Two things mark a third-party or independent candidacy for President: the desire to change politics as we know it and the inability to do so. The major minor parties are more effective at scuttling each other’s chances than rousting the two-headed troll that holds absolute power in this country.
For example, you’d think that one socialist party would be enough in these times, when serial killers are more popular than actual leftists. But there are almost as many socialist parties as there are socialists.
When these Alt Prez candidates aren’t micro-slicing their teeny share of the electoral pie, they’re conducting intra-party raids. The Constitution Party appeals to Libertarians to vote for their guy, and the Boston Tea Party wants to take votes from both, saying neither are true libertarians. Throw in another 130 or so independent candidates and you have chaos on the fringe, where everyone shoots each other in the foot.
But Jimmy Carter may save the day. Not the former President -- “The Udder Jimmy Carter,” an optician and goat rancher from Live Oak, Fla., who is the presidential candidate of the Real Food Party.
Carter wants to bring all the independents and minor parties together in an online convention before the next presidential election, and get them all to agree to support just one candidate from among them. This will also attract people who don’t vote, says Carter, resulting in a numerical total that rivals the voting block of each of the two major parties. If that works, the country will be changed forever, and maybe the new President will change the law so Carter can sell un-pasteurized goat milk, one of his secondary goals.
Race for Third Place
How bummed Ralph Nader must be with all these Alt Prez candidates taking votes away from him. Vilified by Democrats as the man who cost the sometimes life-like Al Gore the 2000 election, Nader is also responsible for 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and catastrophic galactic events we don’t even know about yet.
Nader wants to end the two-party monopoly and the influence of money on politics. But he says it’s not about winning, it’s about building a third party, which is confusing since he’s not in a party this year. Otherwise, he’s making perfect progressive sense, as usual:
Impeach Bush and Cheney
Exit Iraq, repeal the Patriot Act, reduce the military
Start a clean energy policy and stop subsidizing oil, nuclear and coal
Give equal rights to gays, lesbians and same-sex couples
Decriminalize marijuana, end the war on drugs
Adopt single-payer national health insurance
Reverse U.S. policy in the Middle East
Prediction: As Obama sprints to the middle, enough progressives run back to Nader to give him 3rd place with about 800,000 votes.
Wing and a Prayer
In a Washington, D.C., Mormon temple in 1995, God told Chris Borcik, a pilot for a major airline, to “Run for President.” This caused Borcik to read the Constitution, which caused him to realize that the government hasn’t been following it. Borcik, of Fayetteville, Ga. -- Delta is based in nearby Atlanta -- wants to change that. His wife has accepted the burden that he will be ridiculed for running, so maybe you should, too -- and hope that God reminds him to lower that landing gear next time you’re about to touch down in Captain Borcik’s MD-88.
Running In Pairs
Independent candidate Ralph Robinson, a history teacher at Highland High School in Anderson, Ind., is running primarily to oppose his colleague and friend Eric Creviston, who is also running for President and is just too hawkish for Ralph.
$1.25-a-gallon gas for the next 20 years, declares Jeff “Petro” Petkevicius, a chemical deliveryman from Ponchatoula, La. Petro’s policy (he says an Executive Order can cap gas prices) likely dealt a crushing blow to the campaign of 81-year-old Don Cordell of California, who’s promising gasoline at $1.29 a gallon. Still, Don will speak to your group if you pay for his transportation (coach), economy lodging and fast-food meals.
Megally Z. Megally, an auto repair associate in Houston, Texas, is certainly fit to run for President, being “in excellent health, willing to relocate and fluent in Arabic and Spanish.” Only trouble is, he wasn’t born in the U.S. Looking suspiciously like actor Dennis Hopper, MZM could be testing the waters for Gov. Schwarzenegger’s inevitable run/attack on the Presidency, as evidenced by Megally’s call to arms: “To all enemies of the United States, you’ve had enough fun, America and Americans are coming over. The United States is coming back soon!”
Best Two-Word Solution
Jeff Brown, Independent candidate of Findlay, Ohio, thinks it’s ludicrous that you can be arrested for drunken driving while on a riding lawnmower in your own yard. And who can disagree? He also promotes “a plan to fully fund and rescue Social Security. Two words: Chain Letters.” They would be legal and mandatory in a Brown Administration.