Election 2020

Jo Jorgensen: Don't Waste Your Vote on Trump or Biden

The Libertarian presidential nominee won't win but is upbeat about Gen Z and protests against lockdowns and police violence.


"I used to tell people the Libertarian Party is the best of both sides. We take the economic freedoms from the right and the social freedoms from the left," says L.P. presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen. "I can't even say that anymore because Republicans aren't acting like Republicans and Democrats aren't acting like Democrats."

In a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, the 63-year-old Clemson psychology lecturer is pulling 5 percent, which might cover the final spread between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

Jorgensen, who is on the ballot in every state, is preaching a message of self-empowerment and autonomy that she says attracts mostly independents and people who are getting politicized for the first time. Her constituents are "people who believe that they should be able to make their own decisions. People who believe that they should have a right to decide their child's education, which health care they want and which health care they don't want, [how] to control their retirement dollars, and that they should be able to make a choice of whether or not they wear a mask."

In a wide-ranging conversation with Nick Gillespie, Jorgensen, who was the L.P.'s 1996 vice-presidential candidate, explains why she thinks Gen Z is very "live and let live," why the federal government should be half its current size, why she's optimistic about the future, and how Alan Dershowitz (!) would make a great Supreme Court justice.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.