Setting the precedent of “Sure, Clinton’s ‘undeniably capable of leading the United States,’ but we’re going with this guy,” the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board endorsed Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson for president last week, flying in the face of arguments put forth by such media outlets as the New Republic, the Daily Beast and the Chicago Tribune.
The ed board’s argument, which you can read here, is that voters are crying out for principles, not competence, capability, ability to win the race or a junior high Social Studies understanding of world politics.
But we here at the 1,001 Chicago Afternoons Editorial Board demand more.
If we’re naming the president based on nice, why stop at candidates who have filed for the race? Or candidates who are politicians? Or non-fictional?
Based on the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board’s apparent list of qualifications for running the nation, here are a list of four candidates just as principled and just as qualified to be president as Gary Johnson.
First, let’s look at the Trib’s endorsee:
Candidate: Gary Johnson
Party: Libertarian, AKA “Whatever Floats Your Boat: The Political Party”
Platform: You can smoke pot and have abortions, but he also wants to privatize prisons, privatize K-12 education through vouchers, have the free market fix the environment (because companies looooove expensive optional emission standards), fight net neutrality (google it and be horrified), repeal the federal minimum wage, stop almost all gun control and support the money-is-speech stylings of Citizens United. And he doesn’t know what Aleppo is or can name any world leader. Those last two aren’t exactly a platform, but “shit-stupid” is a rare choice when listing qualifications for the Executive Branch.
Principled? Very. He is very committed to letting people have their freedom, whether they’re smoking a joint or buying a legislator so they can dump factory waste in your garden. He is totally committed to his stupid, stupid principles.
Better option than: Trump; cancer
Worse option than: Hillary Clinton; having everyone else in the nation except for Trump take turns as president
And now, the 1,001 Chicago Afternoons Editorial Board suggestions:
Candidate: Telly Monster from Sesame Street
Platform: Triangle-playing, being that Sesame Street Muppet that makes everyone say “Oh yeah, I sort of remember him.”
Principled? Very. Dedicated to his triangle, his neighborhood, his hamster Chuckie Sue and learning lessons about friendship. A veritable Gary Johnson of principles.
Better option than: Cookie Monster; Grundgetta; Teeny Little Super Guy; Gary Johnson
Worse option than: Illinois state fossil the Tully Monster; Oscar’s pet worm Slimey; the unstoppable Bert/Ernie ticket
Candidate: Your grandmother
Party: 90th birthday
Platform: Doilies for all, a vague distrust of Italians
Principled? Devoted her life to honesty, fairness and keeping your feet off the davenport. Johnsonian levels of principle.
Better option than: Your cousin who keeps asking you to fund his Kickstarter for “some kind of app”
Worse option than: Your other grandmother. You know, the fun one who let you ride the big rides at Six Flags.
Candidate: A golden retriever wearing oversized sunglasses
Party: Good Boy
Platform: Squirrel! Squirrel! Let’s ride in the car! Oh boy, snakes!
Principled? Loyal, dependable, barky.
Better option than: Bad cat who comes to the window. I hate bad cat. Squirrel!
Worse option than: Humanfriend who feeds good boy; a golden retriever wearing a foam Statue of Liberty crown
Candidate: That photograph of Lincoln with Tim Burton hair
Platform: Conservative on government, liberal with product
Principled? I’m going to pretend you didn’t say that. That’s a photograph of our nation’s greatest president — with emotion hair! As a lover of American history and the New Romantic rock stylings of Adam and the Ants, this is a candidate I can admire.
Better option than: Gary Johnson; Donald Trump; any photograph of Teddy Roosevelt where he’s doing that weird thing with his teeth
Worse option than: Animate objects. But damn, that two-dimensional cardboard cutout cropped and rotated to project an image of core Republican values without having to address the grim reality of the current state of the GOP sure looks principled.
And that’s all the Chicago Tribune really wants in a candidate anyway.
Talk more politics with me at “How to Steal an Election,” a booze-fueled tutorial I’m running with Atlas Obscura and the Room 13 speakeasy a week before the election. Swill craft cocktails while I take you through decades of COMPLETELY LEGAL voter manipulation in Chicago and elsewhere. Fun, civics and the best damn Old Fashioned I’ve had in years. Tickets are going fast.