News2Share sat down with Joanne Marie Jorgensen, the 2020 presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party.
Jo Jorgensen was previously the party’s nominee for vice president in the 1996 U.S. presidential election as the running mate of Harry Browne.
Jorgensen has a PhD in Psychology and is a Psychology Senior Lecturer at Clemson University.
The following is a rush transcript edited for grammar and brevity. Please refer to the video above for the raw interview.
“Can you talk about where the Democrats and the Republicans fall short on civil liberties and economics?”
“They fall short on so many places. In my 1996 stump speech, when I was the VP nominee, I talked about how Republican politicians sold out freedom. I always distinguish between the Republican voters and the Republican politicians who are not giving their voters what they want. Democrats, on the other hand, were a party who supported freedom of speech and antiwar policies, but now they are neither of these things. They censored Tulsi Gabbard expressing her antiwar, pro-peace medium. According to the public, the old party system is outdated and can’t work anymore.”
“How do you feel about the activism and the movements nowadays like Black Lives Matter? Also could you please tell us about what you would do in terms of police reform if you were elected president?”
“I have been criticized because I have met with Black Lives Matters leaders. Unfortunately, the national Black Lives Matter unit sees big government as a solution. In contrast, I see a smaller government as a solution. For police reform, I would say the federal government needs to stop putting itself into local jurisdictions. That should be among the police, the mayor, the city council, voters, and taxpayers, in short, people who decide how they want to run their jurisdiction. But what we see is the federal government offering free tanks and grenade launchers, and militarizing the local police departments. So, their attitude is becoming more of a soldier, “Us vs. Them.” As president, I would stop this.”
“What would you say about Trump, telling municipalities to go hard on the protesters in the first case and later deciding to send federal and taking matters in his own hands?”
“My degree is in psychology, and I know that when you have tools like tanks and grenade launchers lying around, it changes your attitude and mentality. There is a big difference between the peaceful protesters and the opportunists who are hijacking the movement. If we could pinpoint the rioters and bring them to justice and allow people to protest peacefully, we’d be fine.”
“What is your view of the anti-fascist movement – Antifa?”
“They are probably more fascists than even our government, which is hard to be at this time. They don’t have any respect for life, liberty, or property, and that’s the basis of this country.”
“If you were elected to be the President. I assume you still wouldn’t have a Libertarian majority in the Senate or House. How would you legislate, without members of your party dominating anything other than the executive branch?”
“There is a lot I can do on my own. The very first thing I would do on the very first day in office would be to start bringing the troops home. As commander in chief, I wouldn’t have to get permission from them. I wouldn’t have to get any laws passed. We spend more on the military than the next seven countries combined. We are in almost 150 different countries. We’re causing more problems than we’re solving. I want to turn America into one giant Switzerland, armed and neutral. We can do that starting day one without Congress.”
“Assuming that if you do not become the president, what changes are you hoping to do in the next few months?”
“I hope that some of the people running for office will take notice. We are the only party other than the Democrats and Republicans who have been on the ballot in all 50 states, in back to back presidential elections. Once we did that, they started getting worried. They see us coming; they see that there is a movement. I do not expect them to completely change their ways and give us what we are going after. But maybe they’ll start heading in the right direction and start cutting spending and getting rid of the deficit.”
“What would you say to a voter who prefers Trump or Biden. They like you better, but they’re worried about voting against the old parties?”
“It depends on what state you live in. If you live in a predominantly blue or predominantly red state, then I would say vote for who you want, because your vote does not matter. For instance, I live in South Carolina; we will go red no matter who is on the ballot. We were one of only six states to carry Bob Dole. So, we will vote for Republicans as a state, no matter what.
If you are in a blue state like California, like New York, you are throwing away your vote if you vote for the Democrat, even though you want the libertarian. So, if you are in any of those states, vote Libertarian. There are 40 million voters out there who support Libertarian, so, if everybody voted the way they believed, we would win by an overwhelming majority.”
“How do you approach COVID-19 as a national emergency and its health, economic, and social implications from a Libertarian perspective?”
