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Politics as Unusual: Six Strange U.S. Political Parties

These days, Americans are eager for <a href="http://">links london</a> a change from politics as usual. According to a USA Today/Gallup poll from late August 2010, 58 percent of Americans want a third major party to rise to power and challenge the domination of Democrats and Republicans. The rise <a href="http://">links of london jewellery</a> of the Tea Party movement over the past year clearly demonstrates that. But while Tea Party devotees are often criticized for their extreme views, they’re not even close to the craziest third party on the political block. The United States has hosted a surprising number <a href="http://">links of london sweetie bracelet</a> of fringe groups that are determined to get their unique (to put it politely) off-the-wall opinions heard. From yesterday’s Surprise Party to today’s The Rent’s Too Damn High Party, bizarre political groups have been attempting to shake up the system—and succeeding at raising many eyebrows—for years.1. The Surprise Party
Back in 1940, Gracie Allen, wife and <a href="http://">links of london silver</a> comedy partner of George Burns, ran for president under what she called the Surprise Party. It started as a joke announcement on their radio show, but the publicity stunt gained momentum when Allen toured the country and gave speeches about her party’s platform, which included being proud of the national <a href="http://">links of london necklace</a> debt because “it’s the biggest in the world!” She withdrew her name from consideration after a surprisingly successful candidacy (one town actually wanted to elect her as mayor if she didn’t win), but thousands of people still wrote her name on the ballot in the real election.2. The American Vegetarian Party
John Maxwell, an <a href="http://">links of london earrings</a> eighty-five-year-old vegetarian restaurant owner, and Symon Gould, an editor for the publication American Vegetarian, ran for president and vice president, respectively, in 1948, as members of the Vegetarian Party, which was formed <a href="http://">links of london stores</a> in 1947. Not surprisingly, its platform was the promotion of vegetarian ethics. For example, Maxwell and Gould wanted to limit the amount of time farmers could spend raising animals for slaughter. They didn’t think animals should be used for food or fashion. The <a href="http://">links of london friendship bracelets</a> party pushed presidential candidates in the next four elections, but when Gould, one of the founders and the man chosen for the 1964 ticket, died in 1963, the American <a href="http://">links of london sweetie rings</a> Vegetarian Party fizzled as well.3. Youth International Party