The Libertarian Party had a chance to achieve some measure of respectability. The Democrats and Republicans are about to nominate their most problematic candidates, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump respectively. The Libertarians have nominated candidates for president and vice president that, albeit former Republicans, have some executive experience. Gary Johnson was once governor of New Mexico and William Weld was governor of Massachusetts, so they have actually run something. To be sure, being libertarians, they have some problematic views, but so to Donald and Hillary.

Then, a candidate for chairman of the Libertarian Party, a bearded, sizable gentleman named James Weeks, demonstrated what freedom means to him by stripping to his thong underwear and dancing about the podium. CSpan viewers rarely have if ever seen such a display on that network’s public affairs programming.

Say what you will about Donald Trump, with his vulgarity and braggadocio, he is not likely to allow such a display to happen during the Republican National Convention that will nominate him as the first businessman presidential nominee since Wendell Willkie. Of course, if he did, the star attraction would not be a bearded fat guy. Trump knows how to put on a tasteful show, after all.

In the meantime, the Libertarians have a number of tasks to perform if they wish to be a serious contender in Election 2016 and not, as they have in every other election year, and asterisk.

First, they have to maintain enough support in the polls to gain an admittance to the presidential debates with Trump and Clinton. Then they have to win enough electoral votes to win the election or, at least, throw the election to the House. The first is remotely possible. The second is unlikely in the physical universe we happen to occupy.

Things will get even more complicated if Bernie Sanders decides to walk from the Democrats and run on the Green Party ticket. Then the American presidential election has every potential of becoming like something that usually occurs in Canada or a European country, with multiple parties, some of them quite on the fringe, duking it out.

The United States experienced something similar in 1948, when a Dixiecrat named Sen. Strom Thurmond and a Progressive named Henry Wallace competed with President Harry Truman and Gov. Tom Dewey for the presidency. Despite the presence of two high-profile independents, Truman won by a plurality the popular vote and a healthy majority of the electoral votes. A similar result is likely for 2016, though making such a firm prediction considering what has happened so far may be dangerous.