The 2016 presidential election has approximately 1000 registered candidates so far, including several bizarre names such as Buddy The Cat (Democrat), Beast Mode (Unaffiliated), and Dwight Kurt Schrute (Communist).
While the Federal Election Commission is getting fed up of these prospective spam candidacy entries, one surprising independent candidate managed to spur international attention overnight: Deez Nuts.
In late August, Public Policy Polling reported that Deez Nuts had secured 9% of the vote in the state-wide electorate poll in North Carolina, placing him in third place behind Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. These numbers officially made Deez Nuts the most successful independent candidate for president in two decades.
It turns out that this candidate was fictitiously formulated by 15 year old Brady Olsen, from small-town Wallingford, Iowa, who filed with the Federal Election Committee as a practical joke.
The cheeky name stems from a widely known social media legend that was introduced on Vine, a video-sharing network, and made popular by countless internet memes and videos. Although it’s difficult to read straight-faced coverage about Deez Nuts without cracking a smile, Olsen’s creation of this candidacy was based on a real agenda to criticize the two-party system in the US.
Even though Deez Nuts can’t be taken seriously as a viable presidential candidate, the phenomenon of his rapid popularity makes a loud statement about the state of the American political system and the way Americans elect presidents.
The 2014 Gallup Poll suggests that something is failing in the political status quo. The poll reveals that American faith in the government is at an all-time low, especially with regards to the deadlocked Congress, doubts concerning electoral college, and distrust in governmental agencies. Americans are also beginning to detest the corporate agenda behind large influxes of donations to further political campaigns, which is why alternative candidates like Deez Nuts have capacity for tremendous success.
Many of these issues stem from the fact that the two party-system in America has become long outdated in the modern nation. Every election year, democrats and republicans dimly support the platforms of their parties rather than the solutions demanded by those who elected them.
Deez Nuts’ position stems from sincere concerns about breaking the two-party system, and support for his campaign suggests that many other Americans are also seeking an alternative. The country needs candidates that will act as public servants who stand for solutions, not party platforms.
By receiving unexpected poll results, Presidential candidate Deez Nuts has exposed the ineptitude of the system by using a seemingly absurd cultural meme to create public support.
His unusually large popularity also speaks volumes about the internet’s mediating role in American’s political regime. As the country moves into a modern age of political influence, social media gains weight as a powerful voice.
Deez Nuts is more than a quick laugh. He’s turned into matter of national interest that operates as a rejection of the political status quo. If the current system continues as it is, alternative options for candidacy will continue to popularize through modern methods. Deez Nuts simply cannot be contained.