The Viral Success of Vermin Supreme

As the New York mayoral race heats up, we look to the man with a plan and a boot on his head.

When the first presidential vote that you cast goes to a guy who would lose to George W. Bush, the hurt and cynicism takes forever to fade. It takes a truly charismatic leader to bring you back to the table. One with a grand vision, and aspirations, one with a sonorous speaking voice, one who can confidently pull-off wearing a boot on his head.

Yes, I was a big Vermin Supreme fan. He campaigns as “a friendly fascist, a tyrant you can trust.” He’s a candidate who will make brushing your teeth mandatory, but also one whose entitlement programs start and end with giving everyone in America a pony.

And even though he’s never appeared on any ballot I’ve been given, I remain confident that he’ll appear in the next election cycle and the one after that, and the one after that. Supreme has been running for various offices since the 1980s, and the Internet’s gaze has only given him more power. It was with this rising Internet fame in mind, that Motherboard met up with Supreme in 2012.

Supreme hits an Internet sweet spot by being weird looking and easily meme-able and also incredibly savvy—his 2012 campaign appealed to the all-powerful Brony lobby and centered on preparing for the zombie apocalypse, right when zombie mania was chewing all of our respective faces.

His perennial campaigning also hits politics on the level of a cynicism and frustration with the electoral system that spans all parties. Supreme might be spouting off about the threat of flying monkeys and how he’ll give you a pony, but he also promises to lie to you, and promises that a vote for Vermin Supreme is a vote thrown away. In a Socratic fashion, at least Supreme is clearly aware of his own ridiculousness. Is Newt Gingrich?

Even though we’re in between elections, national politics have devolved into a constant campaign–every vote in Congress is an opportunity to grandstand in lieu of compromising and actually, I dunno, legislating. So when it gets to feel like it’s just too much, remember Vermin Supreme, and take bitter solace in knowing that “I will lie to you,” is probably the most honest thing you’ve ever heard a politician say.