If our options for president in 2016 are going to be the same as in 1992, we’ll need that third choice yet again.
Immediately after the 2012 Election, media outlets were already speculating about a Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton presidential race in 2016. In fact, Politico gleefully did so only a few days after, writing that the two “loom the largest over their respective parties.” MSNBC has since noted how cozy the Bush and Clinton families have become, and well-connected political insider David Gergen said Americans should “sleep well” if it’s Bush vs. Clinton in 2016. Luckily some people have more sense -- The Week pointed out that Wall Street would “love” a Bush vs. Clinton race, and the matchup is “the perfect way to make millennials hate politics even more.”
Now that Jeb is clearly pursuing the Republican nomination and Hillary can easily lock up the Dems’, I have to admit I agree with The Week -- a Bush vs. Clinton presidential race in 2016 would definitely make me hate politics even more. In fact, the only thing that would make me not hate politics even more would be if Ross Perot’s son ran in the race as well to complete the perfect 1992-political-nostalgia trifecta. Not to mention the name Perot has always been better for the third-political-party brand. Perot earned my vote in our third grade class’ mock election in ‘92, and he earned nearly 19 percent of the popular vote, which was almost 20 million votes total. The mainstream media didn’t ignore Perot either -- he was the last third party presidential candidate to be allowed in the televiseddebates. After ‘92, the Commission on Presidential Debates cracked down on the participants, citing ambiguous rules like required poll numbers, even though most polls never mentioned third party candidates. This was something the Gary Johnson presidential campaign fought against in 2012 without success.
But with Perot, access didn’t seem to be a problem. This is why it’s so important that if it is Bush vs. Clinton in 2016, the most viable member of the Perot family, Ross, Jr., should enter the race as soon as possible. Not only does he share his dad’s name, but he took over Perot Systems and is worth a reported $1.4 billion (so he’d have the same access to those sweet Perot funds.) Plus, in a race between a brother, a wife and a son, the son would at least be the most appealing to younger millennial voters. The fact that Ross, Jr. was also a walking horse champion as a teen and an Air Force veteran who chaired the effort to build the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, doesn’t hurt. Yes, if the race is Bush vs.Clinton in 2016, Ross Perot, Jr. would be the ideal candidate to run against them.
And even if Perot can’t run against Bush and Clinton in 2016, I do think Americans’ desire for a viable third party candidate would remain the same. Despite the obvious damage that could be done by another President Bush or President Clinton, a Bush vs. Clinton race in 2016 would likely wake up voters to make them realize they’ve been duped by the two-party system once again. Whether it’s Perot, Nader, Johnson or -- (gasp) Ventura! -- we need at least one brave political figure to step up and make sure we won’t hate politics even more.
Watch this episode of Off The Grid for Jesse Ventura's take on the 2016 elections:
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