For years, Blake Boston (it’s his real name) has been known around the Internet as the man pictured in the viral meme, “Scumbag Steve.”
But the Marlborough resident, who has accepted his unwarranted online attention and embraced the characterization based on his appearance in a single photo taken when he was 16, has been vehemently telling people on social media that there’s at least one person more deserving of the adjective in his moniker than he is: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
“I’ve been around some pretty unsavory characters, and I’m telling you, Trump is as bad as they come,” said Boston in a recent interview over e-mail.
Boston unwittingly rose to Internet fame around five years ago after someone plucked from MySpace an image of him wearing a puffy jacket with a fur-rimmed hood, and backwards, tilted New Era cap with a faux Louis Vuitton pattern, and turned it into a meme known as “Scumbag Steve.”
He’s now using that designation in the political battlefield.
Boston has tried repeatedly since March, as Buzzfeed first noted, to use what influence he has online to inform voters about the upcoming presidential election, calling Trump a “liar,” and taking shots at the candidate’s intellect.
With three months to go before people hit the voting booths in November, Boston is pushing his expletive-laced rhetoric against the GOP harder than ever. We asked him about his campaign.
When did you start following politics so closely?
Blake Boston: My whole family is pretty political. My mom’s an ultra-liberal feminist and my dad leans right when he gets up the courage to put his views out there in front of my mom. I grew up listening to both of them trying to sway my political leanings — so I guess you could say most of my life. As of late, though, I’ve been so disgusted with the [Republican party] and their backing of a psychotic liar that I’ve gone HAM on Twitter when it comes to [Donald] Trump. I can’t just stand by and keep my mouth shut for what I feel would be a disastrous situation for not just our country, but the world.
What has been the response from people when they see that a guy known as “Scumbag Steve” has come forward to call out Trump for his rhetoric?
It’s mixed. Trump supporters are like, “You’re a low-life nobody; an Internet scumbag. What does your opinion even matter?,” blah-blah-blah. Like I’m not entitled to my opinion? You know the type. Then I get the independent and the Hillary [Clinton] supporters that seem pretty shocked and pleasantly surprised that I’m a Democrat and for Hillary. When they find out they’re like, “Hey, you’re not such a scumbag after all.” It’s weird when people can’t distinguish me from the meme.
But it’s a platform of sorts. Not a big one, but it feels good to play the “Scumbag Steve” role and say, “It takes a scumbag to know a scumbag.” And Trump’s one of the biggest scumbags out there.
Do you think your Internet recognition from the meme will help sway people in the November election?
I’d like to think maybe there’s an undecided [voter] that may see something I’ve posted and not vote [for] Trump. If anything, maybe they’ll do some research and become more aware. But for the diehard Trump supporter? Nope. I don’t think the fearful, uneducated dude that thinks it’s the bleeding-heart Democrats, instead of the wealthy elite, that have kept them in near poverty is open to change.
It’s all based in fear — fear that an immigrant is taking their job, fear that the people of color are becoming a majority and that they’re getting what they believe belongs to them. There’s that big group of Trump followers that are downtrodden uneducated sheltered and sometimes bigoted people.
What have you been doing to spread awareness about your anti-Trump sentiments?
I tweet like it’s my job, and I occasionally throw paint on Trump signs. (Just kidding about the paint on Trump signs).
What are your thoughts on Hillary Clinton?
She’s my girl.
But, seriously, she’s not perfect, but she’s qualified and she’s dedicated her life to her beliefs. Do I think the e-mail thing was a problem? Maybe. But it’s done. She won’t be doing that again. And the Trump supporters who think that’s worse than what Trump has done? They’re nuts. I thought the Benghazi trial was grueling, and it’s time to let those guys rest in peace. Hillary’s appeal is not that she’s a soft-smiling, approachable lady. Her appeal is that Hillary knows what she’s doing. I think she’s tough as [expletive deleted] nails. I know Hillary’s been part of the Washington pack, but there’s no doubt that morally she knows what’s right. I’m hoping she’s heard that people aren’t fools and we don’t want any duplicity when it comes to moneyed influencers.
I have to say, the biggest issues influencing my vote are Hillary’s attitude, values, and direction in putting forth policy and laws that will keep my two boys safe in this sometimes crazy place.
It’s a huge [expletive] job; one that in my opinion, as “Scumbag Steve” — and Blake Boston — is a job that ... Trump is incapable of doing.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Steve Annear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.