Vermin Supreme in January 2012
|Education||Gloucester High School|
|Occupation||Performance artist, anarchist, and activist|
|Years active||1984 – present|
Vermin Love Supreme is an American performance artist and activist who is known for running as an alternative candidate in various local, state, and national elections in the United States. Supreme is known for wearing a boot as a hat and carrying a large toothbrush. He has said that if elected President of the United States, he will pass a law requiring people to brush their teeth. He also campaigned in 2012 on a platform of zombie apocalypse awareness (and zombie-based energy plan) andtime travel research, and he promises a free pony for every American. Supreme claims to mock the political system. In 2011, he participated in the Occupy Boston protests.
Supreme, who does not disclose his birth name, was born in and grew up near Boston, Massachusetts and is said to be the oldest of three children. He graduated from Gloucester High School in the 1980s, then moved to Baltimore to attend art school, but he dropped out and began booking bands for underground clubs.
In 1986, he joined the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament in protest of nuclear weapons. From 1987 onward, he began running for public office. He legally changed his name to Vermin Supreme in the 1990s while still in Baltimore.
Supreme discussed his political views in a 2008 promotional video. He stated he was registered as a Republican at that time, but that he leaned toward anarchism. He asserted that libertarians “are just about abolishing the government and letting shit fall where it may”, which he called a mistake; he also asserted that Republicans want to nullify the government, but “offer no alternative to helping people other than charity”. Supreme’s vision of anarchism holds no need for government, but depends on citizens to take responsibility for themselves and for others, citing “mutual aid and support and care to our fellow citizens” as key elements. To that end, Supreme called for a gradual dismantling of the government, while citizens take up the slack. He asserted that Americans do not know anymore how to be citizens, placing some of the blame on schools that teach in “very twisted and jingoistic fashion”.
In the video, Supreme discussed his presidential campaign. He describes his “joke humor” campaign as a response to the lies people are fed by the media and by the government.
Supreme campaigned in the New Hampshire Republican primary in 2008. He received 41 votes (0.02%) in the New Hampshire primary. According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), he also received 43 votes, nationally, in the general election.
The following are some of the milestones in this campaign:
- April 14, 2011: Participated in the First Debate of the New Election Cycle at the IGLO Dissidents’ Convention which also includedJimmy McMillan, Jill Stein and others.
- October 29, 2011: He qualified to be listed on the 2012 Democratic Party primary ballot in New Hampshire.
- October 29, 2011: He participated in a satirical debate against a representative of the campaign of deceased British occultistAleister Crowley.
- December 19, 2011: He participated in the “Lesser-Known Democratic Candidates Presidential Forum”, at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College and “glitterbombed” fellow candidate Randall Terry.
- January 3, 2012: He was a candidate in the Iowa Democratic caucuses and received 1.4% of the votes.
- January 12, 2012: In the Democratic Primary in New Hampshire, Supreme received 833 votes. (Barack Obama won the primary with 49,080 votes)
- February 2, 2012: Supreme participated in a live debate with Republican fringe candidate Jimmy McMillan in honor of Groundhog Day
- In May 2012, he visited the second largest regional high school in Maine to give a speech about his campaign style to a government class.
- July 14, 2012: Supreme made an appearance with The Yes Men at 2600: The Hacker Quarterly‘s HOPE Number Nine conference during the Saturday keynote.
- August 25, 2012: Supreme announced his new political party, the Free Pony Party, and that he has chosen fellow fringe opponent Jimmy McMillan as his running mate. Conversely, McMillan stated he was still running for president on his own Rent Is Too Damn High platform, and that Supreme would be McMillan’s running mate.
- October 5, 2012: He participated in a debate hosted by Peter Schiff in the Peter Schiff Radio Show, which featured a panel of overlooked presidential candidates includingJimmy McMillan on the Rent Is Too Damn High Party ticket; Santa Claus, independent write-in candidate, and Edgar Lawson, write-in Republican presidential candidate.
Supreme is making another presidential run in 2016. He has embarked on a tour of 20 cities to build support for his campaign and is seeking to qualify for matching funds from the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
Supreme co-wrote and stars in the 2009 film Vote Jesus: The Chronicles of Ken Stevenson in which he poses as a right-wing political candidate to gain access into the world of American fundamentalism.
In 2012, Supreme starred in a web series entitled Learnin’ With Vermin that uses a fictional version of his presidential campaign as a platform to teach political concepts such as voting methods.
A documentary following Supreme on the 2012 campaign trail and exploring his life and work as an activist and political prankster called Who Is Vermin Supreme? An Outsider Odyssey was funded through a Kickstarter campaign and premiered at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival on April 9, 2014. The film was directed by Minneapolis-based filmmaker Steve Onderick and features founder of the Rent is Too Damn High Party, Jimmy McMillan, and Boston-based singer-songwriter and comedian Rob Potylo. 
Supreme has also collaborated with performance artist, activist, and musician Rob Potylo in the web series Quiet Desperation. 
|Who Is Vermin Supreme? An Outsider Odyssey||2014||himself||documentary|
|Learnin’ With Vermin||2012||himself||educational|
|Vote Jesus: The Chronicles of Ken Stevenson (documentary)||2009||Ken Stevenson||film|
|2008 Uncut||2008||himself||TV series|
|Winning New Hampshire||2004||himself||documentary|