The options that the two parties have put up, as usual are terrible. Which grabby, racist, old white man to vote for? While the Republicans and Democrats continue into entropy, I present a 3rd option: Dr. Jo Jorgensen.

You can read where she stands on the issues here better than I can re-explain them. If you are on board with 70% of her issues, then I suggest you cast your vote for Jo Jorgensen in November. She is the nominee for the Libertarian Party, whose platform you may also want to review.

But I sense hesitation. Perhaps you’ve always voted R or D. Concerned you’ll cause The Other One to win, who should not? Want to vote for a winner? Don’t want to waste your vote? Let me address these concerns below point by point.

If you are Conservative

Hey! I had to get your attention, but while I have it I have to tell you that Trump is not a conservative. He is a New York Democrat, always has been. If I were a conservative, I would be very very concerned about the direction the GOP is heading under Trump. This used to be the party (ostensibly) of smaller government, free trade, and traditional values. Trump has erected trade barriers and tariffs in the name of mercantilism, he has ballooned the size, scope, and spending of government, and does not demonstrate any behavior becoming of the old moral majority. If there had been a proper primary I would have said to put up almost anyone else. But it is too late for that. Former Republican Justin Amash has recognized this disconnect and switched to the Libertarian Party, and you are welcome too. Some of our platform will be harder to swallow, but if you can reach a passing grade, come on over and keep working on the rest.

If you are Liberal

“It’s alright we have moderate Joe Biden to contrast against Trump’s insanity. He has some problems, but he’ll do.” But there are some really really big problems with Joe Biden. Namely, by his spoken and voted record he is not much of a liberal at all. Joe was against busing and school integration, he claims responsibily for the paper that became the USA Patriot Act, is responsible for the 93 Crime Bill which further criminalized blackness in America, still supports the Drug War which is racist in conception and application (See The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander) voted for the Iraq War, has numerous racist gaffes (are they just gaffes?), is an accused sexual predator, and … well you get the picture. He has being Obama’s VP to lean on, and seems to support what ever the center of the Democratic Party wants right now- but as someone who comes from the anti-war left, I can tell you that you can do better. The Libertarian Party has supported almost all of Black Lives Matter’s policy positions since the 70s when it was founded, is against the wars abroad, will stop the Drug War, is functionally pro-choice, supports Sex Workers, stands with the LGBTQQI+ community (and has before is was fashionable). If you are liberal, you can get alot out of the Libertarian Party platform and you should stand with Jo Jorgensen.

If you are an anarchist

Just because the master’s house will never be dismantled with the master’s tools doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter who’s in the master’s house. Lots of anarchists take action in the political sphere as part of a larger strategy. The LP is the only US political party that is welcoming of anarchists, as Vermin Supreme noted in his interview with Mutual Exchange Radio.

If you are a socialist

The LP does have a libertarian socialist caucus, which is a growing part of the party. If you’re willing to pursue social ends and also be anti-state then we welcome you. You could keep trying with the Democratic Party, but you’ve seen how Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders gets treated in that space. You could go with the Green Party but they are alot smaller and their platform has been coopted by the Dems who advocate the Green New Deal. If it sounds like this appeal makes no sense at all, give Markets Not Capitalism a read or listen.

How can all these different groups possibly support the same candidate?

Jorgensen | Cohen is a unity ticket within the Party with Jorgensen being a long time Party member and VP to Harry Brown, and Cohen is the former VP pick of Vermin Supreme- bringing together different wings of the Party. When left and right agree that the State is the primary problem, other political priorities can really come together. Hence the tagline of #BottomUnity.

If you don’t want to waste your vote

Hey do you live in a swing state? I live in Tennessee, it is so solidly red that the popular and electoral votes will 100% certainly go to Trump. A sizable portion of GOP voters could vote Libertarian and the result would be the same. Liberal? You vote literally doesn’t make any difference in the Presidential election. Your vote is a protest vote. While you are protest voting, you may as well vote for a 3rd Party like the Libertarian Party. When you cast a vote for the Libertarians you help us build toward debate inclusion, maintain ballot access, and when we reach 5% we can decide whether to accept federal matching funds. We are the largest and most organized politcal party in the US outside of the two main parties, and we have an elected representative in Congress. Justin Amash – L, has proposed legislative that for the first time had TRI-partisan support. I would put it this way: you have a choice, you can continue on the way things are or you can help us build something new.

I want to vote for a winner / Can Jo win?

