Let me be clear: I want Jo Jorgensen to do well in this coming US election. Even though I am British and therefore have no real skin in the game as far as the American Libertarian Party is concerned, it’s good for libertarianism to have its ideas promoted on the biggest stage.
Jorgensen would be a better President than any other major candidate running. She’s not going to win, but that’s fine. The benefit of a strong Jorgensen campaign, and a strong Jorgensen result (comparatively speaking), is that libertarian thought is shared to a wide number of people. The message of greater individual liberty, economic sanity, ending of wars and global policing needs to be there to puncture the balloon of statist consensus.
The problem is that the way things are going, the Jorgensen train risks being insignificant. This is because her Twitter campaign team are wasting a unique opportunity for evangelization.
There needs to be something different. And to be fair, Jo is making it clear that she is different, but in a lame way. Just like the milquetoast strategy of the 2016 Gary Johnson campaign, Jorgensen’s main message is the pure fact that she is neither Democrat or Republican.
Many of her tweets argue against the notion of voting for the lesser of two evils, that voting third party is a waste, etc. These argument are fine as far as they go, but they comes across as begging. Jo’s tweets are so frequently messaged ambiguously, it’s hard to tell if someone is trolling or not.
First of all, let’s face it, nobody gives a crap about libertarians (which should be small L, by the way, if you’re referring to people who follow the philosophy, rather than members of the Libertarian Party). There are not many of us, and we’re politically unpopular. There’s a very slim chance that Trump was “dog-whistling” to libertarians specifically. I think he’s very explicitly appealing to the large number of people beyond libertarianism who are tired of the War in Afghanistan.
If this tweet was aimed at the normies, there would be no need to mention libertarians. As it is, it sounds like a cheap plea to the 3% of people who are already libertarians not to vote for Trump or Harris.
But “dog-whistled” – could whoever wrote this tweet have thought of a word less ambiguous and inflammatory than that? The account recently shared an old-style meme that left readers more confused about her takes:
Bob Murphy’s reply to this is pretty solid. The first thing people want to know when reviewing a potential candidate to vote for are their opinions on policy. If they’re confused, then the candidate has failed step number one.
Then there’s the infamous BLM tweet:
This got a ton of backlash from various quarters. The backlash to the backlash was constituted of people rolling their eyes at people who had an issue with the initial tweet, mocking, “Wow, being antiracist, so controversial!” Yet the actual issue with it is not the concept of anti-racism, it was the tone-deafness of the tweet’s presentation.
Yes, hash-tagging BLM was bad. If it was plain that “all she meant” was the message, rather than the organisation whose leaders have questionable definitions of antiracism, then the follow-up tweet wouldn’t have been necessary. The content of the tweet itself is just a slogan, one taken wholesale from partisan racial activists. Also, why must we be actively anti-racist? Genuinely, there might be a good libertarian answer, but readers are none-the-wiser.
This leads on to one of the biggest problems – the fact that a lot of Jo’s tweets, if you had taken her name out, could have been written by anybody.
Instead of constantly moaning about not having debate access (weak), start live-tweet the debates, eviscerating everyone Michael Malice-style. Have a bit of vigor, get some juices flowing, take down this fundamentally corrupt system instead of trying to reason with it.
I believe Jo Jorgensen is a solid libertarian with sound principles. So far I am seeing little to be convinced that she will have a lasting impact. Ron Paul initiated a wide-reaching significant movement. For one, he got me, a British liberal, to become a libertarian. Jo Jorgensen will get votes from citizens disgruntled with the establishment, but will she start a movement? Not with her current campaign strategy.