OK, this is by way of a press release. But it's still interesting. Some Europeans, apparently including Mathias Rust (read about him here, here, and here), the German teenager and perhaps crazy guy who made headlines back in the late 1980s by flying a Cessna from Hamburg to Moscow's Red Square, have launched a site called Leader of the Free World for anyone, anywhere to choose a candidate in our election next Tuesday.
Yes, it's frivolous. But it's also a little sharper than a simple online poll. Voters are asked to agree or disagree to 10 statements. For instance: "Gross human rights violations are a sufficient justification for a country to bring down a tyranny by military force even when there is no consensus within the international community." Your answer falls on a continuum from complete agreement to complete disagreement with the proposition; you can also vote neutral. After you've done that, your responses are tabulated against a list of 65 candidates who appear on ballots somewhere in the United States.
So here's what I found interesting: I went through the process, and got my list of candidates. So, Number 65 on my list was George W. Bush. That's reassuring -- I really am voting against him. Kerry was Number 40-something. Nader was Number 5. And my Number 1 candidate, the one with whom these 10 statements show I have the greatest affinity, is Jackson Kirk Grimes, whose party is abbreviated on the ballot as "Fasc." That turns out to be short for "United Fascist Union."
Grimes's background includes a stint in the Army ('68-'72), experience as a stockbroker and as an actor in "Shakespearan off-Broadway productions." He is or has been a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Eagles of Lackawanna County, and the Screen Actors Guild. His earliest listed political experience is from 1967, when he served as a storm trooper for the "Facist [sic] Freedom Front." He wants to legalize drugs, repeal limits on gun ownership, guarantee the right to abortion, do away with affirmative action, and spend a lot more money on the military and education while canceling spending for homeland security. Also, he likes to wear what looks like a Roman centurion's helmet with the plume turned sideways (see above). A real maverick.
It's also interesting to me that of all the Democratic candidates, the one who was listed first on my candidates list was Kerry. Everyone else, whether it was closet Republican Joe Lieberman or ultralib Al Sharpton, ranked between Kerry and Bush on the bottom end of the ballot. Of course, I haven't really looked into how the rankings are derived.