With the election coming up next week, I suppose I should perform a public service and explain Ohio Issue 2 in this space today.
There are two problems with that. First, it would take a lot more space than what I have to even begin to unravel all the allegations and charges about Issue 2. Second, I probably would have to understand it to explain it. So that takes care of that.
Instead, let’s talk about something a little more entertaining. Every year at election time, I think about my favorite candidates. Not Lincoln and Roosevelt and Kennedy and Reagan. They get enough attention. I prefer to remember some of the “other guys.” Today I’m going to share a small sample of some of my favorite candidates from the 1960s with you. Don’t expect to run into LBJ or Nixon on this list.
• Homer Tomlinson. Homer was the presidential candidate for the Theocratic Party. Homer was the son of a minister and when his brother took over the family business, so to speak, Homer broke away and founded his own church. He was a real showman and eventually, president wasn’t good enough. Homer traveled around the world and had himself crowned “King of All Nations and Men” in various places. You have to like a guy with a little ambition.
• Gabriel Green. Poor Gabe was abducted by aliens in the 1950s, but it all worked out: they turned out to be friendly and for the rest of his life he could communicate with them telepathically. He founded the Amalgamated Flying Saucer Clubs of America and was the Universal Flying Saucer Party candidate for president. When he said universal, he meant it. By the way, the guys from space he met were from the planet Korendor, so if you see any Korendoreans around tell them Gabe sent you.
• Emil Matalik. The king of obscure candidates. Emil was a Wisconsin farmer who tried to give his farm to the United Nations. When the government said he couldn’t do that, he decided to run for president. Emil thought overpopulation was a big problem and wanted to limit all families to one pet and one tree in their yard because, well, there were just too many dogs and trees in the world using up all that water. He also had some interesting ideas on how to salvage water from humans in order to save the planet.
• Kirby Hensley. Kirby was another minister who had the perfect religion for the 1960s: send him some cash in the mail and he would send you a certificate saying you were a minister in the Universal Life Church. Young men hoping to get out of going to Vietnam heard about this and Kirby made a lot of money. By 1969, the church was supposedly ordaining 100,000 ministers a month. Kirby was the presidential candidate for the Universal Party.
• Henry Krajewski. Henry first ran for president in 1952 on the Poor Man’s Party ticket. He was a New Jersey farmer who raised 4,000 pigs on his farm. You might not have been able to see Henry’s farm, but you could sure smell it. He also owned a tavern and had what seems to me some basic ideas that should have appealed to voters: he wanted to give free milk to schoolchildren and free beer to needy adults.
• Pigasus. Well, technically, he wasn’t really a candidate. When the Youth International Party (Yippies) met in Chicago in 1968 during the Democratic National Convention, their main goal was to disrupt the convention. But they also had a little meeting of their own and nominated a pig named Pigasus as their presidential candidate. There is no evidence that Pigasus was somehow related to Henry Krajewski’s pigs, but he could have been.
And that’s only a few candidates from the 1960s. There are lots more where they came from. Isn’t America great?
When you go into vote next week, tell the poll workers to forget Issue 2 and ask them where you can vote for The King of All Nations and Men or maybe Pigasus. I’m sure it will brighten up their day.
David Lindeman is a Troy resident and former editor at the Troy Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.