Let's Meet Jo Jorgensen, The Libertarian Presidential Candidate Who Got Bit By A Bat!

2020 presidential election

Dr. Jo Jorgensen, the 2020 Libertarian Party candidate for President of the United States, will not be attending a rally in Jacksonville today, on account of the fact that she got bitten by a bat and has to go get a rabies vaccine in case she got bitten by a rabid bat.

In other news, there is a Libertarian candidate for President, and her name is Jo Jorgensen. Who knew!

Jorgensen, a Psychology Senior Lecturer at Clemson University, says that she is sorry to miss the rally in Jacksonville, but will soon be headed to Hattiesburg, Pennsylvania for another of what she's calling her #LetHerSpeak rallies. She also notes that she is not Batman.



Given that this is in the news today, it seems like a good time to find out what her whole deal is!

There are two main kinds of libertarians in the world. You've got your Republicans who smoke weed and are the guy you knew in college who wore a fedora and was super into Ayn Rand. Then you've got your left-libertarians/libertarian socialists like me who will spend forever pointing out that actually the first libertarians were as far left as you could get and that the term was nefariously stolen and bastardized by right-wing lunatics like Murray Rothbard who thought it sounded cool and wanted to use it to describe their terrible and cruel ideas.

We don't really have a lot in common, generally speaking. Most libertarians in the U.S. are the first kind, and Jorgensen, predictably, kinda falls into that mode β€” though not entirely. Her stances on the issues run the gamut of "That's sounds really great" to "Oh god no, that would be horrifying," to "Huh. That's ... certainly different."

For instance! She opposes war and wants to pull the troops out of everywhere and basically go full Switzerland. Awesome! She's super pro-immigration. Awesome! She wants to legalize weed and decriminalize drug use (classic), demilitarize the police, pro-body cameras, pardon anyone in prison for a victimless crime, get rid of private prisons and civil asset forfeiture, she's pro-choice, pro-Black Lives Matter, supports trans rights, is opposed to the NSA spying on citizens, is anti-torture and opposed to the death penalty. Those are all some pretty nice things! Honestly, her stances on criminal justice issues are better than most Democrats, if you ask me.

But then ... she appears to be opposed to all taxation except sales tax, is pro-free trade (though thinks we should pull out of NAFTA?), believes that all aid to the poor should come from "voluntary efforts of private groups" (which basically just means "fuck the poor") and "deregulation" (which is really more of a thing that hurts rich people), she's into fracking, she loves guns, hates all COVID-19 related restrictions, thinks teachers should be allowed to carry guns in school and wants to replace Social Security with personal savings accounts. Those are all pretty crappy positions on things!

And also ... she wants to eliminate the Department of Education and privatize our entire education system, abolish the Federal Reserve and return to the gold standard (classic!), abolish the IRS and the ATF and, it seems, practically ever other government agency, for health care she wants to keep everything privatized but give people spending accounts so they can give it to private companies (???) in exchange for health care, and she wants people who vote to have to pass a test "demonstrating they understand politics." Bet ya didn't think "literacy tests for voting" would be a thing for anyone still!

Jorgensen also believes that consensual sex with a spouse under the age of 18 should be considered statutory rape, which is a position I have never given much thought to, but am open to hearing more about. Especially in light of that story a few years back from the woman who was forced to marry her rapist at age 11.

So, you see what I mean by the "Good," the "Bad" and the "Huh, that's ... certainly different." I may not agree with her about 2/3 of the things she believes (and strenuously so!), but I sure do wish we had a voting and electoral system wherein she had just as much of a chance to run for President as anyone else. Hopefully, Maine will pave the way for ranked choice voting or something similar around the country, and then we won't have to worry about third party candidates being "spoilers."

Anyway, this is now your open thread. Enjoy!

[Politico | Jo20.com]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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