Can Jo Jorgensen win? I don’t know. No one will know that for sure until November. Perhaps it is worth reframing what it is to win. Let’s say that “winning” is not a binary yes/no question. Winning can be a continuum that leads up to and includes the securing of the Presidential office, but there are other milestones that lead up to that. In 2012 and 2016 Gary Johnson grew the party significantly, got us more votes than ever before, and secured ballot access in lots of states for the first time because of these strong numbers. These are wins themselves from the standpoint of growing the movement and Party. Each of these victories lead up to the moment when the first Libertarian President is elected. A vote for Jo Jorgensen is a vote that you can feel good about on policy, it is a vote that builds an alternative to the status quo that is already in Congress, and already elected in numerous localities across the nation. A vote for Jo Jorgensen contributes to that momentum and builds a new future. What’s more, each individual vote that a 3rd party like the Libertarian Party gets makes a huge impact for them, the big two parties will hardly notice your absence.

If you live in a swing state

Alright, if you feel that you need to vote for Biden to stop Trump I can understand that. I’m not going to shame you or act like that is ridiculous. If you feel like it can’t be Biden, I can understand why you would think that. However I do have some counterpoints for you.

No one is owed your vote and you don’t owe it to anyone.

If you agree with 70% of the LP platform then actually voting Libertarian in a swing state is really important and has a much bigger impact. Consider this: if only Iowa went libertarian, or if a significant percentage of Iowa went libertarian then candidates would have to make concessions to libertarian policies in order to carry the state. As much as your vote for a 3rd party already matters for the reasons explained above, your vote counts all the more in a swing state. So … make them work for it.

“If I don’t vote for ______ then ______ blank will win!”.

Well, ok. But here’s the thing, almost 40% of eligible voters did not vote in 2016. The LP’s 3%+ of the vote can’t be blamed for this. Also, the President is not elected by the popular vote, but by the electoral college. Is it prove-able that a 3rd party run has ever seriously changed the outcome of electoral votes for a state? There is that one time that a defecting elector cast a vote for Tonie Nathan, Libertarian candidate back in 72, instead of Nixon. But that was one elector, the people that don’t vote can be the target of cajoling if any is necessary while those that do vote but for a 3rd party can just be held in esteem for being civically engaged. Also, if you’re really concerned about people voting then we can’t forget about those that cannot vote. The Drug War has made millions of of black voters ineligible to vote for victimless crimes. Felons should be granted the ability to vote, or what a felon is should be a much narrower criteria. (again, see The New Jim Crow)

“THIS election is special/unique/dangerous, ______ cannot win for our society to remain stable.”

I can sympathize with this idea, and why it has traction. When I am writing in July 2020, Trump is a uniquely manic and dangerous fascistic leader that should not have a second term. However, if you stay in the 3rd party camp long enough you will keep hearing this statement every single Presidential election. Bush was uniquely dangerous, Obama was uniquely dangerous. The power of the Executive has grown so much that almost anyone that becomes President who isn’t dialing back that power will be uniquely dangerous. You’ll grow skeptical of this claim, especially when both choices are always quite bad even if one is ostensibly worse.

But let’s suppose that this is correct. I repeat the above point that I don’t owe anyone my vote and no one is owed my vote. I am a libertarian, and I am invested in libertarian interests and want libertarian policy advanced. If the Republicans or Democrats were interested in having my vote, they could possibly have it if they did any of the following:

-downsize and/or dismantle the national security state
-repeal the USA Patriot Act
-draw down the wars abroad
-end the Drug War and decriminalize all drugs, but at least start with cannabis
-reintroduce markets into our fascistically organized healthcare system so that healthcare is affordable
-#cancel most taxes

These are some of our most popular positions, and if the major parties want our votes they can absorb these as priorities. But there is a good reason that will not happen. You see Republicans and Democrats occupy the left and right sectors of the political grid, the authoritarian half.

The libertarian positions listed above belong to the bottom sector of the grid, so to adopt them is to fundamentally go against the fiber of what they are and their organizing principle of what government is. Authoritarian government is in it’s nature paternalistic and must do what it thinks is best for it’s people with power. The libertarian principle is that civil society can organize and provide for it’s own needs. The Rs and Ds may have done this anyway to keep the population on it’s side every so often (hence why Democrats like Joe Biden opposed LGBTQQI+ marriage before they were for it), but voting with the Libertarian Party is a way to build toward these goals and give a real signal that these values are important to you.

So there you have it, who ever you are your interests can be advanced by opposing State power. The Republicans and Democrats honestly don’t need your vote, but the Libertarian Party will be able to do a lot with each one they receive. To #VoteGold is the practical and principled decision to make in 2020.