Alternet Article on Frivolous Political Parties

Red Kelly (OWL Party) 1976 Washington State Voting Pamphlet entry

Kali Holloway has this article at Alternet about four frivolous political parties. The title indicates that there are five, but the fifth entry is actually about write-in votes for Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. The parties profiled are the Guns and Dope Party, the OWL Party, the Straight Talking American Government Party (or STAG Party), and the Rent is Too Damn High Party. The article does point out that the RITDHP does advocate serious political aims. Holloway also briefly mentions the Youth International Party (Yippies), which nominated a pig for president in 1968. From the entry on the Guns and Dope Party:

Robert Anton Wilson was a patron saint of the countercultural underground and Jack-of-all-writerly-trades, serving as associate editor of Playboy from 1965-’71 and authoring some 35 books, including The Illuminatus! Trilogy, co-written with Robert Shea. Wilson gave us the concept of “model agnosticism,” which holds that nothing should be regarded with absolute belief or denial, and once said, “My goal is to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone but agnosticism about everything.”

In the early 1980s, Wilson founded the anarcho-libertarian Guns and Dope Party, which advocates, “(1) guns for those who want them, no guns forced on those who don’t want them (pacifists, Quakers etc.); (2) drugs for those who want them, no drugs forced on those who don’t want them (Christian Scientists, etc.); (3) an end to Tsarism and a return to constitutional democracy; and (4) equal rights for ostriches.”

In direct contrast to the Birthday Party, which promotes Nobody for President, the Guns and Dope Party platform is Everybody for President, and encourages us all to write in our own names at every election. The party also suggests everyone become a “genuine and authorized” tsar, a feat achieved by printing out a free card. Plus, its motto is one anyone could get on board with: “Like what you like, enjoy what you enjoy, don’t be afraid to make slurping sounds, and don’t take crap from anybody.”

12 thoughts on “Alternet Article on Frivolous Political Parties

  1. Mark Axinn

    >Youth International Party (Yuppies)…

    Funny slip.

    They were Yippies, not yuppies.

    Jed’s too young to remember Abby Hoffman and Phil Ochs.

    Pigasus lives!

  2. Jed Ziggler Post author

    Fixed. May be too young to have lived through it, but I at least knew about them. Heard of the Yippies in a documentary about the 60s, and my nerdiness about third parties led me to research them.

  3. Deran

    In 1978 there was a YippieCon/10 Years Since Chicago shindig during NYC at which a then on the lamb Abbie Hoffman addressed the crowd by phone. It was pretty dreary to youthful me and a buddy who had taken the train for several days to get there. Hunter Thompson was supposedly there, but he was too much of a celebrity by then for us to get near. And we had short punkish hairdo and were looked down on by the grizzled 30/40 year old long hairs. We soent the rest of our time in NYC hanging around CBGB. Had a much better time. Saw one of the last Teenage Jesus amd The Jerks shows. Which scared the bejesus out of us two boys from then semirural Snohomish County. And honestly after that I completely lost interest in the Yippies and other hippie vestiges. It was Punk rock-styled politics from then on for me!

  4. paulie

    And honestly after that I completely lost interest in the Yippies and other hippie vestiges. It was Punk rock-styled politics from then on for me!

    Yippies were proto-punk before there was punk. Dunno ’bout ’78 (I was in Siberia, and six years old) but by ’88 punk was very much a part of the scene at Yippie HQ at 9 Bleecker, half a block from CBGB’s.

  5. Mark Axinn

    Paulie’s a youngster too!!!

    I graduated college in ’78. We had the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, the Clash…..

  6. paulie

    I graduated kindergarten in 1979. Does it count that I hung out with and did drugs with people from all those bands? Yes, I grew up fast and I grew up young… but I’m making up for it by staying childish and juvenile well into my 40s with no plans to change.

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