Jo for President

“Changes, Turn and face the strange.”
-David Bowie, “Changes

I’m not a political person, and don’t like talking about it, but sadly, I have to explain myself, which is a problem in itself.

I’ve been told to vote for Joe Biden just to take away a vote from President Trump, and also that supporting a third party is throwing away a vote. That’s not what voting is about, and the country should be ashamed at their retrograde idea of democracy. That’s why I’m voting for Libertarian candidate Dr. Jo Jorgensen.

I’m an American citizen with the right to vote. Therefore, I would like to exercise my right in the best way that represents my ideology, not by the persuasion of others who hold a desperate obsession with victory—and then anxious hope for retribution. Some interesting first-hand data collected via an accidental social experiment is that when I tell others I’m voting for Jorgensen, democrats tell me I’m wrong to do so while republicans support my decision to vote for whomever I prefer. I felt I was transported to Biazrro World, but I realized the close-minded pretentious former is nervous while the old-fashioned stale latter isn’t threatened.

As a registered Independent, I take time looking into the platforms of both main parties of our political system; I read and listen only to be left unfulfilled and uncertain, trapped in what’s just a cycle of power and bitter opposition until the next wave swallows all that was accomplished by prior administrations. Rinse and repeat.

That may have been an exaggeration, but it appears democracy has plateaued, which creates the possibility of regression. As a response, we play the blame game; no figure is safe from scrutiny from reputable media sources to a pre-teen on social media. Others live in the near and distant pasts and somehow develop a communal cry of impractical entitlement or unrealistic variations of a functioning society. Negativity leads to regression while positivity leads to progression.

Yet, the public continues to be pawns for the government and media. If you’ve studied the history of journalism, one of the constants is that of government meddling in news. However, another similarity that media ages share is that the government somehow reclaims some control of the narrative until a shift happens and power is redirected—until circulation is once again contaminated. We are handcuffed by republican and democratic candidates, and the media essentially picks a team—one side of the scale weighing much more than the other.

I hear people pleading for change all the time, but yet they are conditioned to believe that the only way the country functions is through one party or one other. The key to this is money. Ross Perot, arguably the most notable third-party presidential candidate in history, had billions and his rise had people questioning the norm. Perot received 18.9% of the popular vote in 1992. This isn’t about the money, however, it’s about the chance to be heard (which took money, ironically).

Other notable third-party candidates to gain popularity have been James B. Weaver (8.5% in 1892), Theodore Roosevelt (27.4% in 1912, after his 1904 presidential term), Eugene V. Debs (6.0% in 1912), Robert M. La Follette (16.6% 1924), George Wallace (13.5% in 1968) and John B. Anderson (6.6% in 1980). Now, of course, not all of these candidates promoted the best values (cough, cough, Wallace), but they were a popular third option nonetheless, promoting the fact that we could possibly have a diverse political system—like the first years when no one knew which labels would last quite yet. George Washington was an Independent, and swept the election–twice.

To take a page out of sports franchises, I propose a salary cap for campaigning in order to erase ballooned donations and self-funded races by uber-rich figures and organizations. This could limit respective party representatives from being plastered all over television and social media reminding us how the other guy is just so awful without actually telling us how good they are outside of a tidbit of positivity. Just like voting for someone to lose, slanderous political advertising on state and federal levels to tell us what someone is doing wrong instead of what the approver of the message will do correctly is just backward.

I saw a Facebook post that stated voting for a third party is selfish, and once again that type of ignorance came from a democrat. If I were to respond asking if it would be okay voting for President Trump then the same person would disapprove. So, essentially, the only person I should vote for is Biden? I bet they would also call someone “deplorable” (remember that fun term last election?) if they didn’t vote, think or act like them. Do people not understand the hypocrisy they create when it comes to democracy? Everything is not black and white, and we live in a diverse country with different forms of culture, expression and opinion, which means that representation is impossible to just be two-sided. People are entitled to vote for what they believe in, not what someone else does.

