According to the Federal Election Commission, more than 470 people are running for president of the United States in 2016.
Some of their names will be familiar to anyone with even a fleeting interest in politics: Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and, of course, The Donald. Then there’s the next tier of contenders, if you will — the ones who are considered legitimate candidates but whose names you may not know. Jim Webb, anyone?
And then — and then — there are these people. The fringe candidates. All 450 or so of them.
Above, get to know a handful of these folks, among them David Sponheim, the “America’s Third Party” candidate who a few years ago made a video of himself dressed, in full blackface, as President Obama; Tami Stainfield, who represents the “No Party” and regularly speaks in tongues; and Pogo Allen-Reese, the “Patriot Prancer”— a former male stripper who can be seen online donning nothing but a cowboy hat and a thong. “You judge a man by the content of his character, instead of the color of his costume,” he says.
None of these people has a chance in hell of winning the nomination of a major party, much less the presidency, but they all have a point to prove, an axe to grind, a duty to fulfill. They are going for it. For democracy.
In the words of Idaho biker Harley Brown, “Don’t think I’m crazy, because I’m not.”
God bless them, and God bless the United States of America.