t know what “gerrymandering” is, but if it’s where you put furniture up against a door to keep someone out, then yes, they are gerrymandering the s--- out of me.
Q: While you may not have been a candidate this time around, what did you think of how this year’s political races were run, especially the presidential race? That’s always a good laugh, binders full of women and bayonets and all that.
A: Lord. Sometimes I turn on my TV and listen to what’s going on in the campaigns and I just think, common sense fell asleep with the gas on. Logic took the 60-count bottle of Xanax and chased it with half a bottle of Old Crow. Everything went to s--- about four years back and that’s what we’re all still mad at. None of us had any power to control what happened to our livelihoods in that crash. We respect freedom too much in this country. Honestly. Those guys were gambling with our lives, not theirs, and they lost. And now ... Now they say, “You want to take away my right to gamble!” and we’re all so damn enamored with personal liberty that we apologize and look at our shoes. We don’t want you to stop gambling. We just want you to stop gambling with our money!
We’re all mad about the same things. In 2008, we were all broke and angry at that son-of-a-b---- Bush and his party that we fixed his wagon and voted in the new guy — that Communist who is terrible at Communism because he’s completely in the hands of corporations (just not so obvious about it) and gave an inexcusable pass to Wall Street.
So by 2010, we were all losing our houses and our 401Ks were all cut in half and we were mad at the sleepy pacifist Communist we voted for ... You know those crazy f---ers that stand up at city council meetings and shout about big government and redistribution of wealth while complaining that their garbage wasn’t picked up? They wear sweaters with moth holes and have dandruff? Yeah. Well, we elected a Congress full of those guys.
Meanwhile, if any of us could pay attention to what’s in front of our face while these powder-kegs of lunacy and stupidity go off around us CONSTANTLY, we might see that the problems that got us into this mess — economics at the household level — haven’t been repaired in the least, and that as long as money runs our politics (and it will as long as we have a republic or any other damn form of government), the little guy will see minor improvements to keep him hopeful while the overwhelming tide is dismal and working against him.
So, sure, stand up and yell to us about the problems of “big government,” dandruff-guy. Nevermind that national healthcare was dictated by HMOs and Big Pharma, that the U.S. military is in the hands of private security and defense companies, that FedEx and UPS dictate to Congress the types of services the U.S. Postal Service is allowed to perform, and what we paid for our mortgages was determined by a group of unsupervised aholes who had rigged the game in their favor.
I mean, when did the loan system go from a thing where you had a job and a credit history and the near-certainty that you would be able to pay back a loan into a profit-model based on bankers tricking their customers? And this wasn’t a few bad eggs. This was all over the country! It was institutionalized. Here’s all you need to know: The better funded candidate wins 93 percent of the time in the House and 88 percent of the time in the Senate.
Almost no products are made in the U.S. any longer and the U.S. government is able to collect on almost none of it because the money is held on floating cities where it doesn’t have to abide by any country’s rules. Thirty years ago, GM employed 600,000 people and paid a tax rate of almost 46 percent. Now they employ 43,000 people and pay a rate of 9.8 percent. What the hell are we doing, guys? And what in God’s name are rich people still complaining about?
So... yeah. If I were a candidate, I would want to get money out of politics. But that’s like saying if we could just get rid of nationalism, tribalism and religion, there’d be no such thing as wars. I “want” my dog to learn how to fart “The Star Spangled Banner,” but as Aristotle said, “Want in one hand and s--- in the other and see which one fills up first.”*
*Aristotle never said this.
Q: Not to retread old ground here, but in your campaign video, you expressed a certain amorous devotion for the bald eagle. While that might be understood as a symbolic exaggeration of patriotism, you also noted that you'd made out with a dude and that you don't recycle. Which of these do you think caused more damage with voters?
A: Probably the recycling, honestly. I don't think folks hold the "dude" thing against me. I think they're pretty broad-minded about how one's sexuality might manifest itself after three wine coolers and a bottle of Hiram Walker Blackberry Brandy. I also think we're of a political age where most sane people realize that the government has no business in the bedrooms of its people (or, in the case of the eagle, at the offices of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission). But, man, you just try throwing a beer bottle into the trash instead of the recycling bin at a party full of liberals. I mean, they'll throw your wife out of their knitting club and s---.
Q: While your bid for elective office was unsuccessful, you do have your own IMDB page, so there’s that. That’s cool, right?
A: I don’t know this “IMDB.” I’m more of a PornHub man myself, but I’ll check it out.
Q: How are the heart and the diabetes, by the way? And have you cut down on the pack and a half per day at all? Cigarettes are kind of bad for you, you know.
A: Let me try to illustrate this as best I can. My nickname in high school was “Belt Knife.” I spent three years in my twenties building pole barns with my brother-in-law. And my mother used to climb the stairs with a frying pan every night and plead not to have to cook for me. I cite these things not to brag, but simply to illustrate my virility and general dominance over people. It’s tough for a guy like that to come to terms with aging and taking care of himself. You have to hit bottom. Once you hit it, that’s when the work begins. You have to go through Kubler-Ross’ “Stages of Grief” about the whole thing. (Though, in my case, I put “sex with a stranger” before each new stage.) I’m over my Denial and my Anger, my Bargaining and my Depression. I’ve lost about 25 pounds since that video.
I’ve stopped smoking and, sure, I still drink a little, but I gave up on the Baconators and the ADD medicine, so I’m doing pretty good.
Q: On a related note, how's your nephew Roland? I'd heard the release of some of the footage in the campaign video might have caused a rift between you. Things are good now?
A: Ya know, Roland is what you'd call a "no-good." You know how people say that somebody does bad things but has a good heart? He's the opposite. He's mostly a good kid, but he just doesn't have a heart. He's a son-of-bitch. For instance, I converted my garage for him to live in when his mama kicked him out. How does he repay me? Sells all my old Tom T. Hall records on eBay. He's stealing my shit all the time, but I got him now. I walked in there last night and I said, "You can HAVE your steroids back just as soon as you return my lawnmower!" (Laughs) ...You should've seen his face.
Q: Your rendition of “Jingle Bells” on the didgeridoo was probably the most stirring I’ve ever heard, as well as the only one. Have you been practicing much? Mastered any other songs or carols?
A: Look, there are any number of things from that video that I’m embarrassed about, but my version of “Jingle Bells” is not one of them.
Q: If you were a gladiator like in Gladiator, who or what would you want to face in the arena?
A: I'd probably say Koreans.
Q: Lastly, any regrets, whether about the last campaign or laying low this year? Anything you’d do differently?
A: Regrets? How much time ya got? Yeah, my entire life is regrets. But, all told, things are going pretty well. I’m mostly retired now. I mean, sure, I rebuild an engine every now and then, or wait outside Sody’s and buy some underage kids their liquor (mostly Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m.), and I make pretty good money at that so I didn’t have to sell my hot tub after all. ...The important thing to remember is that you’re never too old to try new things.