Elections have always been interesting, but the presidential race of 2016 has been absolutely ludicrous. Sure, no one has handed out free hard cider like Harrison did in 1840 (can we bring that tradition back, please?), but the amount of ridiculousness that has surfaced on all sides (not just Democrat and Republican) has made this seem less like an election and more like a mockumentary written by the creators of Best in Show, or the next season of Veep. Adding to the ludicrousness is the fact that this election is taking place at a time when everything is uploaded to social media–and we do mean everything. Bernie Sanders’s encounter with a bird was spread like wildfire mere seconds after it happened, and everyone’s Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Tumblr blew up with pictures of Hillary Clinton watching balloons fall when she was announced the Democratic nominee; and let’s not even get into the unwitting meme lord Donald Drumpf. This isn’t even the end of the line; who knows what will happen as the horrified country watches a billionaire and a former First Lady race to prove who is the better replacement for a black man.
Though the election is far from over, we’ve had some pretty bizarre things come of it so far. Let’s take a moment to look back at some of those oddities, whether they were hilarious, terrifying, or somewhere in between. From Zodiac Killer Ted Cruz to Tim Kaine’s terrible impression of Trump, this election is one for the books.
15. The People
A story is only as good as the characters in it, and boy, are these people crazy. Though Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Lawrence Lessig, Martin O’Malley, and Jim Webb are all relatively tame, we’ve also had to deal with a bunch of…well, not-so-tame folks. Or too tame, in the case of Lincoln Chafee, who didn’t seem to have a clue about what was going on during his brief run. We’ve seen former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who, while an undoubtedly brilliant surgeon, has very little political savvy. Even Governor Chris Christie, an active politician, seemed an unlikely candidate.
This isn’t even to mention Independent-turned-Democrat Bernie Sanders, who eventually fell out of the race. It is now down to former First Lady Hillary Clinton and celebrity Donald Trump, who once had a show where he fired people with his children. This race is absolutely insane.
Speaking of Trump, let’s just take a moment to appreciate how ridiculous his campaign is.
First, the fact that he apparently meets the qualifications for being a president. This is a man who has absolutely zero political experience. And it’s not as if he’s particularly civic-minded; Trump comes from a wealthy family and outsources hundreds of jobs each year to Asian countries–not America. He considers a million dollars to be a small amount of money. John Mulaney is not far off the mark when he says that Trump is like what a hobo imagines a rich man to be, and he is every bit as cartoonish. This isn’t even to mention all of the ridiculous things Trump says; whether he’s talking about how hot his daughter is or how he doesn’t want to pass judgment on the KKK, everything that comes out of his mouth and his Twitter account seem too ludicrous to be real. Even Republicans don’t like him, and this election may well see a huge number of abstentions from the voting process.
It wouldn’t be a presidential race without some old white men, but Bernie Sanders is one old white man we’ll have a hard time forgetting. Initially running as Independent, Bernie made the switch to Democrat to gain a stronger platform. Bernie supporters, sometimes known as Bernie Bros, flocked to his campaign and came up with the slogan “Feel the Bern”. The slogan showed up almost everywhere–hats, shirts, bumper stickers, you name it. Most annoying of all, it became a hashtag that Bernie Bros used on every single post. Especially popular was the sparrow that landed on his podium during one of his speeches, giving him (and the bird) the nickname “Birdie Sanders”.
Even though Bernie has officially dropped out of the race and given his support to Hillary, Bernie Bros are still hopeful that he can be the next president. Many are planning to ignore his request to vote blue and write him in–because that worked really well in every previous election ever.
12. Tim Kaine’s Impression of Trump
Hillary’s pick for VP was not much of a surprise; more center than left, the senator from Virginia is a good way for the Democrat Clinton to also sway the Republican voters who don’t want Trump but haven’t fallen in love with Hillary, either. Kaine has the background and experience necessary for a VP, but unlike current Vice President Joe Biden, Tim Kaine doesn’t have much of a funny bone. At least, not one that’s actually funny. After announcing his appointment as Hillary’s VP, Kaine lay into Donald Trump–with a significantly awful impression. “Believe me,” he kept saying in an unrecognizable of Trump’s timbre. “Believe me, I’m gonna build a wall on the Mexican border and make Mexico pay for it, believe me.” While it takes very little effort to make Trump sound ridiculous, Kaine’s impression fell oddly flat and only made him sound uncertain about what he was getting into. We’re sure Kaine will prove he’s worth his salt in the days to come, but in the meantime, maybe he should lay off the Donald Trump impressions.
