Everyone from Larry Flynt to Hulk Hogan has tried to run for President over the years, but usually the truly ridiculous candidates get weeded out before the actual election. Usually.
Of course, as we have all recently seen, sometimes the occasional, uh, mistake gets through the process and ends up on the final ballot. Now, for the most part, these usually end up being fringe third-party candidates who get, like, 82 votes from their friends and fellow crackpots. Again, usually.
And so as you ponder just how we reached the point that a Kardashian level parasite ended up running for President on a major party’s ticket, take a moment to reflect on these poor souls, the seven most ridiculous presidential candidates to ever make the final ballot.
Look, Strom Thurmond’s politics are one thing. I’m not here to bag on that. Well, not entirely anyway. What takes him from ordinary old racist crackpot to sublimely ridiculous and worthy of a spot on this illustrious list is his almost unbelievable hypocrisy.
You see, even though ol’ Strom made his name as a vigorous defender of state’s rights (which, as we know, is usually code for, uh, something else) even running on the States’ Rights Party ticket way back in 1948, and is on record as saying “all the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the Negro into our homes, into our schools, our churches and our places of recreation and amusement” (whew), Strom Thurmond wasn’t above taking a “negro” into his ultimate place of recreation and amusement, and by that I mean his bed.
Hypocritical? Yes. But that’s only the beginning. It turns out that the girl that Strom Thurmond boned was only 16-years-old, worked for his family, and ended up pregnant with his child, a little girl.
So, Strom Thurmond knocked up some jailbait, found himself the father of an African-American daughter, and spent his entire life vigorously defending segregation to the point where he is possibly the most famous (infamous?) segregationist of the 20th century. And his little girl had to grow up knowing that this was her father, and that if it were up to him she wouldn’t even be allowed to eat in the same restaurant as him. Just… goddamn.
John Hagelin ran for President in 1992, 1996 and 2000 for the Natural Law Party, and I guess they thought the crazy person vote would take them to new heights (hint: it didn’t) because I don’t know how else you explain John Hagelin getting anywhere near the final ballot.
Hagelin is actually a particle physicist, which means he’s probably technically a genius. Unfortunately, he’s also fucking crazy. That’s because his work as a physicist somehow led him to conclude that the secret key to unlocking all of the universe’s mysteries – and to solving the problems facing America – could only be found in Transcendental Meditation, also known as TM, which is based on the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, also known as that guy on the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s album cover.
All of this is, of course, nuts. Basically, Hagelin thinks that if you just meditate, you can stop wars and poverty and memes or whatever, which is something even the Beatles realized was bullshit back in the day. I mean, if even Ringo Starr can see through that shit, you would think a fucking particle physicist could figure it out. But, no. And somehow, this dude managed to run for President three times.
Cynthia McKinney, the 2008 Green Party candidate for President, is perhaps best known for that time she was arrested for assaulting a police officer, just like Lincoln. Wait…
That is enough on its own to at least get an honorable mention here, but there’s more because of course there is. McKinney’s pet cause seems to be going after the CIA for assassinating various black public figures like Martin Luther King, Jr. and, uh, Tupac. Yeah. She also accused Al Gore of having a low “negro tolerance level”, introduced articles of impeachment against George W. Bush and, naturally, suggested that members of the Bush administration should be charged with negligent homicide because of Hurricane Katrina.
Oh yeah, she is also a 9/11 truther. Basically, it’s an entire career of grandstanding ridiculousness. Hell, I’m surprised she hasn’t made a big fuss over finding the “real killers” alongside OJ Simpson.
Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party’s candidate for President in 2008, would be like every other small party candidate who no one remembers if it wasn’t for one thing, or should I say one quote: “The South was right in the War between the States.”
Remember, this was a dude running in 2008, not 1868. He also thinks the FDA is unconstitutional, that the Department of Education should be disbanded and that militia groups are A-OK (he said this in 1995, by the way, which if you’ll remember was the same time that noted militiamen Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh were blowing up buildings in Oklahoma City.) I mean, there’s conservative, and then there’s whatever the fuck this kind of shit is.
He’s also a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan. I rest my case.
John G. Schmitz
Oh man, this dude.
John G. Schmitz was the 1972 American Independent Party candidate and here are just a few highlights of his ridiculousness:
– he was convinced that all the world’s problems were a conspiracy between Communists and Jews (off to a hot start!)
– once said “I would have voted for a three-tier system—have one school that the blacks could go to, one school that all the whites could go to, and those who want to mix go to a third school.”
– believed that if Reagan didn’t succeed then a military coup would be in order
– called Gloria Steinem a “bulldyke”
All of that is beautiful enough in its ridiculousness to enshrine him forever in the crackpot asshole hall of fame, but the best is yet to come. It turns out that the ultra-conservative Schmitz knocked-up some poor lady he was having an affair with, and when the baby came, he was actually quoted as saying “I do not and will not support him financially. It is her responsibility to take care of him.” What a guy!
Amazingly, he actually fathered another child with his mistress, which, I mean, come on. Either she had no respect for herself at all or he had that gangsta dick.
And to top it all off, his “legitimate” child, a daughter, later became infamous in her own right. Her name was Mary K. Letourneau, and if that name sounds familiar, it’s because she became famous as the teacher who had an affair with her twelve year old student, who knocked her up, and became a twelve year old daddy when she gave birth in prison. What a family!
Lyndon LaRouche tried to run for President pretty much his entire adult life. Seven times he ran in the Democratic primary, and seven times he lost. So, he did what any man of dignity would do and created his own party, the U.S. Labor Party, and ran as their candidate on the 1976 ballot.
I don’t even know how to begin talking about Lyndon LaRouche, to be honest with you. He is one of the most unique figures in American political history, a dude who at times has identified as a Communist and as a far-right extremist. He’s been accused of anti-semitism, racism, and basically any sort of “ism” you can think of. He’s pretty much despised by every corner of the political world for all of the above and more.
But what makes Lyndon LaRouche so ridiculous as that somehow, he has actually developed a band of followers so devout that they are damn near a cult. Back in the day, when LaRouche was at the height of his influence, his campaign workers actually lived together in cramped apartments, where they were each issued a mattress and a pillow, like… well, like in a fucking cult.
Before that, LaRouche actually armed his followers and led them on assaults of rival leftist groups. I mean, this dude wasn’t fucking around.
The amount of crazy bullshit that Lyndon LaRouche has found himself involved in over the last half century is staggering. It’s way too much to even get into here. I mean, this is a dude who at one point went to prison for multiple counts of fraud and obstruction of justice – his cellmate was actually infamous televangelist Jimmy Bakker – and it’s only a minor footnote in his absurd life.
He’s truly a fascinating figure in American history, not to mention one of its most ridiculous.
Come on, really?
We’re doing this?
Let this sink in: Donald Trump is the Republican candidate for President of the United States of America in 2016. Really think about it.
This guy. Yes, that’s Donald Trump saying that he wants to fuck his own daughter. And the amazing thing is that he actually seems understated there, doesn’t he? I mean, for him anyway. And that pretty much says it all. Or at least it should. Instead, we’re left with a choice between Sleazy McDuck over here and Lady Nixon. Suddenly Transcendental Meditation dude doesn’t seem that bad, does he?
Good Lord, we’re all doomed.
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