WASHINGTON, D.C. Democratic and Republican party leaders are growing increasingly concerned that a third party, the Misanthropists, will hold the key to victory in swing states where neither of the established parties have an edge.
“Did you eat the last ham salad finger sandwich? ‘Cause we made that special.”
“Ohio and Florida have a large number of electoral votes, and are in play,” according to pollster James Delozier, a professor of political science at the University of Illinois. “If it comes down to a tight race, you don’t want some third-party wingnut drawing off a single-issue voter, or even a double-issue voter.”
“I don’t want to kiss your damn baby–take it back!”
And so the Misanthropists, a party whose only platform plank is a mistrust and dislike for their fellow human beings, threaten to play the spoiler as voters become increasingly alienated from the political process. “I say to hell with all of you,” said Misanthropy Party presidential candidate Lloyd Llewelyn at a recent gathering of grass-roots supporters as he made his way to the buffet table and stuffed his pockets with finger foods and cookies. “You people ask a lot of damn fool questions.”
Perot: “My bad–the giant sucking sound I heard was actually a Dust Buster.”
In recent elections third party candidates have derailed the presidential ambitions of both Republicans–think H. Ross Perot–and Democrats, who blame Ralph Nader for victories by George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. Misanthopists say they aren’t out to sabotage either party’s prospects–they just want to take their rightful place in the American political spectrum.
Peters: Eenie, meanie, miney . . . dang, I always furgit the last one.”
”We’re knee-jerk moderates,” says Wanda Jean Peters of Keokuk, Iowa, who hosted the coffee for Llewelyn and his running mate Clint Fitzsimmons. “I am just so sick of all the corruption in Washington, I felt I had to do something about it, even if it was really stupid and pointless.” Peters says she would have embarked on a cross-country hike to call attention to the problem, but decided not to for health reasons. “I have fallen arches, and could not find a pair of comfortable walking shoes.”
“No, I’m not Mr. Rogers. Anybody else want to guess?”
In states where races are expected to be close, a one-vote margin would be sufficient to push a candidate over the top, and a two-vote margin would probably survive a recount such as that which gripped the nation in Florida following Election Day in 2000. The Misanthropists’ ticket will include two eligible voters, but vice presidential candidate Fitzsimmons says he’s taking nothing for granted. “I vote for the best man regardless of party,” he says. “I’ll probably vote for myself, but I’m not sure about the top of the ticket.”