While badly needing an alternative to the fake left-right division plaguing US society, Americans will not get a much needed, credible libertarian "third choice" for at least another year. Here's why.
Earlier today, the Libertarian Party nominated former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld as its presidential ticket Sunday, as the party attempts to elevate itself into the mainstream during an election that's given the small party unprecedented opportunity. Unfortunately, "taking itself into the mainstream" was just not meant to be for a party that earlier today saw a candidate for chairman strip to his underwear and give the entire convention a striptease.
The pair, both two-term governors, have more executive experience than any other candidate in the race, and they will offer an alternative to two historically unpopular candidates, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
"This is the best message team going forward," Johnson, the Libertarians' presidential nominee, told reporters after Weld won the vice presidential nomination.
And, as NBC reports, it all came to be in a contested convention. After endless speculation that the Republican Party's divided primary might end in a contested convention in Cleveland and continued theories that the Democrats' primary could end in Philadelphia with a floor battle between party insiders, 2016 finally had a contested convention, in Orlando.
Johnson won on the second ballot after falling short of a majority by just a few votes — getting 49.5 percent — on the first. However, unlike the democratic or republican races, there were no superdelegates who will make all the difference.
Unfortunately, it is here that things took a turn for the bizarre. The tense hour between ballots left candidates scheming and delegates making floor deals and chanting for and against candidates. It was the kind of drama political reporters had previously only dreamed about.
While Johnson locked down enough votes on the second ballot, the drama was far from finished Sunday. Libertarians also allow their party to choose the vice presidential nominee, and Johnson's chosen running mate — Weld — is not a party favorite, as many question whether he's really a Libertarian. It didn't help that he endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich for the Republican presidential nomination earlier in the primary cycle.
Weld fells a couple of dozen votes short on the first ballot, but he won on the second — by just a few votes — and the crowd erupted in boos and cheers.
And then, the Libertarians showed that when it comes to stealing the stage and making a total farce, Trump is at best an amateur, when a candidate for the chairmanship of the Party decided to unleash in a stripteaser on the stage.
As The Hill reports, the man took the stage and defended his chosen candidate for the party’s vice presidential nomination, Derrick Grayson, as the results of the second ballot were tabulated, according to reporters on the scene. During that time candidates for chairman of the party were allowed two minutes each to speak. The man stripped down to his underwear, before saying he was doing it for a dare and leaving the stage.
This is what happened at the most important annual event for the US libertarian party:
Now this is happening pic.twitter.com/zHZbQpqwZa— daveweigel (@daveweigel) May 29, 2016
One of the candidates for Libertarian Party chair used his two minute speech to strip. pic.twitter.com/K9UyWpM4A0— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) May 29, 2016
Delegates not happy with the stripping fellow. Heard one mumble "At a time when we need to be taken seriously..."— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) May 29, 2016
As the guy was stripping at the Libertarian convention, a delegate was shouting on a live mic calling him a "moron" and an "idiot"— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) May 29, 2016
Several delegates came to the microphones after the display to complain, with one attempting to revoke the man's membership from the party.
"That was so offensive it's a violation of the non-aggression pledge," says another speaker with some pretty clever Libertarian humor.— Jane C. Timm (@janestreet) May 29, 2016
To summarize: after eight straight hours of voting, the Libertarian Party had its nominees, America had finally seen a contested convention, and one person got naked.
The good news is that if this is a preview to the insanity to come during the republican and democratic conventions, Americans will be greatly entertained this summer...