In the latest sign of the apocalypse, recent polls conducted by Public Policy Polling in North Carolina, Iowa and Minnesota had presidential candidate “Deez Nuts” gaining the support of approximately 9 percent of potential voters. Deez Nuts was revealed to be a 15-year-old Iowan named Brady Olson, which could make some people feel bad — whatever you did at 15, it was not as impressive as polling at 9 percent in key swing states.
Of course, Olson will not be able to serve as president of the United States due to his immaturity, although that has not stopped Donald Trump yet. The reason he was able to register as a presidential candidate is due to the Federal Election Commission’s low standards, which have allowed the list of declared candidates to be one of the funniest pages on the internet. Here you can find the filings of legitimate candidates like Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders and Scott Walker nestled among a sea of ridiculous joke candidates like “Limberbutt McCubbins,” “Obi Wan Kenobi” and “Martin O’Malley.”
It is scary but not surprising to see Deez Nuts poll so highly. There are always people who will vote for a third party out of principle, and even more who would not be able to resist backing Deez Nuts. He got onto the ballot by simply asking Jim Williams, who ran the poll, to be put on. Williams thought “this is something Public Policy Polling would do,” and I am happy to say that is a direct quote from Williams.
What really matters about this news saga is that the polarizing political atmosphere of our country today causes people to support Deez Nuts. This is unfortunate because the next president will probably be either Clinton or whoever wins out of the twelve thousand people running for the Republican ticket — not Deez Nuts. That is more than just unfortunate for your friend who will not stop sharing Bernie Sanders posts on Facebook.
Support for Deez Nuts is a bad sign.
We have become so divided as a nation that we seemed to have lost our ability to respect the viewpoint of the either side. All the curated news feeds and cable TV stations have allowed us to retreat into comfortable holes of confirmation bias, where we solely hear voices from people who agree with us. If you really looked at what each candidate stands for, you might see that you agree with the other side more than you would think.
We have also lost our sense of healthy debate in this country. Instead of listening to the other side and learning from their perspective, we get more entrenched in our views. We need to stop looking at politics as two sides fighting and more as Americans sharing their views to make our country better.
A 15-year-old Iowan has successfully shown the extent of political frustration in the U.S. by giving people a candidate that does not come from one of two camps, and it’s bad news. We cannot let Deez Nuts tear this country further apart.