WASHINGTON, D.C. As voting day for a crucial and highly contentious mid-term election draws near, both Democratic and Republican party leaders are growing increasingly concerned that a third party, the Misanthropists, will hold the key to victory in states where neither of the established parties have an edge.
“Did you eat the last ham salad finger sandwich? ‘Cause we made that special.”
“Swing voters are key in mid-terms,” 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 gubernatorial candidate Lloyd Llewelyn at a recent gathering of grass-roots supporters in Massachusetts 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.”
“I’d buy the large economy size, but I can’t carry it home.”
Approached by Tom Fishbein, an earnest-looking man who asks him about his position on a ballot proposal to ban plastic-stemmed cotton swabs after a photo of a seahorse carrying the common consumer item went viral, Llewelyn hears him out for what appears to be an agonizing ten seconds, then cuts him off. “I don’t give a rat’s patootie what kind of health and beauty supplies a damn fish uses, and you shouldn’t either,” he snaps. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I want to get some of that potato salad before you people eat it all.”
“I was impressed,” Fishbein tells this reporter after the encounter. “The guy’s a colossal bag of slightly-used dildos, but at least you know where he stands.”
“To be honest, I’m running for office because I hate real work.”
In recent years third party candidates have derailed the presidential ambitions of both Republicans–think H. Ross Perot–and Democrats, who blame Bernie Sanders for Donald Trump’s upset win over Hillary Clinton in 2016. 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 forget the last one.”
”We’re knee-jerk moderates,” says Wanda Peters of Seekonk, Massachusetts, who hosted the coffee for Llewelyn. “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.”
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 here will include two eligible voters, but lieutenant governor candidate Mike 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 guy at the top of the ticket.”