You wouldn’t believe all the complaints we’ve been hearing about the choices left in this year’s presidential election. There seems to be a lot of dissatisfaction and genuine angst out there.
But this is America. And, dadgummit, just as there are at least 20 kinds of potato chips at the grocery, there are more than two political parties.
There are, in fact, at least 15 that appear to have presidential candidates.
So, as a public service of sorts, I’ve compiled a look at some of them in brief.
Some might say that voting for a minor party candidate is throwing away your vote. But others might argue that voting for either major party candidate this go around is doing the same.
So, (drumroll, please) starting with the party that has a local tie-in and appears to be the most major of the minors, here’s the list.
Libertarian: The party’s nominating convention is May 27, and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson is again campaigning to be its standard-bearer, as he was in 2012. That year, he got 1,211,982 votes – about 1 percent of the votes cast (President Obama had more votes and won the election).
This party of individual rights believes in “a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.”
Party of Socialism and Liberation (PSL): For those who think Bernie Sanders is a socialist, these guys are the real thing. From their website: “For the Earth to Live, Capitalism Must End! Jobs, Healthcare & Housing for All!” The PSL candidate is Gloria LaRiva.
America’s Party: Founded in 2008 as America’s Independent Party, this conservative group has nominated Tom Hoefling for president, as it did in 2012. No. 1 in Hoefling’s “Keys to Saving the American Republic”: “Remind the American people that the source of their rights is God, not men, and that those rights are therefore unalienable.”
Veterans Party of America: Founded in 2013, “when Congress chose to balance the budget by reducing the cost of living allowance for military retirees, including those medically retired after sustaining injuries during combat with the enemy.” The VPA describes itself as “a centrist party dedicated to solving problems intelligently, simply, directly, and constitutionally.” You don’t have to be a veteran to be a member. Its presidential nominee is Chris Keniston.
Workers World Party: Monica Moorehead is the presidential candidate for this party, which seems to be to the far left of the PSL. Its slogan is “Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite!” The party’s platform? “Disarm the Police & ICE Agents”; “Fight for Socialist Revolution”; and “Defend Black Lives Matter.” As it’s been said, we all want to change the world.
Prohibition Party: Yes, it’s still around. And for this ultraconservative party, founded in 1869, “The alcohol question is the Prohibition Party’s unique, signature issue. Beverage alcohol is America’s No. 1 narcotic drug problem.” The party’s opposed to tobacco, too. Its candidate is Jim Hedges.
Constitution Party: Founded in 1992 as the U.S. Taxpayers Party, this party says its mission is to present candidates “who will uphold the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights.” Darrell Castle is its nominee.
Other parties that appear to have candidates include the Green Party, the American Freedom Party, the Independent American Party, the Reform Party and a slew of other socialist parties with cool names, but I’m running out of room. You’ll have to look them up.
Birthday Party: I did, however, want to mention one other candidate who has shown up in presidential races since at least 1976 under the banner of the Birthday Party. This year, he actually looks pretty good.
He is Nobody, the creation of Curtis Spangler and Wavy Gravy. Spangler is campaign manager, and Gravy is “Nobody’s fool.”
The campaign is chock-full of slogans like:
“Nobody will fix all your problems!”
He’s apparently been on other candidates’ minds, too. On March 21, Republican Donald Trump was quoted as saying, “Nobody respects women more than I do.” And on April 18, Democrat Hillary Clinton said, “Nobody’s held accountable.”
Nobody always tells the truth. You can trust Nobody.
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