I think I’ll run for president;
I figure “what the hell?”
Seems everybody’s doing it–
I really might as well!
I’ll need to find a voting bloc
To back me in my quest—
With so much competition, though,
They’ve taken all the best!
The bigots all are spoken for
The racists made their pick
There’s no one I can out-compete
By being more a dick
I can’t command the Christian Right
I can’t command the Birthers
They’ve sewn up the Creationists
As well as all flat-earthers
I’d make a play for scientists
And scholars of all sorts
But they’re all mythological
(According to reports)
The radicals are spoken for;
There is no common cause;
So maybe I can court the vote
Of those who flout all laws
But no! The libertarians
Have also signed their pacts!
As well as those who cite as law
Leviticus and Acts
The xenophobes are taken
And the homophobes are too
The Islamophobes don’t like me
(And they’re really quite a few!)
I’m told the way to pander is
To be the rudest jerk—
I’d try to be intelligent…
I’m told that doesn’t work.
(I also need a zillionaire
Who’s not yet picked a horse
And wants to buy some influence
Well, once I win, of course)
The nation needs a cuttlefish
To really change its luck
We’ve tried all sorts of people,
But… see… people really suck.
Seems to me I’ve run for president before… but I can’t find it. Oddly enough, in my search I found Pharyngula threads where many other people proposed I should run for president… Which is fine, but not what I was looking for. Dammit, I know I’ve run…
But now, of course, we have dozens of people running for this particular office. At most, one will win. Right now, a substantial portion of the nationally-recognized GOP candidates are not statistically different from me. That is, within the margin of error for the polls, there are a number of candidates who could very well be at zero percent.
This, of course, leads to desperate measures. We see candidates running for any measurable minority position, so long as it polls above zero. There is overlap, though, so Trump has swept up a lot of not-Obama, not-establishment, not-reality-based, anti-everything votes. What is more, people have publicly declared allegiance to him, so there are pretty decent odds that they will justify sticking with him no matter what he says from this point out.
Which leads to two very strange things–first off, Trump pulling the support of people who disagree with him fundamentally on major points, through pure tribal loyalty. Secondly, we see all the second-tier (and third and fourth, etc.) candidates doing their best, or their worst, to carve out a meaningful fraction of the voters, by pandering to whatever groups they think might be available. Since Trump has such a large percentage of potential voters publicly singing praises for whatever they think he stands for, everybody else is trying to find a portion of the lunatic fringe they can lay claim to.
And so we see candidates lining up to defend Kim Davis (beyond this, I saw on Twitter today a picture of someone at a rally holding up a “Kim Davis for President” sign!), which might be because they are idiots who don’t understand the first amendment, but which is more likely because they noted that Trump said that Davis should be doing her job. Aha! A vulnerability!
Such self-defeating poses would not be possible were it not for the GOP’s extraordinarily broad field of targets. I mean, candidates. There is no way such an extreme position could play well in the general election–this year’s oddity is that such a small piece of land is a hill worth dying for.
Of course, the bad news is that unlikely candidates have won before.
But then, if the unlikely candidate is me, I guess that is the good news.