OPINION: Satire: Meeting the lesser-known presidential candidates

Not Republican, not Democrat; these parties occupy their own niche



Besides the two candidates everyone knows about, there’s a whole host of misfits vying for the presidency.

JACOB HERSH, Evergreen columnist

It’s that time again, everybody. 2016 seems like it was yesterday in the collective American memory, but four years pass by almost immeasurably fast. It’s time, once again, to trudge to the polls, ballot in hand, and pick between two rich pedophiles to run the free world for the next term.

What many people forget, however, is that there aren’t just two choices. In fact, there’s a whole spectrum of candidates, all vying for the attention and ballot of the undereducated, underinformed American voter.

Who are some of these candidates? Besides the big-name hitters like Donald Trump and Joe Biden, there are numerous other interest groups and parties to represent every facet of the voters’ psyche. I was able to speak to some of them personally, to get a better grasp of their ideals, beliefs and political strategies.

“Well, I’m just a goofy ol’ clown, hyuk!” said Boingo McGilliboinks, leader of the Clown Party. “Life’s just one big joke, ahehehe, and that’s what the Clown Party’s all about!”

As McGilliboinks (legal name change) pulled a balloon out from behind my ear, I looked over the party pamphlet, which detailed several similarly-dressed clowns in greasepaint and bright colors. Despite the party’s near-universal lack of appeal among children or anyone who’s seen “It,” McGilliboinks seemed optimistic about his party’s future on the main stage of American politics.

“Look, politics has gotten so self-serious,” McGilliboinks said, squirting water from a flower onto my notepad. “People just need to learn to laugh! No, I don’t have any ideas for fiscal policy, or the defense budget, or the opioid crisis. … but I do have a cream pie for you, bucko!”

The next political candidate I interviewed refused to take his Guy Fawkes mask off, preferring to be referred to as “John Q. Candidate.”

“The Secrecy Party’s platform is none of your damn business,” Candidate said. “Stay out of my private ideas, and I’ll stay out of yours, OK?”

When I argued to Candidate that his public party needed to have at least some sort of plank or guiding principle, he stood up angrily and walked out of the interview room, throwing photocopies of the First Amendment at me.

“We at the Real Adult party have some very big ideas, about adult stuff,” said James Grownup. “Like, uh, later bedtimes. Dessert! More dessert.”

Grownup, who was wearing a large trenchcoat and wobbling rather unsteadily, agreed to speak to me, on the condition that I “not make any kind of assumption that he was three 8-year-olds standing on each other’s shoulders.”

“I am a real adult, and I can see R-rated movies,” Grownup said when I asked for his political background and experience.

Most of Grownup’s constituents, I noticed, were also wearing similar trenchcoats, which may say something about the demographic makeup of his party.

The American political landscape is varied and multifaceted, which gives rise to several very similar political parties that differ on one small issue. The Libertarian Party, for example, doesn’t believe in driver’s licenses but does believe in property rights.

The Libertarian Drivers of America Party, on the other hand, have no concept of property rights but base their entire platform on the principle that “everyone should have a driver’s license, even newborns,” and so on.

Yes, American politics is strange and fragmented, but for the most part, there’s room for everyone to vote their consciences. Unless you’re diametrically opposed to invading the Middle East for oil, in which case, you’ve got not a single candidate.