People might think they’ve seen just about everything in this presidential race. But what about a candidate who wears a rain boot as a hat, carries a giant toothbrush and goes by the name Vermin Love Supreme?
In his fourth bid for the United States presidency, the anti-war, anti-establishment activist received 259 votes and placed fourth, behind Martin O’Malley, in the New Hampshire primary in 2015.
He was not invited to participate in a Democratic debate due to an incident in 2012 when Supreme glitter-bombed fellow candidate Randall Terry, who has repeatedly opposed gay marriage, in an effort to “turn him gay.”
Even so, Supreme is continuing with his campaign and has even picked up supporters in Bloomington.
Joe Savarino, a member of local band Avadhootz, said he first heard about Supreme at a “rainbow gathering.” He was immediately impressed by the candidate’s policies, which seek to emphasize the emptiness of many modern politicians’ promises.
“What really turned me on to him was his free pony campaign for every American citizen,” Savarino said. “That’s why I suggest people start getting room ready in their backyards or in their closet, because the Free Pony Act will help a lot of job creation for the country.”
The ponies would theoretically be used to help with transportation, bring smiles to little girls and fix America’s “princess complex,” which Savarino argues has gotten out of control.
In addition, Supreme would work to pass a mandatory toothbrush law.
“I’m sure he would also put some programs in act to make sure everyone has access to a good quality toothbrush and nice, fluoride-free toothpaste,” fellow bandmate and Supreme supporter Kendra Strebig added.
Though Supreme is trailing in the polls, supporters say they feel he still serves a very important function in these elections.
“I think he’s brought a lot of light to the stupidity that we put up with a lot of the presidents that we’ve elected,” Savarino said.
“He’s all about reworking the system in a way that we all know needs to happen,” Strebig said. “He sees normal, mainstream politics as a pretty big joke, which they are, in my opinion.”
When considering what needs to change in the American government, the two mentioned lowering the age requirement for Congress and the presidency, lowering military funding and changing the system so that attachments could no longer be added onto bills.
Strebig, who is a self-described pacifist, said she doesn’t understand why the government spends so much money on war when there are problems to fix at home.
“The education system needs reworked and the reason that’s not happening, that we hear, is there’s not enough money, not enough funding,” she said. “But then we see missiles being launched that are hundreds of thousands of dollars, millions of dollars.”
The friends said they feel that Bernie Sanders shares many of Supreme’s ideals, as evidenced by his stance on education, his lack of ties to corporate America and his work for America’s poor and vulnerable.
“I think Bernie would make a great vice president to Vermin Love Supreme,” Savarino said. “But that’s just my opinion.”
In an effort to make that happen, Savarino and Strebig will be campaigning for Supreme across the country on their way to another rainbow gathering this summer. They’ve already had some success.
“There were some horses I talked to the other day, and they were pretty down for it,” Savarino said. “They like to see a lot of ponies around the U.S.”
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