Desarae Lindsey: Message to delegates on behalf of Vermin Supreme


From Vermin Supreme campaign manager Desarae Lindsey:

As many of you are aware, Vermin Supreme has been running for President for quite some time now. Before, it was always a farce, a joke, a way to reveal the corruption and evil of the duopoly and pull aside the curtain. Whichever party he chose to “run in” was decided by which was pulling the most shenanigans of that election cycle. There was most certainly a method to the madness.

There are some who are concerned that this campaign is also a farce. I assure you, it is not.

What makes this one different?

Vermin was ready to hang up his boot hat and call it a day. He had certainly made a difference and had to have known that there would be others inspired to reveal and smash the duopoly that attempts to claim ownership of us. His hope was that more and more people were awake to the fact that the only ones who own us are, in fact, ourselves…he was inspired by seeing so many young people taking a stand and felt like perhaps it was time to retire and live his humble life in the woods.

But Donald Trump is the freakin President, y’all. Of the United States. HE HAS THE NUCLEAR CODES. A belligerent, rude, orange man occupies the highest office in one of the most rich, powerful, and corrupt countries on this planet. I mean, what world even IS this!?

I was on the phone with Paul Stanton one night, who ran for Congress in 2016 in Florida in a highly contested primary, which he SLAYED. As always, we were plotting out plans to solve the world’s problems. We started talking about how great it would be if Vermin Supreme were to run for the Libertarian nomination. He had, in fact, found his political home here and we had, in fact, embraced him. The more we spoke about it, the less silly it sounded, and by the end of the conversation we’d decided we were DEFINITELY going to ask him.

We both reached out to Vermin, and I believe it was I who actually got in touch with him first. I remember the conversation well. For the record, we’d joked on Facebook about him running back in 2018, but it was just that: a joke. It went no further at that time. However, probably because of that, I don’t think he was THAT surprised when I asked him to make a serious run for it – but he WAS definitely cautious and, dare I say, hesitant in even considering it. For him, this was uncharted territory. He’d never filed with the FEC, put together a serious organization, raised funds, or gone out of character publicly for long stints. But, to know Vermin is to love him, and even if you only know the satirical work he’s done, that alone displays his sheer brilliance.

He’s deeper than that, though. A few years back, Josh Barton had recommended I watch the Steve Onderick documentary “Who Is Vermin Supreme?”, and seeing that turned me into a legit, no-turning-back Vermin Supreme fangirl. I had only been aware of the satire. I was ignorant to all the direct action activism, all the de-escalation, all the mutual aid he’s done in private. (He is a VERY humble man. VERY. He NEVER talks about having given his Mother a kidney until asked about it, and even then he looks SO uncomfortable talking about having done something so selfless and heroic.)

Back to the conversation. I remember him laughing, seemingly uncomfortable at the thought of running seriously or even at all, but I laid out my case. To me, it was SO simple: This country is divided. There are people being physically harmed, even murdered, simply for BEING WHO THEY ARE. Racist and bigoted organizations were starting to emerge from the shadows and spew their hate in the light of day because they felt safe in doing so. When Trump was elected, I remember some of my GSM friends being legitimately scared, and I didn’t understand why at the time. Until I did.

This country desperately needs to heal. We need to re-embrace our humanity. Laughter is healing. The Libertarian message offers solutions. We have a beautiful platform, a beautiful demonstrable love for our fellow human beings. Vermin Supreme, to me, personifies all of these concepts: Laughter, Healing, Love. His middle name is Love! He possesses a certain gravitas that cannot be mimicked or captured. You can’t help but pay attention to him, and once that initial shock of “What the fuck even just HAPPENED!?” is over, you’re getting boot-pilled with the Libertarian message, and I have seen, throughout the (LONG) duration of this (VERY EXCITING) campaign, in person, how effective this is. To ALL walks of life, not JUST the young people – but dammit young people eat it up. My son is 23 and we have dedicated staffers on our team who are younger than him. They’re hungry for change. And, to them, Vermin Supreme represents that change.

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible” is a quote by Frank Zappa that had a profound effect on my 14 year old self when I first heard it. It has since been my life’s mantra.

Vermin took a few weeks to get back to me. He had to soul search. He had to have serious discussions with his wife. He knew they would both have to make many sacrifices and their lives would be drastically changed. He knew he would be asked to do things he had never done before, as a serious campaign is a major contrast to a few months of trolling the duopoly primaries every 4 years. The more time went by after our phone call, the more nervous I got. To me, it was so obvious that he should do this, but I KNEW I was asking a lot of him. He finally called back and said, “Okay…..let’s do this.” And burst into uncontrollable laughter.