11. Jeb Bush Asking People To Clap
Dear, sweet Jeb Bush. While trying to follow in the footsteps of his father and brother, Jeb’s campaign just couldn’t keep up with the rat race between Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. While Jeb would have and should have made an excellent Republican nominee, conservatives ultimately decided that his more savory qualities were not as fun as Donald Drumpf’s less savory characteristics. Knowing that the New Hampshire primaries were going to make or break his campaign, Jeb ended a speech by looking at the attendees and saying, “Please clap.” No doubt feeling the desperation creep in, poor Jeb would fall out of the race not long after.
10. Bernie Bros Walking Out Of The DNC
Bernie Bros have been very vocal about just where they’re throwing their support. With many saying “Bernie or Bust!”, they have been adamant that they will never give another nominee their support. With #BernieOrBust and #NeverHillary or #NeverClinton taking over the Facebook and Twitter pages of every Bernie Bro, it came as a nasty shock to many of them when Bernie declared his support for Hillary Clinton. Sure, it was a disappointment, and we can’t fault Bernie supporters for being disheartened. But instead of supporting his decision, so-called Bernie “supporters” walked out of the DNC during his speech. Even while Bernie was stressing that he supported Hillary because he didn’t want to see a Trump presidency, Bernie Bros turned their backs on their icon and walked out.
The bizarrest part of all (as if that wasn’t bizarre enough already) is that Bernie Bros still plan to write him in! Or, at the very least, not take his heartfelt request by refusing to vote for Hillary. Some have even declared that they are voting for Trump, leading us to wonder how much they actually understood about Bernie’s campaign.
9. Chris Christie Regretting Supporting Trump
Chris Christie’s campaign was pretty much doomed as soon as it began. Unpopular to begin with, the New Jersey Governor barely had enough momentum to continue, so it came as a surprise to no one when he dropped out of the presidential race. As is standard of candidates who didn’t quite make it, Chris Christie decided to throw in his support for another, stronger platform; for whatever reason, Christie decided that Donald Trump was the person he wanted to support.
That’s not the crazy part (or maybe, it is). What’s crazy is that Christie seemed to immediately regret backing Trump. The look on his face when Trump acknowledged his support looked terrified, as if Trump had blackmailed him into the endorsement. We know it’s pretty unlikely Trump would blackmail the New Jersey governor for an endorsement, especially considering Trump has never doubted his ability to succeed for a moment, but we can’t help wondering if Governor Christie is okay. Do you need us to call someone, Chris? Blink once for yes and twice for no.
8. Trump Encouraging People to Shoot Hillary
In a speech given at a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, Trump said that Hillary wants to abolish the second amendment. “…and there’s nothing you can do…Although the second amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”
Like seriously, what?!
The animosity between Trump and Hillary is no secret. Trump has obsessed over Hillary and derided her at every opportunity. And in fairness, she is now all that stands between him and the White House; if she wins, it’ll be four years before Donald can run again, and maybe by then conservatives will have regained their senses and he won’t get so far in the race. But disliking your political opponent and implying they need to be killed are two very, very different things. Crazed Trump fans feeling possessive over their right to bear arms may take his suggestion and martyr themselves for what they feel is a just political cause.
7. When Anti-Brexiters Chewed Out Trump
The United Kingdom shocked the world when they voted to leave the European Union and become an independent entity. With mixed reactions all over the world, Brexit has become a major source of controversy. While Great Britain largely voted to leave, Scotland was deeply distressed at their unwilling separation from the EU. In fact, when the subject of Scottish independence was put to the vote, the only reason many Scots voted to stay in the U.K. was because they wanted to continue being part of the EU. Even though the majority of Scots voted against Brexit, as part of the U.K. they are now unwillingly being torn away from the EU.
Donald Trump didn’t seem to get this memo, because when he visited Scotland on a golfing retreat, he congratulated the country on separating from the EU. Scots were furious at his ignorance and called him out on Twitter, using more and more colorful and imaginative tweets to let him know just what they thought of his congratulations.
6. The Very Existence of The Clintons
But really, this needs to be talked about.
Bill Clinton had one of the most notorious presidencies in U.S. History, almost entirely because he had an affair with the young White House staffer Monica Lewinsky and denied having sexual relations with that woman. Because of the Lewinsky scandal, Bill would become only the second president in this nation’s history to be impeached. He’s mostly led a quiet life since then, wisely choosing to avoid the public eye.
Hillary has not been so cautious. The former First Lady has actively worked to put a second Clinton in office; for a while, many believed that she would become the Democratic nominee rather than Barack Obama. Now that the primaries have ended and the DNC has come to a close, Hillary has become the Democratic nominee and may very well become the next president. What’s extraordinary about this isn’t just that she’s a woman–it’s the fact that she’s a former First Lady. Elizabeth Warren and Jill Stein, among others, would be incredible enough were they to be presidents, but HRC has been in the White House before. The image of a wife taking up her husband’s mantle is an old one, but it usually happens after the wife has lost her husband, not after he’s been impeached for not having sexual relations.
