Voters who think the Republicans and Democrats have put up eclectic fields of candidates probably haven't been paying attention to the Libertarian presidential hopefuls.
The 11-person race -- which comprises an Internet security pioneer and one-time "person of interest" in a murder case, a B-movie producer, an author, a fellow who wants donations in Bitcoin, another who has run for public office under two different names, one who wants $2,500 or nothing, an anesthesiologist, a unity candidate, a pro-peace candidate who only recently learned of the Libertarians, one who promises to restore ice cream and cake to public school lunchrooms, and a former governor of New Mexico -- will be on full display at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in a debate at the Beau Rivage.
Like Republican Donald Trump, John McAfee, who made a fortune with the Internet security company McAfee Associates, hasn't had much trouble getting press. After he sold his interest in the company, he lived for a few years in Belize until he fled in 2012 when authorities there tried to question him about the death of a neighbor. He was arrested and deported by Guatemalan authorities a few weeks later. He lives in Opelika, Ala. He was back in the news last week when he offered to decrypt an iPhone that had belonged to the San Bernardino terrorist killers after Apple refused to help the feds.
McAfee has said he ideas align with Libertarians, especially his belief government is too big and welfare is one of its biggest problems.
Probably better known in political circles is Gary Johnson, who served as governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003 and ran as a Libertarian for president in 2012. He receive a little less than 1 percent of the vote.
Austin Peterson, who lives in Peculiar, Mo., was the executive producer of "Alongside Night," a story set in the days of the economic collapse of the United States. He's since been a producer on Fox News and runs the news magazine Libertarian Republic. He adheres to standard Libertarian ideals, but also favors issuing Letters of Marque and Reprisal, the long-abandoned practice of letting privateers fight a country's battles on the high seas.
Steve Kerbel's campaign site describes him as a businessman for 30 years but doesn't name any of his businesses. The Colorado Springs candidate also says he wrote "Take 'Everyman' Down: A 12-Step Program to Servitude of the American Populace and Destruction of the American Dream." He would eliminate punishment for victimless crimes, do away with the Federal Reserve and end the income tax in favor of a "procurement tax."
Darryl W. Perry of Birmingham, Ala., is the fellow who wants Bitcoin. He calls for voluntary funding of the government and abolishing the IRS and "all forms of coercive taxation."
Cecil Ince ran for Missouri secretary of state in 2004 under the name Christopher Davis. He, too, wants to get rid of the IRS and "the economic parasite" Federal Reserve and implement a free-market economy with limited federal restrictions. States would run Medicare and Social Security.
Marc Allan Feldman, a native of Washington, D.C., was an anesthesiologist at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore. He would balance the budget, audit all federal agencies and laws, show the effectiveness of charitable organizations and exempt with a tax rebate all donations to "certified effective charities."
Shawna "Pastor Shawna" Sterling of Long Beach, Calif., wants to put ice cream back in schools because "our founding fathers loved ice cream." And she loves the 2nd Amendment.
Derrick Reid of Laguna Beach, Calif., tells potential donors, "If you cannot afford $2,500, please, keep it for yourself." He wants to restore "Americana Greatness" using the knowledge he's gleaned from reading financial and bullion market pundits for 15 years.
Jack Robinson Jr. of Spartanburg, S.C., is the unity candidate. He says he blends the best ideas of all our political parties. He wants a political culture "that rewards solutions and shuns the divisive tactics of wedge-issue politicians." He would end poverty, provide universal health care, equalize income and end world hunger.
Rhett Smith of Eastland County, Texas, is the relative newcomer to the Libertarians. He has been a candidate for office since 2004 and has taken "a pro-peace movement approach but it has been marginally effective."