He offered himself to the movement because he knew it was important to us and that we believed with all of our hearts that only Vermin could bring about the change we so desperately hoped for in the many ways that he knew how.

We started building the campaign as soon as midterms were over. I’d managed several campaigns in 2018, run for Congress myself, and thought I would need to take a break, but I was ready to hit the ground running for him. I felt honored that he agreed to work with us. By January 2019, we had a full blown legitimate staff, a full blown legitimate campaign plan, and full blown legitimate love and passion in our hearts.

There was something special happening here. Over time, this team became a family. We love one another VERY deeply, and we want to welcome so many others into this movement. Once Spike was added to the team as Vermin’s running mate, we knew there was something unique and beautiful growing around them and it is the hope of #TeamSupreme that you will join us in boot-pilling the country. We’ve GOT to get the beautiful message of Laughter, Love, and Healing out to the general public and get as many eyes and ears on our beautiful platform and message as possible.

I really cannot stress enough what an honor it is to be a part of this. Regardless of whether we win the nomination, we will continue to work with one another in many other capacities, but DAMN I think our candidates would REALLY be THE VERY BEST nominees we could put forward.

I am really, truly #inonthejoke and hope you will be, too. #thisistheway

30 thoughts on “Desarae Lindsey: Message to delegates on behalf of Vermin Supreme

  1. paulie Post author

    Only the names are provided by the party.

    Correction, name and snail mail. But the campaigns find whatever phone numbers, emails etc on their own.

  2. Bondurant

    I’m on board. Ready to saddle the pony. My affiliation with the LP has lapsed and I did not think it prudent to be a delegate. If I was, however, Vermin would have my vote.

  3. paulie Post author

    The campaign could still use your help with donation, spreading the word, or whatever you are able and willing to do.

  4. Richard Winger

    I have a visceral bad reaction to the word “vermin”. If he is not a joke candidate he ought to use a name different than “vermin”.

  5. Anthony Dlugos

    “I have a visceral bad reaction to the word “vermin”. If he is not a joke candidate he ought to use a name different than “vermin”.”

    More than valid.

    Then again, he’s more than a few tweaks shy of being anything but a catastrophic embarrassment for the party.

  6. Bondurant

    “The boot turns me off. I’ll stick to one of the senile sex offenders.”
    -Typical logic of those critical of libertarians

  7. eeyn

    Paulie, I read the Reason article, and this appeal, and now I’m even more strongly opposed to him.

    He says this time it’s serious…but the methods will be the same. A strategy where there are multiple layers of satire (“owning the joke”) will confuse potential voters who sincerely don’t know what our message is. Yeah, he’s making some kind of ironic statement…but is he satirizing R/Ds, or is he satirizing how L’s satirize R/Ds? That’s the whole problem with the Andy Kaufmann style of comedy – you don’t really know which side the comedian is on, and maybe the comedian himself has lost track.

    If even LP members, who are especially tolerant of outliers, can’t make out what he’s really about, there’s no way the average voter will. They aren’t obligated to give our candidates lots of attention and I’d guess the majority of them will see the name, decide it’s a joke they don’t have time for, and not even get to the next level…..which is seeing the boot and the rest of the performance artist stuff.

  8. Nicholas Feeley

    This, or its kind, are what I’ve been posting.
    Just copy-pasting here, ’cause it’s easier that way.
    (And this was in response to someone kvetching that there are people in the LP suggesting that Vermin Supreme is a serious candidate.)

    *sigh*
    Vermin Supreme isn’t a serious candidate, any more than the Babylon Bee is a serious news outlet.
    Both are used to highlight the absurd that’s taken too seriously. In this case, the Big Two.
    In a race that we won’t be able to touch, specifically because of the terrain of the battleground, the best tactic would be to just distract. And of all the LP candidates, Vermin’s the best choice for that.
    Gotta know your battles, your strengths, and your weaknesses.

    This cycle is going to be murder on the LP.
    The entire political battle will be a push either for or against Trump.
    The GOP is terrified that the D’s will push him out, so even if they don’t like him as President they’re still going rally around him, so they don’t get Biden.
    And the DNC, knowing their spearhead is blunt, is going to push the Blue No Matter Who. And using that as the shaft, they can at least get some leverage.
    We’re not going to be able to realistically pull away from that using any calls for Liberty or Freedom. We’re fighting against fear.
    So. Again. When going against that, the joke candidate is going to be the most successful. It’s counterintuitive if you just look at who you want to win. But if you look at the larger picture, you should be able to see a little better how much of a farce this is, and then run with the most farcical candidate. Because it actually fits.

