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  • Sat, 23, Apr, 2016 - 5:00:AM

Gary Johnson for president? Who?

With the emergence of Deez Nutz as a viable electoral candidate, talk of Ted Cruz moonlighting as the Zodiac Killer, and just Donald Trump in general, the presidential race of 2016 is shaping up to be the weirdest so far.

So it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that Omegle.com, a website which matches users across the world according to their interests – but which, if we’re being real, is better known for its forest of penises – should choose to wade into the political fray.

If you hop on over to their main portal, you’ll notice that proudly emblazoned on the homepage is a banner proclaiming ‘Gary Johnson 2016’ accompanied by the slogan #LegalizeFreedom. Naturally, this has left a lot of people scratching their heads, mostly because no one’s ever actually heard of Gary Johnson. What gives?

After doing some digging, it turns out this isn’t the first time the website has peddled its political agenda to its hundreds of thousands of daily users. As far back as 2012, users took screenshots of messages which randomly popped up in their chat windows. Apparently, not only will Gary Johnson legalize weed, he’ll bring American troops home and cut taxes, too!

A little background: Omegle was founded by Leif K-Brooks, a college student from the sleepy town of Brattleboro in Windham County, Vermont (though his Twitter bio lists his address as Portland, Oregon). Next to nothing is known about him, but after trawling through pages of search results, I dredged up an obscure listing which mentions a hefty donation on behalf of one Mr K-Brooks of $2500 to Gary Johnson’s campaign during the last election cycle. Not bad for a teenaged entrepreneur living out of his dorm.

Which brings us to Johnson himself. As the governor of New Mexico for two terms, right up until 2003, he was known as Veto Johnson (as far as street names go, it could be worse) due to his extensive track record of using his departmental influence to reject pieces of legislation before they could hope to pass.

That was before he announced his intention to become a presidential nominee for the Libertarians both in 2012 and 2016. According to their fact sheet, the Libertarians – so often ignored in favour of their much larger siblings in bipartisan government – vehemently oppose censorship in all its forms, as well as restrictions on the ownership of firearms, anti-drug laws, and prohibitive immigration policies. They’re generally pro-abortion and pro-LGBT, if only because what individuals decide to do in their own homes is their private business. In layman’s terms, they’re steadfast constitutionalists who don’t believe the powers-that-be should stick their nose in the affairs of American citizens.

While it’s not clear exactly which of the Libertarians’ policies attracted the attention of the brain behind one of the most visited sites on the web (according to Alexa, Omegle’s ranking fluctuates somewhere in the low 1000s), with the results of the most recent survey showing Johnson is polling in the double digits, we might well be hearing a lot more from the up-and-coming candidate – particularly if the Commission on Presidential Debates allows him to bump shoulders with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the debate stage, something which remains to be seen.

Who knows? Anything’s possible. At this point in 2016, [many] stranger things have happened.

TAGGED IN

  • US /
  • Presidential Race 2016 /
  • Election /
  • Politics /
  • Gary Johnson /
  • Donald Trump /
  • Libertarians /

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