Dear progressives, communists, and those on the left,
Hello there! It’s me, your local capitalist libertarian whackjob. You know, the people that a lot of you like to dismiss as heartless Republicans that like weed, or tools of the Kochs, or occasionally Russian plants. And we certainly often have choice words for you, ranging from secret authoritarians to usupers and tyrants to just calling you ignorant.
I’m hoping that we can put aside our natural antipathy for one another for a few minutes and talk not about what we disagree on (it’s a long list, I know), but what we agree on.
That’s a surprisingly long list as well.
In 2020, much like 2016, both major parties have nominated candidates that are not only terrible on many, many policies, they’re also dumpster fires as human beings too. Trump has made our immigration policy even more inhumane, endorsed racists, continued our terrible foreign adventures and doubled down on funding Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, attacked trans people in the military, and launched one of the most idiotic protectionist trade wars in our history, along with being incredibly venally corrupt and unable to form a complete sentence. Biden, on the other hand, has a 40 year track record of voting for crime bills and domestic surveillance. He stood by and did nothing as VP when Obama wrecked Libya, signed the 2014 NDAA, continued Bush’s wars, deported more people than Trump, gave out gigantic bailouts, and persecuted the three most important whistleblowers of our age. Along with the wonderful racist gafes like “if you don’t vote for me you ain’t black”.
If you’re more of a centrist, you may not know all of this, or you may be trying to downplay the relative importance of this. But if you consider yourself a progressive or somewhere in the communist spectrum, you know this just as well as I do. As we do, really, because Libertarians have been saying this since Biden became the heir apparent. You’re probably also just as disgusted with the duopoly as we are, and see it as a constricting and destructive force in our country’s politics. With this in mind, I understand that figuring out who to vote for becomes a very difficult choice.
I’m asking you to vote for our candidate, Jo Jorgensen. Why, you might ask? Because Howie Hawkins, while I think he seems like a very decent sort, is not going to be on the ballot in all 50 states, and his campaign hasn’t gotten the same level of public attention. And because I think she has enough to offer you to let you vote for her in good conscience.
Here’s the case.
We don’t agree on everything. We disagree vehemently about the fundamental relationship between the individual and the state, and that translates directly into real policy disagreements about healthcare, taxation, environmental policy (to a degree), education, and individual welfare programs. This is all true. However, I urge all of you to consider where we agree, which is on some pretty big issues. We both agree that the war on drugs is an absolute disaster and should be abolished. We both agree that police murdering people is unconscionable. We both agree that mass incarceration, which is usually related to the war on drugs and other victimless crimes, needs to end and its victims need to be released AND exonerated so they can rejoin the above ground economy and not be permanently locked out of employment and life. We both agree that as part of those same criminal reforms qualified immunity and civil asset forfeiture need to go. We can probably find real common ground on occupational licensing, especially if we talk about how it’s mostly used to keep poor people out of jobs. We both agree that the United States empire is horrible, and we shouldn’t have troops in 150 countries, nor should we be bombing any country that hasn’t attacked us (that is to say all of the countries we’re currently bombing save Afghanistan, where I think we took any legitimate vengeance a LONG time ago and have long since crossed over into war crimes). We both agree that corporate welfare should be abolished. We both agree that liability caps for polluters should be abolished so that polluters have to actually pay for ALL of the damage they cause, not just some pitiful fraction. We both agree that our immigration policy is stupidly restrictive and more importantly inhumane, and that free people should be allowed to move freely. We might even agree (or start to agree) on guns, especially given the abuse that’s been heaped on the citizenry by police and federal troops recently.
That’s a lot of common ground, I think.
And right now Jo Jorgensen and Spike Cohen are the only ones that are even _talking_ about most of this stuff. You sure as hell won’t hear bring the troops home from Trump or Biden. Or end the drug war for that matter. And there will be no talk about ending subsidies for anyone from either of them. Moreover, Jorgensen and Cohen have both been out at many protests now, and Jorgensen visited the site of the Tulsa massacre. Symbolic perhaps, but powerful symbols I think, that neither of the two majors have done.
I know that there’s real gaps in how libertarians and leftists think, and I won’t insult you by pretending otherwise. But even as a cranky capitalist, more ancap as I get older libertarian who cast his first presidential vote for Harry Browne and never stopped I can recognize that if we had gotten a Nader administration, or a Stein, or a Bernie administration I would have gotten major movement on some of the most vital issues of the day-specifically the drug war, corporate welfare, and the empire, and probably a lot of the surveillance state as well-in a very libertarian direction. I hope that all of you will be able to see the same from the other side.
Thanks for reading. I hope you vote for Dr. Jo on November 3.