    For this cycle, if we run a serious candidate the GOP will rally around the “They’re going to take our Trump away!” and the DNC will rally behind the “Oust Trump!” Which would leave us out of the race entirely.
    …But if we actually ran Vermin this round, he’d be able to really show how much of a farce this whole Left/Right thing is, and as everyone knows he won’t actually win, a protest vote for him would still be “safe,” putting the LP in a better position next cycle.
    It really is the right time for Vermin.

  9. dL

    “The boot turns me off. I’ll stick to one of the billion dollar funded senile sex offenders.”

    hence, the boot

  10. dL

    They aren’t obligated to give our candidates lots of attention

    The “average voter” is not obligated to give any attention, and zero attention from the so-called average voter is exactly what Jacob Hornberger, Jo Jorgensen or even Vermin Supreme will get. VS will at least you some social media attention.

  11. paulie Post author

    Exactly, you have to rise above the noise level first.

    Actual results are available. When national held a contest between the campaigns seeking the presidential nomination to bring in new national LP dues paying members, Vermin did much better than the other campaigns. LPNH reports he increased their membership significantly by campaigning in person. So, at least some people get the message, past just the satire. The campaign gets tons of positive response, especially from young people, all the time.

    The noise level from the duopoly is worse than normal this time. It takes extra effort to get through. I like Jorgensen, Hornberger and other candidates but Vermin is better at breaking through that noise level.

  12. paulie Post author

    but the methods will be the same.

    No, they won’t. It will involve a good bit of serious campaigning as well as satirical.

    They aren’t obligated to give our candidates lots of attention and I’d guess the majority of them will see the name, decide it’s a joke they don’t have time for, and not even get to the next level…..

    Majority is highly optimistic, but even after you discount the people who don’t get it, the people who do will greatly outnumber the ones we can reach with a nothing-but-serious approach in this particular climate.

  13. paulie Post author

    Even here on IPR, at least so far, this article is getting a lot more views and comments than the other candidate statements we are posting, which includes Hornberger and Jorgensen. The same is true everywhere else I have seen as well.

  14. Dan

    You would think those that read an off the beaten path outlet like IPR might actually do ANY research on the candidates they are trashing.

    Vermin has most definitely been running a serious campaign, and putting up provable, serious results to match.

    He grew the party by more than TWICE the number of new members- of ALL the other candidates combined…

    He brought in more donor money, than any of the other candidates..

    He has brought large amounts of POSITIVE media coverage, including from the MSM to both his race, and to the broader Libertarian platform as a result..

    And yet, with ZERO research being done, people are still making the claim we should be running someone that no one outside the party has ever heard of..and from talking to tons of delegates that are NOT on facebook, are largely unknown, even inside the party..

    I am proudly #InOnTheJoke and am supporting #TeamSupreme

    http://www.inonthejoke.net

  15. Anthony Dlugos

    eeyn writes,

    “Yeah, he’s making some kind of ironic statement…but is he satirizing R/Ds, or is he satirizing how L’s satirize R/Ds? That’s the whole problem with the Andy Kaufmann style of comedy – you don’t really know which side the comedian is on, and maybe the comedian himself has lost track.

    If even LP members, who are especially tolerant of outliers, can’t make out what he’s really about, there’s no way the average voter will. They aren’t obligated to give our candidates lots of attention and I’d guess the majority of them will see the name, decide it’s a joke they don’t have time for, and not even get to the next level…”

    Bingo.

    Could not have said it better myself.

  16. Anthony Dlugos

    Leaving aside RC pointing out his name alone…can I remind everyone VS’s campaign website STILL has reference to “zombie preparedness and the pony based economy,” “Mandatory Toothbrushing,” “Funcentration Camps (I’d love to see our candidate try and explain away an allusion to the Holocaust as mere satire).” and “Ponynomics.”

    If the satirist wins the nomination…which is obviously quite unlikely…the joke will be on US, not the dinosaur parties. Voters will wonder why we choose to run a joke when the stakes are presumably so serious. Whatever attention V.S. gets will NOT be helpful. It’ll be akin to taking the entire library of libertarian thought, centuries old, all the reasonable, marketable, and genuinely helpful policy ideas for increasing individual liberty, and dousing it with kerosene and setting it on fire. Its telling the electorate the best we can be is a joke.

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