As a first-time independent voter in this election cycle, I was dismayed to see my choices. On the Republican ticket, there was, of course, President Donald Trump running for re-election. While I generally like most of his policies, I could stand to see more libertarian values incorporated into his plan, such as ending the war on drugs, reducing federal spending, and rolling back gun control laws. Instead, we were met with sky-high rates of incarceration for drug offenses, increased national debt, and bump stock bans. That’s not to say I don’t generally approve of Trump’s performance, however, I do hold my public servants to the simple standard of preserving liberty for all. Trump’s upsides, to me, are strength on immigration, opposing the draconian COVID-19 lockdowns, his plans for black and urban communities, and tax cuts.
Now, on the democrat ticket, we have former Vice President Joe Biden, of course. Honestly, I don’t see any justification for a libertarian or conservative-identifying person to vote for Biden. I’m open to having my mind changed, but considering his support for banning “assault rifles,” mandatory lockdowns and mask mandates, and his general willingness to work with the much more radical, socialist left, I don’t get it. So, looking at these choices that we have been provided within this two-party duopoly, Trump comes out on top for me.
I voted to re-elect President Trump slightly reluctantly, but I believe that he is the much better choice over Biden to preserve individual liberties. However, I do believe that voting for Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen could help liberty values win in the long-run, no matter who wins the presidency this time around.
In 2016, Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson amassed just 3.27% of the popular vote. In my opinion, he wasn’t a very strong candidate. If Jorgensen can break, say, 5% of the national vote, I think more people would be forced to address their issues with the duopoly system, and consider voting for libertarians for local, state, and federal office in the future. Anyone who believes that Jorgensen can actually win is kidding themselves, it’s really just about gaining recognition nationwide. Building the libertarian bench in and outside of the libertarian party is an important goal.
So, while I am an unaffiliated, right-leaning libertarian who voted for Trump this time around, I can’t fault those in my camp for choosing to cast their ballot for a third-party candidate such as Jorgensen. Two goals can be accomplished at once; having the best candidate out of the two choices we have been presented, and giving true libertarian values a chance in the spotlight. Then, we may finally have a true lover and preservationist of liberty as president in the near future.
I’ll reiterate my point simply; a vote for Jorgensen is not a vote for Trump or a vote for Biden. It’s also not a wasted vote. It’s a vote to get liberty on the hearts and minds of the people, and to inspire some positive change one step at a time.