Each voter should agree with at least 75% of issues their favorite candidate proposes. For example, here are points on Jorgensen’s platform that I support:

-COVID-19: Reduce federal regulations on testing and treatments to quickly get to patients, almost making the FDA obsolete.
-HEALTHCARE: We shouldn’t have to shop for insurance. When I looked into Obamacare after being laid off due to COVID-19, I was hounded by over 100 phone calls trying to sell me healthcare in the span of a couple days, and it’s still going on. The irony in this is that I was laid off because of forced medical precautions, but now I’m being forced to have health insurance when I have no money, and if I don’t get the health insurance I will be fined. We should be in charge of our own health dollars and be able to shop for our own care like any other product we search for, which would decrease overall coast as a result.
-GOVERNMENT SPENDING: Block new borrowing, audit the Federal Reserve giving investors accurate market information, decrease spending by eliminating unnecessary departments and balance the government’s checkbook.
-ENVIRONMENT: I’ve been a supporter for clean and efficient nuclear energy for some time now, and also letting states decide what’s best for their landscape, limiting federal responsibilities.
-SOCIAL SECURITY: Actually preserve it instead of just saying it’s there, and allow workers to put their tax dollars (the ones supposed to be going toward Social Security) into individual retirement accounts the government can’t touch.
-TRADE: Limiting tariffs, allowing us more access to the best products, and providing goods of what we do best as a country.
-IMMIGRATION: Repeal entry quotas, shorten waiting times and expand visas. Just make the process easier to enter the country LEGALLY.
-CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Take away VICTIMLESS drug incarcerations and allow substance abuse programs and social workers to handle addiction, and also defund federal involvement (not the police) in state police issues unless requested by said state authorities.
-POVERTY: Eliminating government regulations and allow for more jobs and more affordable costs of living, and also allow more charitable organizations to offer free health clinics, among other services, to help the less fortunate. We need to create opportunities, not limit them through laws.
-TAXES: No income tax. We earned that money, and if we had it, we would spend it, boosting the economy. Also, slashing federal spending means the people will be less taxed. Lastly, make the IRS less intrusive and taxes less complex.
-EDUCATION: Dismantle the Department of Education and leave regulations in the hands of each state. Also, take the federal government out of the student loan business which would allow colleges to provide AFFORDABLE (not free) programs for everyone to pursue. Lastly, putting trades on an even playing field is important because without trade workers, all “educated” people wouldn’t be able to function in daily life.
-NEUTRALITY AND PEACE: Armed, neutral and open to trade and travel. Let’s get out of everyone’s business.    

This can all be found on Jorgensen’s website. A Libertarian won’t win the presidency, but the more votes earned perhaps creates a conversation about other options, and as the percentage of support increases, so does the possibility of getting a third-party candidate on the debate stage. They would have won the first one this year, that’s for sure.

Old white men and money rule the political landscape of this country, and we’re conditioned to believe we only have two options for leadership. Why are so many people unhappy then? Continuing to be sheep to what you’re told to believe is selfish, not thinking freely and exercising your constitutional right for a chance at change.

Instead of demeaning third parties, maybe it’s time to do research, not only on both major parties, but all the candidates, and become a fully informed voter. Many may be surprised that the views of third parties may suit their ideology the best, but it’s on the individual to explore and broaden their political horizons. We can’t advance and change if we’re stuck in an endless cycle of the “lesser of two evils.”

Or we can bring back the old Liberal Republican Party of 1872 and lessen the two parties into one dysfunctional collaboration. Wait, that’s kind of what Congress is at the moment. On second thought, we’re doomed for the foreseeable future.

2 thoughts on “Jo for President

  1. Thank you, Mr. Knauf, for setting a baseline for a dearly needed critical. informed, honest & objective approach to thinking and engaging in our political process. You have provided an example of what is necessary for us all to embrace if we are going to preserve our democracy. Think independently, seek the right fit, remain open to equally well-considered compromise, and respect others’ positions and ideas. This entry does us all an important favor. Nicely done.

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