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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Not keen on Biden or Trump? Vote for ‘Literally Anybody Else’

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“Literally, nice to meet you,” said the one presidential hopeful who many voters might feel sums up their feelings about American politics this election year.

“My name is ‘Literally Anybody Else,’ and I’m running for president of the United States,” explained the 35-year-old teacher from Texas.

The wannabe politician formerly known as Dustin Ebey has legally changed his name to express his frustration over the 2024 White House rematch between elderly foes Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

It is an eye-catching stunt that presents a lot of bureaucratic challenges, but he does have serious issues to raise – explaining that he and his wife can’t afford to buy a home on their teacher’s salaries.

“As it stands right now, my generation and younger, we struggle with finding housing. We struggle with these basic things that 20, 30 years ago weren’t really a concern,” he told AFP while on the campaign trial.

“When I looked at American politics, I didn’t feel like it was an accurate representation of not just me as an individual, but as America as a whole.

“You cannot tell me that those two are the best that we can do.”

Ebey, a middle-school math teacher, has policies on education, crime, health care and tax, but says he was really looking for a way to show the need “to hit reset on American politics.”

So he legally changed his name in court, and is collecting signatures in a longshot bid to get himself on the ballot.

Last weekend, he arrived at a park in downtown Dallas, set up his table and diligently arranged pens and paper to gather signatures.

Wearing a T-shirt promoting his campaign, he brandished his driver’s licence to prove his name change is for real.

Some people eye him with curiosity, others laugh and take photos. He tries to address them, though he’s not always lucky.

Once in a while, he converts an instant fan.

“He’s just a voice to say ‘Yeah! We want anyone else besides these two.’ That’s why I’m voting for this guy,” said Brandon Rios, 28, who works in the financial sector.

“Anybody could get up there and do a better job than Donald Trump or Biden at this point. That’s my take.”

Vincent James, 68, retired, was more downbeat, saying “I appreciate what he’s doing but I don’t think it’s going to be very effective.”

In Texas, it takes more than 113,000 signatures from voters who have not taken part in party primaries to add a candidate to the presidential ballot.

If he doesn’t make the cut in Texas or elsewhere, it won’t be for lack of trying. And there is a Plan B.

Many US states let voters write the name of the person they want to elect onto the paper ballot.

Then, conceivably, it is on to victory, the inauguration, and life in the White House.

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