In the 1950s, no one would have ever guessed a second-tier actor best known for his work in a comedy starring a chimpanzee would go on to become President of the United States. Today, Ronald Reagan is better known as the former leader of the free world, not the stiff-lipped straight man from “Bedtime For Bonzo”.
Over the last 30 years, American politics has featured many such surreal stories of actors, musicians and even professional wrestlers becoming elected officials. This story, however, may turn out to be the most bizarre.
In 1984, Gord “Piley” Kirchin became a cult hero when he started the outlandish thrash band Piledriver. Known for their fast-paced songs and highly offensive song titles, the band carved its way into infamy as underground metal legends. Their best-known album “Metal Inquisition” was even mentioned in the famed PMRC report on heavy metal as “a disgusting, disgraceful, vile collection of songs that violate all basic standards of common decency, morality and even hygiene.”
Who could have possibly predicted that 30 years later, Kirchin would be the leading candidate in the hotly contested race for the Mayor of Nebraska?
In a recent Gallup Poll of voters in the State of Nebraska, 52 percent favored Kirchin, a Canadian born Independent who maintains a summer residence in Nebraska, as their next mayor.
“It’s unfathomable. The man has incited audiences around the world to commit sins that would make Jeffrey Dahmer blush…and now some Nebraskans want to make this human garbage pit mayor?? Personally, I find the entire thing shocking,” said Ben Roberts, the Democratic incumbent who trails Kirchin by 7 points in the poll.
An even more curious aspect of Kirchin’s campaign is that he has absolutely no opinion on any issue related to governing the state. He considers himself a “Reciprocrat” who eschews any connection with the major political parties, which he considers “the real profanity in America today”.
His campaign slogan, which is emblazoned across the state on bumper stickers and several billboards, is the cryptic but oddly poetic expression “I Know You Are, But What Am I?”
Kirchin’s grassroots campaign has seized upon a general feeling of distrust for government. He has refused to debate or even speak to any of the other candidates (aside from a brief appearance at a Town Hall meeting in September where he made offensive remarks about Roberts’ mother having intercourse with a walrus).
In the one press conference he gave, he stood on stage for 90 minutes fielding questions ranging from gun control to tax reform to abortion to terrorism by simply repeating the phrase “We are the Metal Inquisition, we sentence you to DEATH by guillotine.”
In spite of his silence on the issues, Kirchin’s band has actively supported the America’s fighting forces overseas by dedicating songs to them and donating albums, the self-styled “frost-backed Canadian-American Patriot”. However, he has also hinted that he would consider allowing ISIS to take control of parts of Lincoln, Nebraska and impose sharia law.
His campaign has illustrated that a state that prides itself on traditional family values would consider voting for anyone, even a person who once wrote a song about having carnal relations with Satan, over a politician.
The election takes place this Tuesday. Kirchin has promised the voters he will perform a human sacrifice on the steps of the State Capital the day he takes office. He might just get that chance.