Presidential Fringe: Questing and Jesting for the Oval Office
Regardless of current events or personal opinions, Americans continue to revere the power and poise of the president of the United States. Yet, for almost as long as this nation has existed, we have simultaneously been forced to tolerate that occasional oddball who, for some reason or another, also decided that it would be a great idea to run for the most important office in the world. Rarely, if ever, have we looked at our fringe candidates for presidency with anything other than a sideways glance or fleeting interest; after all, how seriously can we expect to take someone running for the most powerful seat in the world under the moniker Vermin Supreme, or proudly representing the Flying Saucer Party? It's easy to look at those who have irreverently thrown their hats into the grandest of political rings as little more than attention seekers, hoping to finagle a few days in the sun before rightfully returning back to complete obscurity. However, to simply dismiss these candidates as nothing more than walking punchlines, (un)welcome distractions, and desperate fools looking to stroke their own egos would not be giving them enough credit; in fact, more often than not, these eccentric candidates have come to represent much more than political comic relief. The Presidential Fringe examines, for the first time ever, the complete history of America's relationship with the nefarious-and sometimes hilarious-men, women, and even animals that have thrown their hats into the ring. And while it's always easy to dismiss the political fringe as unworthy of our time and attention, closer examination reveals that, very often, it was in fact these very fringe candidates that planted the seeds from which mainstream candidates later harvested genuine, positive change. In fact, some of the policies, regulations, and behaviors we adhere to today are the direct result of fringe candidacy. Written with Mark Stein's trademark voice and direct, relatable style, The Presidential Fringe explores and explains an American landscape rife with the unlikely, unassuming, unexpected, and (in a few cases) unbalanced presidential hopefuls who, in their own way, have contributed to this nation's founding quest to form a more perfect Union.