Freaks May Not Win Elections, But They Get Attention

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Super Tuesday has come and gone, and with it went most of the Democratic candidates running for president. We are now left with Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Tulsi Gabbard. Biden is the likely Democrat to face the incumbent, Donald Trump, this year. Much of Bernie’s momentum fell flat with the poor turnout by young voters. Apparently, politics and activism are only cool when you get to skip school.

Trump has weathered the impeachment circus, leaving him very difficult to beat for someone like Biden. Of course, there is also the chance that by November Biden will no longer remember what he’s running for. He’s just as likely to show up at his local turkey trot 5K as his campaign headquarters

Meanwhile, outside the media rich duopoly of American politics, where are our third-party candidates? If you are hearing crickets right now, you’re probably not alone. Americans must try to get information about any presidential hopeful not associated with the Republican or Democratic parties.

In the Libertarian Party, Vermin Supreme continues his quest for good oral hygiene and ponies for everyone. In his latest vision quest of nontraditional government, Mr. Supreme has nominated as leader of his visionary merger of the ATF and DEA, which he plans to transform into convenience stores, the illustrious John McAfee. Mr. McAfee would serve as the “president of vice”, overseeing the newly formed ATF, DEA convenience store chain.

Speculation on potential names for this new venture could provide endless entertainment: Load & Dab? 8 Balls? Puff & Blow? My hometown once claimed “The Highest Denny’s in the Universe”, until they were shut down for not paying taxes, of course. This ATF DEA convenience chain idea could bring a whole new life to slogan ideas like that! But I digress… who knew politics could be so fun?

In 1970, avant-garde journalist Hunter S. Thompson ran for Sheriff of Pitkin County. He wanted to ban cars and legalize certain illegal substances. Thompson ran his campaign based on the idea of “freak power”, a notion that came to life a year earlier in a local mayoral race. The idea was to appeal to all the outcasts, dropouts and non-mainstream people in the area — people who probably weren’t typically voters. Is this what the Libertarian Party is becoming? The Freak Power Party? Would that be a bad thing?

There are two mindsets looking at the Carnival atmosphere of the Libertarian Party this year.

There are those who believe that there is no such thing as bad publicity: Anything that brings attention to the Libertarian Party and its core principles is good.

Then there are others who turn away from the party in embarrassment, believing the libertarians will never be taken seriously because of this.

The sad reality is that the Libertarian Party has never really been taken seriously. Libertarians aren’t included in debates, and far too many people view the candidates as vote stealers, taking votes from whoever their choice is. True, the atmosphere of the Libertarian Party this year isn’t likely to change that opinion, but it does get attention.

Right now, there are a lot of disillusioned Bernie supporters watching their naive socialist utopia dream slipping away, plus we have all the young Bernie fans who couldn’t be bothered to go out and vote. A lot of these people already see themselves as outsiders — “freaks” if you will. Potential future libertarians, perhaps?

Thompson didn’t win the race for Sheriff of Pitkin County, but he got votes. The election results were 204 to 173. He also got attention. Even now, 50 years later, this story is being told.

Freaks may not win elections, but they get attention.

Yes, “free” healthcare sounds nice, and who doesn’t love ponies? But, for me personally, I’d rather build a society where I can have as many ponies as I want on my own private property without fear of being fined, or arrested, or having my ponies forcibly removed from my property. I’d like a society where I don’t need to worry about the government taking everything I own if I don’t pay my pony tax.

Maybe these things qualify me as a freak. If that is the case, then so be it. And if it takes a veritable freakshow to draw attention to these issues in society, then maybe I’m okay with that, too, because clearly what we’ve been doing isn’t working.