It seems like the 2020 election would be the perfect time to shake things up.
For the GOP, there are a vocal and noticeable group of voters looking to separate themselves from President Trump and his policies and rhetoric and stupid face. For the DNC, there is an overwhelming wave of apathy for the Biden/Harris ticket on social media which leaves one to believe that this will be the 800th election in a row where the youth vote chooses to “sit it out”.
This is the perfect time to look third party; someone who can come and unite the disenfranchised and bring people together. Someone who can say, “The two party system has not had your best interest at heart for decades, possibly centuries!” Someone who can bring real change to a nation in dire need of exactly that. And there’s no better party to do so than the Libertarian Party, a political organization which seems to be the right group and the right time.
However, the Libertarian Party has given us Jo Fucking Jorgensen, which means it’s gonna be another election where almost no one is happy.
Don’t worry, though. I can fix everything.
Before we get specific, let’s ask this question, because it’s kind of important: What, exactly, is a libertarian?
Whenever I want to upset a certain group of people, I’ll throw out a social media post like, “A libertarian is just a republican who never learned how to read.” It was originally, “A libertarian is just a republican who never made a woman cum,” but I don’t know anyone’s life and this seems like a low blow. Sexual inadequacies are something a lot of us share, and for me to openly mock people when I, myself, am not exactly some kind of Adonis seems mean and beneath me. So, I’ll just call the yokels illiterate.
Posts like these always bring out a group of white dudes who are furious with me, which is exactly the point. I am then told about how it’s a shame that I’m not taking the movement seriously (which is fair, because I’m not) and how I’m just some hack democrat (again, fair) who just doesn’t understand anything and is only out to mock (again, totes fair). I would take these criticisms seriously if all libertarians didn’t exactly act the same way on Facebook and Twitter: they all just sound like Republicans who are also aware that a lot of people think that conservatives are racist, sexist, anti-working class dickbags, so they’ve created a new name for themselves and they’re gonna let everyone know it.
And, boy, do they want to let everyone know it. No political group is more insufferable online than Libertarians. I would rather spend eight years in a social media platform only populated by atheist anti-vax vegans than spend a day listening to someone tell me about how the Libertarian Party is going to make a difference in the world. No, you’re fucking not. At least not for a long time.
Still, let’s learn a little something about them.
Having their first convention in 1972, the Libertarian Party is the most politically effective third party in recent political history, having gotten a candidate in the House Of Representatives in 2018 (with other candidates having strong showings in other major races). They are, as the name would suggest, a party of liberty, with their motto seeming to be, “Hey, you do you.” They are in favor of gun ownership, LGBT rights (including same-sex marriage), drug legalization, decriminalizing sex work, open immigration and a woman’s right to choose (though the most famous Libertarian, uber-racist Ron Paul, was very anti-choice). They are opposed to government regulations, foreign aid, and being civil on the internet, though that’s not in any of their mission statement. Their animal symbol is the porcupine, which makes sense, because those things are prickly, unlikable, and generally irritating in the animal kingdom.
But it does seem like they have some good points.
I’ll be the first to admit that the Libertarians (the other “Libs”, I guess) seem to have enough to make a great amount of people happy. Sure, maybe you wish there was some gun control, but you can get onboard with their drug policies. Or you don’t like all these brown people coming into the country, but you also don’t like too many taxes. Where the Libertarians could succeed is by bringing people together and saying, “Look, it’s not all for you. But we just have to compromise and understand that there’s some for everyone. Also, totes sorry about Ron Paul. We swear we’re not racist.”
In order to do that, they need to get their name out there. And that’s where they’re failing.
The 2020 Libertarian Party candidate is Jo Jorgensen, and that’s not a flashy pick. Take a look at her.
And if you’re thinking, “Oh, THAT’S what she looks like”, you would be wrong. That is Oscar-nominated actress Sally Hawkins. However, that’s my point. The most interesting thing about Jo is that she had to cancel a campaign event because she was attacked by a bat and needed a rabies shot.
Only Libertarians could point Jorgensen out of a sketch line-up, and probably not all of them. However, she is a candidate who has had a long and successful career in politics, except that’s also a fucking lie. She lost a 1992 South Carolina House race (getting 2.3% of the vote), then was the Libertarian candidate for Vice-President in 1996, where the ticket of Harry Browne/Jorgensen got .5% of the total vote, or about 15% of the population of Chicago.
I don’t know Jorgensen, but here is what I would ask her if we were in a room together: Do you really think you have a chance to win? Like, have you written an acceptance speech and picked out members of your candidate? Because the Libertarian party has never gotten more than 3% of the presidential vote, which was 2% higher than any other election they’ve had. Surely, she understands that, and knows that she’s just running as some kind of sacrificial lamb in the hopes that, tens of decades from now, her party may have a chance of being considered relevant in the most important race in American politics. And that’s very sad to me. The only thing more sad which would be if she thought she had a chance to win, which means in November, there’s not a glass of alcohol big enough to handle what’s coming.
And that’s the problem with asking people to vote for a Libertarian candidate for presidency.
There’s no way the Libertarians have a presidential candidate anywhere near electable for a long time, which means that the only way you can get people to vote for you is convincing them to throw their votes in the hopes for future elections. And that is idealistic as hell, but it also is basically asking people to, in the present, throw their vote behind someone you know is going to lose and lose big. In writing this, I get why Libertarians are now so vocal. It’s because they hope if they yell loud enough and long enough, they can slowly bring people over one at a time. They know they’re in it for the long haul, as depressing as that might be.
There is a way for Libertarians to get a lot of votes quickly in hopes of doing something with the party as of current. In order for them to be taken seriously, they need to get ridiculous. They need to dump Jorgensen (which should be easy, as no one knows who she is) and bring in someone people know. That people listen to. That knows how to throw a public spectacle.
In short, the Libertarians need Kanye West.
If they dumped Jorgensen and put Yeezy on the ticket as their main man, they instantly gain credibility because they instantly gain exposure. Does Kanye believe in the party platform? I don’t know. Quite frankly, who fucking cares? Let your 2024 candidate be your principled flag-bearer. West gets you enough popularity to maybe even make it into the national debates. He gets people to the website. And he can even make an EP about his campaign, and there are a shit ton of words that rhyme with “Libertarian”.
Sure, it would be a circus and a media stunt, but people fucking love the circus. It’s why we have a clown in the White House currently. Among the elephants and the donkeys, West can be the porcupine-trainer. He knows how to master the big top.
He may not be what you want, but he is exactly what you need. And that seems to be the whole goal of the Libertarian party, anyways.
Just don’t tell Ron Paul.