It’s been inevitable for nearly a month now, but on Wednesday it became official: Bernie Sanders dropped out. This now means the 2020 presidential race will come down to two old, white men with a strong support for the drug war, anti-immigrant sentiment, warmongering tendencies, and rape allegations.
Not surprisingly, this result has seen Sanders’ base of support – the infamous Bernie Bros – start looking for other candidates to vote for. On paper, Biden’s similarities to Trump are eerie to say the least, so it’s no shock that a bunch of people with strong support for a self-proclaimed socialist would turn away from Biden.
What is shocking is how many of them have turned to one candidate for the Libertarian presidential nomination, Vermin Supreme. That’s right, the longtime political satirist with a boot on his head, who insists he’s running a real campaign this time, is getting shows of support from the Bernie Bros:
The idea of voting for Supreme as a method of protesting the two terrible choices put forth by the Republican and Democratic parties is basically in lockstep with Supreme’s own campaign messaging:
Then someone with a real message that normal people can relate to that is inherently anti authoritarian, pro liberty, for personal freedom, and anti war/police state, we can make real progress. The two parties are a joke, I’m by far the most sane in comparison.
— Vermin Supreme (TM) (@VerminSupreme) March 9, 2020
But this outpouring of support for Supreme from more far left, progressive types shouldn’t be that surprising. For weeks now, people have been tweeting similar sentiments, and Supreme himself has retweeted many of them.
Of course, there’s a hint of irony here in that Supreme’s most well-known satirical platform of free ponies for all is designed to mock things like Medicare for All and free college tuition. Still, Supreme has generated a lot of good will among voters that spans across innumerable political divides.
His unique appearance and platform have combined with his comical antics to get attention just about everywhere he goes. Supreme has even become a frequent user of TikTok, where his account has earned over 130,000 followers. It seems that with two highly unlikable candidates becoming the nominees for the two major parties, more and more are interested in turning to a figure like Vermin Supreme in an effort to acknowledge the uselessness and incompetence of the two party duopoly that has created such an electoral matchup.
But before Vermin can even think about reeling in Bernie Bro votes in November, he has to reel in enough votes from Libertarians in May at the Libertarian National Convention. That’s proving to be more difficult. Although the Libertarian party does not have any binding primaries, there have been seven primaries held thus far, and Supreme has won two of them. The remaining five were won by Jacob Hornberger.
Of course, these aren’t solid indications of which way Libertarians lean in their nominating contest, as many of these primaries were decided by people who won’t be delegates to the convention anyway. But based on what little information we do have, it seems that Supreme’s top competitor for the Libertarian nomination is Hornberger.
If Vermin Supreme can manage to overcome Hornberger and the rest of the field, his name would appear on every ballot in the United States, giving Bernie Bros and others that are disillusioned with the Republican and Democratic choices a chance to cast an actual, tangible protest vote. And if that happens, well, things could get very interesting.