Today, I had intended to write about Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Then, even though Donald used four deferments to dodge Vietnam, he called John McCain a “loser” and “no war hero.” Lindsay Graham then called Trump a jackass, so Trump publicly revealed Graham’s personal cell phone number. And now Trump threatens a third party bid for the White House, “If the Republican National Committee isn’t fair with me.” (Can you say “spoiled child?”)
Governor Rick Perry called Trump “a cancer on conservatism.” The Des Moines Register called him “a feckless blowhard,” while the conservative NY Post headline read, “Trump is toast.” (I like toast. Why does it get such a bad rap?)
The first GOP debate is less than two weeks away and promises to be like a WWE extravaganza. Maybe in place of Chris Wallace moderating it should be Vince McMahon?
However, instead of writing about Donald, I shall respond to Jon Mann’s angry July 15 Letter to the Editor. I was mentioned. Actually, “skewered,” is more like it. Jon’s claim to fame is his run for City Council a record 12 times. Curiously, similar to Trump, he inexplicably seems to go out of his way to offend.
Though it was over two decades ago, I vividly remember the night I met Jon at the Shores apartment complex where I live. The occasion was a City Council Candidate Forum that I was moderating. I was actually quite nervous, as I’d never done it before. To my horror, Jon interrupted constantly and nearly sabotaged the entire evening. Someone called for a Sergeant at Arms. Sergeant? We didn’t even have a Private at Arms.
And yet, I was intrigued with Jon’s progressive ideas about technology and government. To inquire further, years later I invited him to workout at the Shores gym. Unfortunately, I discovered that a conversation to Jon is when he talks and you listen.
In his letter, Jon also attacked the Daily Press columnist with the most seniority, Bill Bauer. (Bauer, I could understand but me?) Apparently, Jon once called Bill a Republican! Talk about a low blow. Meanwhile, Charles Andrews, author of our Curious City columns, feels left out.
The odd thing is that in the past I’ve written favorable columns about Jon. In 2012 and 2014, he was denied participation in the Daily Press Squirm Night because he wasn’t considered a viable candidate. In protest, he showed up wearing duct tape. In some sympathy, I wrote “A Mann For The People?” (For today’s column I considered “No Mann is an Island, Except for Jon.”)
Among his complaints, Mann asserted that I don’t have a sense of humor when it comes to noise from the beach and second hand smoke. Does this mean Jon favors more noise and smoke?
In reality, Jon’s mad because I called him a narcissist on the Residocracy Facebook page. He said I did so because he’s a perennial City Council candidate. But that had nothing to do with it. On Facebook, Jon seemed compelled to insult. It lowered the discourse, plus was just plain rude. After a while, it’s also boring.
I advised Jon that if he sought common ground with the same fervor he attacks, it might be more productive. Suffice it to say, he was eventually booted from the Facebook page.
Jon is definitely “unique.” In the past he hasalmost bragged that he placed 19th in his first run for Council and usually finishes last. He felt his political fortunes dipped after changing his last name from Stevens to Mann, his wife’s last name. (After divorcing, he kept his ex’s maiden name. Go figure.) Poor Jon. If you add up all the votes he’s received over the 24 years, combined, I still don’t think he’d have enough votes to win.
Jon has also boasted that he makes a lot of enemies because he speaks his mind. Curiously that’s essentially what Trump said. Mann has also acknowledged that he’s never going win because, he’s too negative at least he got that right.
After this, I can only imagine Jon’s next Letter to the Editor but I’ve got a suggestion. Jon, why not go after Charles Andrews? Have you read Curious City? There’s got to be something in there that annoys you. You’re just not looking hard enough.
God bless him, in the next election, sure as the sun rises in the east, Mann will once again run for City Council. If he does, it’ll be the 13th time, breaking his own record. That said, a fellow candidate joked, “Jon IS a broken record.” Ouch.
Unfortunately, it’s almost certain Mann won’t qualify to participate at Squirm Night 2016. I’ll feel bad for him but what can I say? I just hope Jon hasn’t thrown away the duct tape.