How did you spend Memorial Day weekend? The presidential campaign spent the holiday getting real stupid in Orlando. That's where the Libertarian Party held its convention — and naturally it involved a strip tease and an appearance by a man described as "bonkers" by the Prime Minister of Belize.
Let's address the strip tease first, because it was the most exciting thing to happen at a political convention since Dan Rather punched a guy.
The stripper in question was a young beardo named James Weeks, and he'll probably be the only thing anyone remembers about the Libertarian Party by this time next week. He took the stage to make a speech about why he should be party chairman, but then played some music and started dancing. Attendees seemed a little weirded out but willing to go along... until James peeled down to a thong.
I recommend watching the video not for the stripping, which is mediocre, but for the looks of delight turning to looks of horror in the audience. "Sorry, that was a dare," he concluded at the end of the performance. "I'm gonna go ahead and drop out."
Well, that was fun. There's no word on what exactly was riding on that bet, but at the very least let's hope he earned some bragging rights.
That's more than Gary Johnson, who wound up winning the nomination to be the party's candidate, can expect to walk away with after the election. He was the candidate four years ago, and wound up earning less than one percent of votes cast. This year, Gary has about $15,000 in the bank for his campaign. He'll only need $999,985,000 more to compete with Hillary and Donald.
But to be fair, not even Libertarians think they have a chance to win the White House. "Please, we're not that stupid," said John McAfee, a reclusive globe-trotting weirdo best known for creating antivirus software in the 1980s and galavanting about South America to escape questioning in a murder case. A longtime libertarian activist, he told MSNBC that "local elections, grassroots efforts" should be the party's focus.
"Bonkers," is how Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow described him a few years ago. At the time, McAfee had just gone into hiding to avoid questioning about a murdered neighbor, and was writing about assembling a harem of women that included an assassin. Police eventually confiscated all of his belongings, and his home mysteriously burned down.
So nobody takes this party seriously, right? Well, it's worth nothing that Hillary and Donald are among the most hated politicians in living memory. A lot of voters are desperate for an alternative to either — especially if one or both of the major parties look primed to implode.
Antics like a stripping candidate and bonkers leadership might have been a turnoff for voters in past years. But this time around, the party's baked-in craziness might turn out to be just what voters want. When the dust settles from this year's election bloodbath, what if the Libertarian party is the only one left standing?