Every four years our nation's electoral eccentricities escalate exponentially and people throw up their hands and shout, "you know, every election cycle is wacky, but especially this one." But especially this one! With this one, the narrative changes faster than the score of a Wiffle Ball game played with aluminum bats. It's an election with the attention span of high-speed lint. It's an 18 month-long squirrel scamper.
First, everyone is talking about New York values. Then, low-energy debaters. Violent rallies. Domestic terrorists. KKK endorsements. Rigged rules. Palace coups. Naked wives. Tiny hands. Pope bashing. Lucifer comparing. Internecine warfare between orange people.
The phrase bubbling out of everyone's lips around the political circus this week is... "get me the hell out of here." No. No. It's... "third party candidate." Dark words of terror striking fear in the hearts of major party leaders, owing to a couple of dodgy characters named Ross Perot and Ralph Nader. Or as Donald Trump would call them, "losers." Third party candidates responsible for the downfall of Al Gore and George Herbert Walker Bush, making them not just losers, but loser enablers. Losers squared.
A legitimate third party candidacy hasn't afflicted a US election since 2000, but this time around, faced with two candidates less popular than acid rain at a paper mache sculpture garden, the fear is the populace could easily slide over to vote for less polarizing figures. And right now, an eighteen-foot alligator with irritable bowel syndrome would be less polarizing than the Donald or the Hillary.
It's too late to get on the Texas ballot for independent runs, and other state deadlines are approaching fast, so prospective 2016 aspirants need to get their proverbial poop together. The blueprint for chaos is waiting to be writ.
The Libertarian Party is close to being on the ballot in all 50 states and has already chosen their candidate- former Republican New Mexico governor Gary Johnson. The big challenge will be to bump his poll numbers north of 15 percent to qualify for the October debates. Although they might be better off buying canyon acreage in Utah and waiting for it to become oceanfront property. Probably happen faster.
Neocon Bill Kristol has floated a staff writer on his National Review magazine as the true conservative alternative to Trump. Nobody knows anything about this man, David French, except he doesn't have the chance of a toothpick in a bonfire. Of course, that's what they said about Trump this time last year. The difference is, Trump didn't wear a beard. But he did threaten a third party run.
The Green Party, also a guaranteed player in about 35 states, is expected to choose Dr. Jill Stein at their Convention in August, expanding the slate of possible semi- legitimate contenders to 5. Which doesn't even bring us a tenth of the way to rolling like Venezuela, which has over 50 political parties. There's 350 in India and many folks maintain Israel has more political parties than voters.
What the American People desire is a real choice. Not more candidates, but a ballot option that reads "None of the Above." Of course, should that position garner the most votes, we might have to survive a vacated Oval Office. Which to many, considering the alternative, doesn't altogether sound like that bad of an idea.
Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comedian and former Pizza Hut assistant manager.