There is nothing in the Constitution that says you have to be sane to run for president. The forefathers knew that such an arbitrary limitation would deprive future generations of a tremendous amount of entertainment.
So, let's honor their wishes and take a moment to salute those who believed being batshit insane should in no way stop them from running the country.
If you're one of those people with a soft spot for wasting your vote on potentially loony candidates, do we have good news for you! Depending on when you're reading this, there may still be time to cast your wacky-ass vote for Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney!
Until 2006, she was a member of Congress, where she spent her time on important things like trying to pass a bill to release the government's secret records on Tupac Shakur and assaulting Capitol police.
"Why am I holding these? Where am I?"
But wait, it gets better. McKinney upped the crazy ante recently when she claimed that the government executed 5,000 males and dumped them in a swamp in Louisiana. She stated that she assumed they were prisoners, because they were mostly males. Why, because only dudes go to prison? Somebody has never seen Caged Heat.
Prison is more relaxing without the specter of government mass murder.
This information supposedly came to her via a phone call from a woman whose son was one of those tasked with disposing of the bodies. Sure, that probably sounds dubious, but McKinney assures us she took the extra step of verifying the story with insiders. We're hoping that "insiders" is the loving pet name she's given to the voices in her head. Otherwise, someone out there with information to share that, if true, could be vital to the very fabric of American life, decided that the best place to go with it was here...
Lyndon LaRouche has run for president at least eight times, first in 1976 as the U.S. Labor Party candidate, and later as a candidate for the Democratic nomination. Depending on who you ask, he is either a genius visionary or a batshit insane conspiracy theorist. Hmm, let's see if we can find some evidence one way or the other...
Where do we start? He thinks either the Holocaust didn't happen or, if it did, wasn't all that bad and that some kind of evil Jewish/British cabal is at the heart of the world's problems. His political party looks an awful lot like a cult, with LaRouche holding tight-fisted control over a core group of dedicated followers.
Those are all good places to begin, but why settle for the good when we can go straight for the great? And by "great" we mean "the time he claimed someone kidnapped and brainwashed one of his staff members with the intent of programming them to assassinate him." According to LaRouche's group, the intended assassin was Chris White, a British national who had married LaRouche's ex-girlfriend. The young man was allegedly kidnapped by the CIA, in conjunction with the KGB. Sounds reasonable enough, what better friends were there in 1974 than the CIA and the KGB?
LaRouche's people said that, once in captivity, White was programmed so that when a trigger word was uttered, White would kill his wife, then LaRouche, and then blame the whole thing on Cuban assassins (got to work the Cubans in there). After all, if some dude just went crazy and killed his wife and her ex-boyfriend, how would you ever explain that?
John G. Schmitz had a beef with Richard Nixon (when Nixon made his historic trip to China, Schmitz quite hilariously said "I was only upset that he came back"). Schmitz decided the best way to take out his anger was by running for President against Nixon in 1972, hoping to saddle Nixon with the shame of losing to someone who was frothingly insane.
If someone ever decides to compile recordings of the craziest things every said to the media, they may as well call it "John G Schmitz: The Greatest Hits," and not just because that title rhymes. For example, there was the time he casually suggested the US could benefit from a military coup to overthrow the government. But in his words, "Not a bad military coup, mind you. But a good one, like Pinochet's in Chile." Oh, okay! We thought you were saying something retarded there for a moment.
He did have a way with the ladies though. After a particularly heated exchange with feminist lawyer Gloria Allred, Schmitz approved a press release with the catchy headline "Attack of the Bulldykes" that described Allred as a "slick butch lawyeress" and her supporters as "a sea of hard, Jewish and (arguably) female faces."
Schmitz is dead now, but fear not, the crazy lives on in a major way through his daughter, Mary Kay LeTourneau. Name sound vaguely familiar? Maybe you remember it from the several years she was in the headlines for having sex with a 13 year-old student (she was a teacher-they met when he was 8) and having two of his children. She went to jail for rape, then when she got out she did the honorable thing and married him. But, hey, at least she didn't run for president.
The Natural Law Party was formed in 1992 in the political hotbed of Fairfield, Iowa. For the entirety of it's hilarious life as a political party (three election cycles), John Hagelin was their candidate.
John Hagelin is a doctor. That means he's smarter than you. So smart, in fact, that he has the problem of terrorism completely figured out. War? Not the answer. Better cooperation amongst intelligence departments? Not necessary. Transcendental meditation? Hell to the yeah!
