Jello Biafra, Ralph Nader, Dr Benjamin Spock, Dick Gregory and Gracie Allen – just a few of the independent candidates who have thrown their hat into the ring for a run at the US presidency over the past two centuries. Some have done so with serious political and ideological intent, others purely as an elaborate publicity stunt. A number have even contributed to the actual election result, as Ralph Nader did in 2000, deflecting votes from Al Gore who lost in one of the tightest counts ever.
The first ever third party candidate, William Wirt, stood in 1832 for the Anti-Masonic Party. Wirt, who eventually managed only 100,000 votes, opposed the incumbent president Andrew Jackson, claiming that the Masons were an evil and murderous secret society. Around a century later in 1936 William Dudley Pelley fronted a group called the Silver Legion Of America, a Nazi like party who promoted an anti-semitic, anti-immigrant manifesto. Polling only a handful of votes he was later imprisoned during World War II for publishing pro Nazi propaganda.
When Ralph Nader ran for the Green Party in 2000, it was Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedy’s fame, who finished a distant second for the party’s presidential nomination. Just one chapter in Biafra’s lifetime of political activism that has continued in recent years with his support for Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in the presidential race. Renowned for his blunt outspoken views and colourful language, Biafra was well ahead of the current Black Lives Matter debate in 2007 when he stated:
“US cops are like a biker gang. They don’t obey the law and their main interest is in protecting their own power. Make all officers stand for election. That way they’d have to live in the neighbourhoods they patrol and meet people, rather than hiding in their cars and only jumping out when they want to beat the crap out of somebody.”
It was perhaps inevitable that the current crop of Instagram stars, influencers and overrated celebrities would throw up their own ‘me’ generation nominee for the 2020 race and who more appropriate than the attention grabbing Kanye West. West has indicated a number of times that he would like to move into the White House and checked out the real estate back in October of 2018 when he lunched and hugged with Trump in a widely publicised photo op.
Maybe he’s just noticed the enormous Black Lives Matter banner painted outside Trump Tower in New York, because in recent days he has stated that he’s ‘done with Trump’. Kayne intends to run for POTUS with his newly formed ‘Birthday Party’, supposedly with the blessing and guidance of Elon Musk.
Trump has so degraded, disrespected, corrupted and perverted the office of the President that the door is now open for any sociopathic, narcissistic buffoon to try their hand. Had he not been born outside of the USA, Arnold Schwarzenegger may well have been flexing his sagging muscles in Washington – following in the footsteps of another movie star governor. And what about Charles Manson?
Laugh if you like but recent history has shown that just about anything is possible in the murky world of American politics. Had Manson been given parole and the restriction on felons holding political office lifted, he could well have made a bid for the White House. For starters he certainly had the required celebrity status and was devoutly religious, even if it was a religion of his own making. Added to that he was without a doubt a ‘family’ man and according to a recent article in The New Inquiry, he was even a committed Republican. As they explained:
“Long incorrectly associated in the public mind with the political left, Manson wasn’t merely conservative; he might as well have been a Fed.”
Okay he’s dead and he will never get to ‘Make America Hate Again’ but do not underestimate the power of a couple of influencers like Kanye and Kim, a potent force for social change and the American dream – if only for the purpose of fattening their own burgeoning bank accounts.
Finally a comment from Jello following Trump’s election in November of 2016 which just about sums it up.
“How can people be so fucking stupid?”