At a private party at the gay lounge Pump in West Hollywood at what was ostensibly a celebration of what would have been Abraham Lincoln’s 210th birthday—replete with Lincoln look alike—multi-hyphenate actor/artist/model Ronnie Kroell announced he was running for president.
And he’s serious.
So we asked him why we should take him seriously.
Towleroad: What is it about your independent bid for the presidency that you think will make it successful—when we have a two party system that virtually precludes a third party victory?
Ronnie Kroell: I follow the wisdom of Nelson Mandela, “It always seems impossible, until it’s done.” Independently minded candidates have had such a difficult time gaining traction because typically they aren’t as organized, but mostly because the current duopoly that is the Democratic & Republican machine have agreed on one thing — Keeping independents out of the race! They have struck fear into the hearts and minds of their followers and convinced them that a vote for an independent, is a vote for the monster on the other side.
My wanting to be president is rooted in a passion for the people, a desire to remind ourselves that the power belongs to US, and a deep inner calling that I cannot ignore that wants me to find a way to help heal our Nation’s wounds. I know that it will be a successful journey, regardless if we get all the way to The White House, because the momentum and positivity we build together from the conversations along the way will be worth more than just simply sitting on the side-lines complaining.
TLRD: You would be the first out gay and former model turned president—how did those experiences frame your point of view?
RK: I’ve been an “other” my entire life, so I know what it’s like to not fit in, to be called names, and to be bullied. That pain can be consuming and destroy us from the inside out, often leading us to become bullies ourselves, or worse yet, to take our own lives. I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone, rather I’d like to tackle our mental health issues and trauma head on. Vulnerability and empathy are key to opening up and reducing stigma around mental health, but for this work to be truly successful — we must shift the conversation from “anti-bully” to “pro-friendship”.
So many of us are walking around hating ourselves, so it’s inevitable that at some point that pain will be projected outwardly onto someone — hurt people, hurt people. If that someone isn’t in a healthy mindset themselves, then they may be less likely to see that the bullying they received had nothing to do with them at all.
TLRD: Let’s say you did get nominated—you’d be going up against the biggest bully in the world—how will you cut through the clutter and not allow trump to obfuscate your message?
Asking that question actually gave me chills because I know the inner workings of bullies like I know the lines of the palm of my hand. I get Donald Trump, I know why he is the way that he is and actually — I have compassion in my heart for him. I don’t condone his bullying behavior, but I also don’t think he’s solely to blame for the challenges we are facing as a country today.
The Government is a mirror reflection of our individual and collective consciousness, in other words, we’ve created the mess we’re in and we won’t be able to get out of it with the same thinking that created it. It’s a tough pill to swallow, to take equal responsibility for our current situation so that we might one day get to take equal credit for co-creating the solutions.
Donald Trump wouldn’t know how to handle a candidate like me, it’s not in his wheelhouse.
TLRD: What’s is the most important issue for you—if you had to name just one?
They are all important to me, but I would argue that the most important challenge we must face is bringing love and logic back to our conversations. It’s time to listen to one another, not to respond, but to understand. If we can reach a place of respect and genuine understanding, then we can tackle just about any issue that presents itself (even the more controversial ones). Not addressing this issue first, in my opinion, is like trying to build a home on an unstable foundation.
TLRD: Who are your political role models?
Lincoln, FDR, JFK, RFK, Reagan, Obama, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and more. Although none of them are perfect (no one is), I admire them because they are great communicators and I feel that they genuinely care about the people.
See Kroell’s campaign site here.