5. Where People Are Throwing Their Votes
Not everyone is going to firmly like the Democratic nominee or the Republican nominee; there is always going to be some division. It’s happened before and it will happen again, but the way it’s happening in this election is unprecedented. Many people of all political parties are staunchly against Trump and Hillary, to a point where they are finding the most ludicrous alternatives. Many are flocking to Gary Johnson and Jill Stein as third party voters, even though third parties have traditionally never gotten the nomination. Even Teddy Roosevelt attempted to form his own party in the 1912 election and failed, and if Teddy Roosevelt can’t do it, nobody can.
Many disappointed Bernie Bros are planning to write in Bernie Sanders, or vote for his enemy, Donald Trump; and many voters are choosing to simply not vote at all. What this means for the election, we don’t know, but it certainly doesn’t look good; this election may be history-making for more than one reason.
4. Ted Cruz Being Savage AF
When Ted Cruz didn’t quite make the cut for Republican nominee, everyone expected him to use his platform to support Trump. Whatever their earlier disagreements, everyone expected Cruz to support the common Republican cause. Everyone was all set for his appearance at the Republican National Convention where he would inevitably give his support to Donald Trump. He’d even signed a pledge and reportedly showed his speech to Trump two hours earlier.
And then, in a ruthless move the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the Red Wedding, Cruz shocked everyone by decrying Donald Trump and telling people not to vote for him. As soon as Trump supporters realized where the speech was headed, they began to shout “We want Trump!” and booed him off the stage. Cruz didn’t seem to care. Ted Cruz, the man who looks like Kevin from The Office, pulled a Kim Kardashian-esque betrayal and absolutely slayed. Four for you, Ted Cruz; you go, Ted Cruz.
3. That One Guy Who Climbed Trump Tower
Earlier this week, a Virginia man captivated the media’s attention when he attempted to climb New York City’s Trump Tower by suction-cupping his way to the top. Starting on the fifth floor, the man eventually made it to the twenty-first floor before police were able to capture him. The whole thing took several hours, during which time law enforcement officials were unable to safely get hold of the man. Though many initially hoped the man was making an anti-Trump statement, he admitted after being caught that the reason he’d made the climb was because he loved Trump and wanted to meet him at the top. We’re not sure which is more ridiculous; the fact that this guy thought that was an achievable goal or the fact that it took so long to catch him. Either way, you have to admire his determination. No word yet on whether or not Trump will meet with the man.
2. Zodiac Killer Ted Cruz
One of the most bizarre things this election by far has been the Zodiac Killer Ted Cruz meme. For those who are sadly unaware (and boy, have you been missing out), a joking tweet made in 2013 says “Alert: Ted Cruz is speaking!! His speech is titled ‘This is the Zodiac Speaking’.” In 2014, another tweet said that Ted Cruz’s deathbed confession would be “I am the Zodiac killer”, followed by the hashtag #TedCruzIsTheZodiacKiller. A facebook page dedicated to the joke popped up in 2015, and social media users everywhere used obscure details about Cruz’s life and the Zodiac victims to draw parallels (such as the fact that Cruz was born in a town named Calgary and the Zodiac Killer’s first two victims were named Cal and Gary). Despite the fact that Ted Cruz is too young to have committed the murders (or at least, the first murders), fans of the fake theory have found justification for pretty much everything. The theory gained so much attention that Larry Willmore even mentioned it at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner.
1. Ted Cruz Saying He’d Never Have Sex With Donald Trump
Out of all the weird things that have happened this election, this has gotta take the cake. In the year of our Lord two thousand and sixteen, a man running for the office of President of the United States publicly assured voters that he will not copulate with Trump. No, really. In a press conference earlier this year he said, “Let me be clear: Donald Trump may be a rat, but I have no desire to copulate with him.”
What does this mean? Why did he say this? Does Ted Cruz normally copulate with rats but he has to make an exception for Donald Trump? Is this an extended metaphor saying that even if Cruz had sex with rats, he wouldn’t have sex with Rat! Trump because he’s that disgusting? What is going on here, Ted Cruz? No matter he didn’t become the Republican nominee; we can’t have a man who has sex with rats in office.
This statement by Zodiac Killer Ted Cruz was made around the same time the National Enquirer made allegations that Cruz had had extramarital affairs, which Cruz called “complete and utter lies”. It appears that Ted does not consider rats to be extramarital affairs. That sounds like something the Zodiac Killer would say.