Internet-famous political satirist and presidential candidate Vermin Supreme visited the Athens courthouse Friday to promise students free ponies and mandatory toothbrushing.
Supreme is a perennial presidential candidate and has run as an independent Republican, Democrat and most recently as a Libertarian in 2020. His speeches consist mostly of nonsense and so do his outfits.
Friday, Supreme donned his famous boot on the head, a blue T-shirt, jeans, a sparkly American vest that had seen considerable wear, about six or seven ties and a green, white and purple tutu.
Supreme is on his PresiDENTAL Ambitions Tour consisting of 11 cities, five in Ohio, one in Pennsylvania and five more in New York. The Athens speech was paired with a performance at the Cannabis Museum, which held a fundraising dinner for Vermin’s campaign rally for $20 a plate.
He made his way to the courthouse at exactly 4 p.m. and walked triumphantly with a banjo player by his side, a pony and about 20 total Ohio University students and Athens residents.
He started his speech by chanting his four signature edicts: time travel, zombie power, mandatory toothbrushing and, of course, free ponies, though Supreme said university students care most about the interstate roller coaster.
Nyx, the pony Supreme spoke beside Friday, was dressed in a Wonder Woman cape to show the power of ponies, which Supreme wants to build an economy based off of. He said it cannot happen until scientists can make ponies very, very small to exchange for goods and services.
Next, they will hand ponies out to every citizen which will create pony equity in those ponies because once you own something, “You own it and it’s yours.”
“We will use this equity in order to borrow against it,“ he said. “"We are going to create a class of pony bank debt. That's right friends, everybody a pony millionaire. Then, we will create a big, massive pony bubble in the economy and, as you know, bubbles are an amazing thing to have in your economy. It means that everybody is making money.”
He performed the “Theme Song of America.” The crowd had grown to about 60 people by this point and he encouraged them to put their hand over their vital organ of choice and began making absurd noises for a minute and a half into a megaphone. Many times, he used feedback from the microphone to make it more disorienting.
He encouraged the crowd to go to the Cannabis Museum dinner. After the speech, Supreme said he supported Issue 2, which if passed, would legalize recreational marijuana use and cultivation because it would stop many people from being arrested. Still, he said his anarchist leanings make him reluctant to support bills like this because they let the government regulate it too much.
“I can see the attractiveness of the tax revenues and that’s why they want to do it … but, why not just end the war on drugs,” Supreme said.
Damon Krane, Athens mayoral candidate in November, was also in attendance handing out fridge magnets, talking with attendees and making sure people were registered to vote before the Oct. 10 deadline.
“I think he uses this absurdist street theater to try to get people interested in some more serious issues,“ Krane said. "I think that's a positive thing."
Supreme’s approach may not win him many votes but Supreme reminds us that it does not matter at all.
“Vote early, vote often and remember friends, a vote for Vermin Supreme is a vote completely thrown away,” Supreme said.