According to Hagelin, the answer to all of the world's problems lies in having a bunch of people get together in a room and think about said problems, like, really hard. That's it, problem solved. No actual action is needed. Seriously, they say it's been "field tested" for 25 years and has shown clear reductions in terrorism! Though we're assuming those 25 years were not consecutive and did not include 2001.
"Oh, right, 2001. My bad."
According to them, the only reason we haven't already eradicated all of our problems is because not enough people are meditating on them at the same time. But it's not for lack of trying, once participation in the annual Invincible America Assembly reaches approximately the square root of 1% of the total population of the United States, all world events will tilt in our favor.
That makes sense, right?
If you think it takes balls to run for president, try running for president while also running from the law. That's just what Jack Shepard did.
Jack Shepard's political activities, and there have been several, have all been conducted from Rome, Italy thanks to an outstanding warrant for his arrest issued 25 years ago after he was accused of arson for burning his Minneapolis home to the ground.
To be fair, he had a perfectly plausible story. "Someone kicked in my bedroom door and threw some fire in there and ran downstairs and ran away." We must admit, we were skeptical, until we realized that the assailants already had the fire burning and ready to throw prior to kicking in the bedroom door thus giving them plenty of time to escape.
Running for president as a fugitive--presumably so he can pardon himself once elected--is more than enough crazy to make this list, but it doesn't end there. Shepard also had his Minnesota dental license revoked due to "a string of violent incidents." No further details are available about the incidents themselves, but he did show up to the revocation hearing dressed as a soccer player, if that helps.
And then there are his claims of being a spy for the US government. "If I wanted to go home (President) Bush would clear the way. Bush knows me personally. How do I get new passports, travel and do not get arrested if Uncle Sam did not cover for one of his most well connected people in the Middle East, if I was not who I can not say I am?"
You can't argue with logic like that.
Why is America the greatest country in the world? Because a Lee Mercer Jr. can legally run for president.
After reading through his website, the thing that surprised us the most was that someone actually got Lee Mercer Jr. to take a long enough break from being absolutely out-of-his-gourd insane to stop and pose for that picture at the top. Not wanting to dilute Mercer's message, we shall now present him in his own words (misspelling his, emphasis ours).
From his biography:
"Since my high school graduation in 1969, I developed myself to my own academic interest to be a Collegiate Professional."
"On August 22, 1992, The State of Texas installed an intelligence hotwire in me at the United States Army Military Intelligence Academy Camp Bullis San Antonio, Texas."
"As a part of my continuing eduaction, I am making my presidential campaign part of my ROTC Intelligence Academics to record the learnings, doings, and examples of the United States Government as a government consultant, community developer, and financial planner appointed by the United States Federal Congress to record my biography in the United States Government Presidential Election for 2008 from Electronic Surveillance to develop records on the United States Government Presidential Campaign because I am on an academic intelligence hotwire that can not be unhooked by anyone."
"I have a doctor degree Phd. as a doctor of laws, medicine ( not practitioner of medicine, i.e. physicians, surgeons), theology, management, engineering and other subjects that are guaranteed by the United States Army in ROTC to be presented to me in a court of Law only."
On Why He's Running For President:
"1. The United States Federal Congress has encouraged me to want to become President of the United States so that I can do what the President of the United States of America is supposed to do and complete the federal and military government biography and autobiography in development in Eye Spy Community-Military Intelligence (All Three) Business and Commerce Intelligence Education across the board National and International.
3. To prove that you need to pay the American Citizens before I die.
9. To prove that every person in the United States and world is hooked up on an Eye Spy Community-Military Intelligence (All Three) Electronic surveillance hot-wires approved by the United States Congress for the U.S. Government Electronic Surveillance of every citizen in America for government intelligence circumstances will equal to the United States Government's Technocracy.
10. To prove the United States of America has two Governments and they are Government #1 and Government #2 and I own Government # 1..."
"My platform for President of the United States Of America is Criminal Law. It is developed from my Method of Education. I was ordered to create and or invent by the United States Army that is now intact regulating the United States Government protecting it through Military Intelligence Computerization Management a new Disipline I invented and the Administration of Criminal Law Laws across the board."
It is not Cracked.com's policy to endorse a presidential candidate. That said, it's clearly time to change that policy.
When not busy fiddling with his Eye Spy electronic hotwire, Adam runs ScenicAnemia.com.
Glad that none of them will become president? Then check out the guys that did get elected and still did insane shit in 6 Great US Presidents and Their Crimes Against Humanity. Or find out how some of those same presidents were total badasses in The 5 Most Badass Presidents of All-Time.