Libertarian Presidential Candidate Jo Jorgensen distinguished herself from main party candidates by promoting “real change for real people” at a meet and greet on Sunday at Brewheim brewery in Anaheim.
The Clemson University senior lecturer and former entrepreneur is on the campaign trail once again after running in 1996 as Libertarian candidate Harry Browne’s running mate.
Jorgensen’s speech at Brewheim went through issues like COVID-19, the economy, education and war through a Libertarian lens that emphasized personal freedom and minimal government intervention, especially when it came to government spending.
Her “real change for real people” slogan references the growing division between the people and dissatisfaction with the government.
“The way our government works is like asking people if we should all be vegan or if we should all eat steak,” said Jorgensen. “You know what’s best for you.”
Although Jorgensen shares many of her views with Democrats and Republicans, such as lowering government spending, supporting gun ownership and non-interventionist foreign policy, she said that if she were to be elected as president, she would actually commit to the promises made in her campaign and that her individualist policies allow for individual freedom rather than a one-size-fits-all plan.
She claimed that Orange County voters, in particular, are being subjected to some of the harshest regulations, leading to thousands of people leaving the state of California each year.
Brewheim owner Dan Ferguson noted that, due to regulations, the brewery’s planned outside patio area has had its construction delayed for months due to lengthy back and forth sessions between architects and city legislators.
“Over half of the city I come from, Anaheim, is Hispanic, and Jo Jorgensen is the only candidate that has a clear immigration policy. The Democrats and Republicans, which have been in power for over 160 years, have yet to successfully implement a solution,” said Matt Mariscal, Jorgensen campaign volunteer.
Not everyone at the event associated themselves with the Libertarian Party, but all expressed dissatisfaction with the two-party system.
“I hear people always asking, ‘how did things end up this way?’ and the answer is because no one is paying attention and settling for the same two things,” said Johnathan Connolly, a recent member of the Libertarian Party. “It’s like an endless game of volleyball between one ineffective party and the other.”
Many were aware of the negative reception third-party voters receive. In a video uploaded by the Biden campaign, Michelle Obama expressed that now was not a time to cast “protest votes.” In 2016, the tallies for third party votes in swing states, when added up, were often equal to or greater than the votes Hillary Clinton lost by, causing people to blame outside voters for her loss.
Susan Millis, Libertarian Party voter since 1978, disagreed. “It’s a waste of vote when you say ‘I hate Trump so much you have to vote for Biden.’ If you do not vote your principals, you are wasting your vote.”
Jorgensen and her running mate, Jeremy “Spike” Cohen, are currently the only third-party candidates on the ballot in all 50 states. Nevertheless, a Pew Research poll conducted on October 9 put her at 4% amongst registered voters. The same poll also shows 57% showing strong support for Biden and 68% for Trump: a figure Jorgensen cites to her advantage.
After the speech, Jorgensen walked around the brewery, shaking hands and taking photos.
“I guess she could tell that I wasn’t really in the mood to talk, but she took the time to walk up to me, look me in the eye and shake my hand,” said Dave Swanson, an independent voter from Placentia. “She said she was glad I could make it.”
About half the audience did not wear masks or maintain social distancing throughout the event, including Jorgensen.