“Firstly, Trump should have gotten rid of the efficacy requirements with the FDA. The FDA had these obstacles that were preventing testing kits from getting out. We had 60 different companies making testing kits, and the FDA only approved two of them. Meanwhile, we keep hearing in the news how Southeast Asia is keeping the virus under control because they’ve got the testing kits from our country. After all, we couldn’t buy them. And secondly, Trump was on stage, saying, if you don’t have symptoms, don’t get tested.
Meanwhile, we knew that most people with the virus didn’t have symptoms. So, you should get everybody tested. By the testing, we would not have had to shut down the economy and lose 10s of millions of jobs because we would know who could go out safely and who needed to stay home. And lastly, it’s going to be hard to do, but I would try to get my money back from the corporations that we handed money to. It’s better to keep the money in the hands of individuals and decide which companies deserve their money.”
“In light of the massive recent unemployment, would you be willing to give individual people money like the 1200 Trump Bucks for everybody, or is that something that you oppose?”
“Very much opposed! We know very clearly that money in the hands of private companies creates twice as many jobs as money in the government’s hands. The money that the government is handing out must come from somewhere. So, it is coming from us ultimately. Estimates say every $1200 is costing us about a $15,000 extra.”
“Andrew Yang pointed out for handing out money to people, as a solution to automation, which is another possibility that threatens employment, especially for lower-income people. What would be your solution to automation or other economic factors that lead to unemployment?”
“People started considering automation a threat to employment a couple of hundred years ago. When we started leaving an agrarian society, and we added automation to farming, people started feeling threatened that where are we going to find jobs if the machines are taking over?. But with time, we all found jobs. Many of the jobs we have now, like in Amazon, Google, Facebook, weren’t here 20-30 years ago. So, who knows what companies are going to come about in the next 20 or 30 years? So, more jobs should be created in the private sector.”
“One of the non-state solutions that leftists suggest protecting workers is unions. What is your view of unions? How would you deal with them from your governmental perspective?”
“I’m completely in favor of people assembling. A group of employees has the right to get together and make demands on their employer in a free market. However, they do not have the right to get help from the government holding their employer hostage. Voluntary unions can be successful. One of the examples I point to is the show Friends. Many people do not realize that out of six stars on the show, many of them were perfectly happy with what they were making. But David Schwimmer and Lisa Kudrow said, we think we need to be making more money and they organized and their fellow friends and stars and demanded more money, and they got it, that’s fine.”
“One of the major obstacles to winning this election is whether you’re able to be included in the debates. There’s some commerce happening right now in the media about whether Joe Biden will even want to participate. I’m sure you’d like to be in the debates with them. Can you talk about what progress you’ve made on that? Do you anticipate being able to participate?”
“We are trying our hardest. Last time, Gary Johnson got to 13.6%, and you need to get to 15%. This year, we’re rolling along. I’m excited that 75% of our volunteers are from outside the party. So, we’re getting a lot of momentum from outside the party, so we’re hoping to break 15%. And I want to urge everybody who’s reading this, if a pollster calls you, please say even if you’re not entirely sure. I’m not asking you to lie, but if you don’t have a party and if you think that maybe I’m your choice, tell them Yes, I’m voting for Joe Jorgensen for President. Just get me up to 15%. Now once I’m on the stage, if you don’t like what I have to say, you don’t have to vote for me but at least get another voice heard because right now with the two old major parties, there is no alternative. The only way to get an alternative voice out there is to get me on the stage.”
“What is your message to a Democrat who’s not sure if they like Joe Biden or the Republican who’s just not sure about Trump anymore?”
“If you are a Democrat and you want peace, and you are against the war, you must know that Joe Biden has shown that he’s a War Hawk if you like Tulsi Gabbard’s message of Let’s Have Peace. Then you should know that we are the only party out there offering that.
For the Trump supporters, I’d say; I completely understand why you voted for Trump. You wanted an outsider, somebody who was going to come in and change the rules and reduce spending. But all he did was increase it. So if you want somebody who has had to live under the laws, who understands that that’s how our country is supposed to work that we go to Washington, spend a few months passing laws and then go home and live under those laws. If that is the system you want, then vote for me in the election.”