It’s the rare alternative candidate for President who can lose horribly and still attain third-party glory and national fame. And that’s the Spoiler.
It doesn’t get any better than that for an independent or third-party candidate. Knowing he or she can’t win, he sneaks up in a tiny paper boat, rams a hole in the dreadnought [FISA note: metaphorically speaking] and, incredibly, it goes down. That is cool, no matter what your voting preferences are.
Of course, this ticks off all the voters of the big loser, McCain or Obama, and they rain abuse on the Spoiler candidate and his undisciplined voters. And that’s good, because that’s attention. However, their logic is annoying because the winner and the big loser candidate are more to blame for the outcome than the paper sailor who nets a whopping .32 percent of the vote.
Libertarian Bob Barr could be a Spoiler for McCain in some states this election, and Ralph Nader could be a Spoiler for Obama in others. Actually, they’re all spoilers, because that’s what candidates do in an election -- try to get votes from their opponents. It’s not unfair and it’s not unusual.
Race for Third Place
Bob Barr, the former House Republican from Georgia best known as the tireless impeacher of Bill Clinton, became a Libertarian two years ago and is the Party’s candidate for president, though it took six ballots at the big Lib Convention.
The Libertarians are a consistent third-party choice, sneaking up to Nader’s third-place vote totals in 2004. But they’ve got extra baggage this time around -- their candidate. Barr was not a libertarian while in Congress, and has since changed his position on supporting the Iraq War, authoring the Defense of Marriage Act, voting for the Patriot Act and trying to prevent U.S. soldiers from being Wiccans. These things bother liberty-loving Libertarians, and other candidates might be catching their eye, like the Constitution Party’s Chuck Baldwin or the new Rambo Woman McCain’s got now.
Barr will be on the ballot in at least 41 states -- and he may be the only Presidential candidate on the ballot in Texas, where the Republican and Democratic parties recently missed a Presidential filing deadline. But the Texas parties will surely get some kind of free do-over.
It’s complicated. The Libertarians are simple. They want less government and more freedom.
As President, Barr would:
Let people decide for themselves what to eat, drink, read or smoke and how to dress, self-medicate or make love, without fear of criminal penalties.
Pull our troops from Iraq, reduce U.S. foreign involvement.
Implement a consumption-type tax, repeal the income tax.
Make criminals pay full restitution to victims. Double the police resources available for crime prevention and defend private gun ownership.
Stop hospitals from offering care to illegal immigrants and stop schools from educating their children.
Prediction: There’s confusion in the political camp that spawned Ron Paul, former Libertarian presidential candidate turned Republican mystic. Because Bob Barr is no Ron Paul, the Libertarians will finish 4th again.
Not a Lark
United Fascist Union candidate Jack Grimes says he’s not bigoted or a hate-monger, like some other presidential candidates who give fascism a bad rep. In fact, African-American Sam McCoy leads the UFU’s Storm Troopers. All Grimes wants to do is create a global government based on a Corporate State economy, which will embrace all nations of the earth as equal trading partners, laying the foundations for a new Roman Empire.
Grimes insists that his third campaign for President is not a lark. Neither is wearing Roman outfits, which is a proud UFU tradition. Under Grimes, the necessities of life would be cheap due to his Universal Price Index, but you’d pay in other ways. “The people will be regimented, disciplined and controlled and they will stop thinking of themselves as individuals and act as components of the corporate collective,” says the hopeful dictator.
That’s the name of Donald Sauter’s proposed new justice system based on the do-unto-others rule. The independent candidate from Dover, Del., calls for no written laws, no judges, no lawyers, just juries whose simple majority vote determines guilt and sets the punishment. Sauter offers lots of interesting suggestions, including the Base-8 numbering system, at geocities.com/donaldsauter.
Accomplished In Aurora
Richard Duncan of Aurora, Ohio, recently rounded up 13,000 signatures that should qualify him to be on that state’s ballot as an independent candidate for President. “I got the signatures all on my own by going to people,” says Duncan, a realtor whose office triples as a campaign headquarters and tavern. “The tavern is only open on weekends. I probably only got 10 or less signatures from there.” He only needed 5,000 signers but got an extra 8,000 because he fears officials will reject many of them in determining his ultimate ballot certification.