Gordon Chaffin wants to run for president someday. Which is why he's sent out a lengthy (up to 8 PDF pages long) weekly e-newsletter for the past three years with "highlights" from his life — "reflections," accomplishments, (bad) music and articles shared, and much, much more — to "form the community that I'm building on my path towards public service." The funny thing about constituents is that they typically care more about your thoughts on tax reforms and drones than, say, your determination to live the life of a "warrior poet" who defies hookup culture and writes fanfic about women who don't hurt him by declining the offer of a second date. Yet, here we are!
A tipster told us she's been getting weekly updates from Chaffin, a casual college aquaintance whom she hasn't seen since graduation, since 2010. "He says that he maintains The Update and his website because he wants to be honest and open with his readers and his future constituents," she wrote. "So, I thought that it would be good to bring his thoughts further into the public eye."
In one newsletter, Chaffin wrote: "I intend for the Weekly Update to be the antithesis of every self-promoting newsletter and email you get in your inboxes...This email newsletter is about you all, not about me. It’s about the brighter future we’re creating together, as a community." That proclamation is followed by collaborative musings such as "I took up piano and have begun the life-long, rewarding process of learning how to read and play music" and "In 2012 I continued to mindfully explore what it means to be a 'good man' in the 21st Century — to be noble, cosmopolitan, courageous, chivalrous, and charming as a Millennial male in the modern world."
Now the burgeoning politician has a public website that is "More than a dossier, more interactive than a personal blog, this is where I hope to document my growth as a professional, as a public servant, a man, a son, a brother, and a friend…hopefully one day as a husband and father." Lucky us! Of course he quotes Thoreau, Goethe and SCRIPTURE on his "about me" page, because he is a Serious Man.
(My favorite quote in the video above is about how women's bodies are obviously more beautiful than men's bodies and he's "proud" of the fact that he's attracted to pretty ladies because "that's the way it is" because DARWIN.)
Chaffin's most recent posts are all on dating, including his feelings on being a former "Nice Guy" and a "thought experiment" entitled "What It Is Like To Date Me." They all seem to be inspired by an unknown woman he "interacted" with for a week before she flaked on the second date. He repeatedly refers to himself as a "Warrior Poet."
There's a post called "You Should Ask Your Friend (AKA Secret Crush) Out for a Date" in which he urges men to "join me in the grassroots effort; ask that woman in your group of friends out." Chaffin used to be one of those manipulative "Nice Guys," but now he's enlightened and thinks that men who don't ask women out are pussies, women who just want to have sex are disappointing hoebags, and women who don't want to go on a second date with him are flakey millennials:
"I’m standing up. I refuse to be a conniving Nice Guy, I am setting my personal ethics at the standards of a Good Man.Good Men understand that to maintain a broken status quo to hide their vulnerability is immature and perpetuates an unspeakably evil dating culture where standards are lowered in a death spiral where women are disappointed and lower standards and men aim to meet only the newly lowered standards."
Perhaps we could all learn something from "Wise to Set No-Flake Standard in Dating?"
"(Because of my own approach to romance, I assume women who snog me aren’t just doing it because it’s fun, and that said snogging (etc), will mean something if we start planning another date…If a woman flakes on me, does that put her in a gots-to-go situation? I feel like this is a case for decision rule, or maybe a 3-strike rule of thumb, but I’m not sure. I want to say that flaking is revelatory of your character and you flaking on me is reason enough to say goodbye. I HATE the we-all-do-it excuse, despite its veracity. I’m going to fall in love with women who fight societal permission structures like that.)"
"What It's Like to Date Me" is a "thought exercise" he "wrote down to help me understand the pros and cons of my romantic preferences and habits" and is "written to a woman with whom I would go on a hypothetical date." In it, we learn that he sleeps in a Coleman sleeping bag ("It’s the best damn idea I’ve ever had when it came to linens – wash it twice per year and takes 5 seconds to make in the morning. This is one thing you’ll likely veto if we get into a relationship. I won’t protest, but I’m seriously innovative for this idea.") and, if you haven't gathered, was recently very hurt by a woman whom he KNEW FOR ONE WEEK:
"If you blow me off, or cancel our next date under suspicious circumstances, I will be hurt. I will be more emotionally invested than you in our interactions. I will have left my heart on my sleeve, not because I was already infatuated with you, but because I thought you could’ve been something more than some woman who felt the need to lie to me rather than tell me the direct truth that you didn’t want to see me again. I will always prefer the direct truth, because it is dishonesty and disrespect in dating that most frustrates me."
Courtship is not dead in Chaffin's world!
"I am going to ask you out. Directly. It will be a date, with no gray area – we won’t be “hanging out.” I’ve been informed that that’s not the norm anymore. Well I’m sorry if the formality is jarring, but you’re going to need to bring you’re A-Game, because I plan on bringing mine. The “let’s watch a movie” portion of your romantic life is over, and I’m calling out the men in these streets who are lowering the standards for each other, and – most tragically – lowering the expectations of the women they fancy."
In "On Dating: She's Not Worth It (I Tell Myself)" he analyzes "the seeming end of an interesting 1-week interaction with a woman who acted in a way I would’ve excused, apologized for, and ignored were I not working so hard on jettisoning all 'Nice Guy' vestiges from my personality. If I were not growing as a man, I wouldn’t be writing this post – trying to reassure myself that she’s not worth it.)"
Pressing question: is the reformed Nice Guy even worse than the Nice Guy??
"My most important goal at this point is to grow the community," Chaffin writes in his newsletter. "I never want to lose touch with anyone who has meaningfully touched my life. You Update readers are my family, my friends, my co-workers. I want to take you all with me wherever I go. My most important announcement during my first political campaign (whenever that may be) won't be to the public, it will be to you all. Some Sunday afternoon, you'll open up the Update and read "THE CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCEMENT Edition."
Perchance to dream.
Image by Jim Cooke