Dr. Jo Jorgensen
Dr. Jo Jorgensen was the Libertarian Party Vice-Presidential Nominee with Harry Browne in 1996. She campaigned in 32 states plus DC and appeared as a Libertarian spokesperson on over 300 radio shows all across America. She regularly lit up the call-in boards, helping listeners discover the Libertarian Party and generating inquiries and new LP members. In 1992, she was the Libertarian Party’s candidate for South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District. After a statewide televised debate with her Democratic and Republican opponents, Dr Jorgensen’s debate performance was widely praised in the media, and the Greenville News referred to her as “a rose between two thorns”. Dr. Jo Jorgensen currently is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Clemson University. She holds a PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (Clemson 2002) and has taught full-time since 2006. She graduated in 1979 from Baylor University with a B.S. in Psychology and in 1980 from Southern Methodist University with an M.B.A. After earning her M.B.A., she put her education to work as a Marketing Representative for IBM. Relocating to Greenville, SC in 1983, she started her own software sales business. After taking a break to be a stay-at-home mom for her two children, she joined a software duplicating company as part owner, later taking over as president and full owner. She founded a business consulting company in 2002 and continues working with select clients. Dr. Jo Jorgensen is a Life Member of the Libertarian Party. She supported Ed Clark for president in 1980 and has been voting Libertarian ever since. She officially joined the Libertarian Party in 1983 and has served as Greenville County chair, state vice-chair, and national marketing director for the Libertarian Party.
What is your position on climate change and the environment?
I will work to remove government barriers to replacing coal-burning and oil-burning power plants in the United States with safe, non-polluting, high-tech nuclear power plants – and allowing off-grid use of solar power. Worldwide, I believe we need to consider all scientific & economic knowledge to care for our environment, not cherry-pick data to support a pre-determined outcome. Most pollution is generated in developing countries, so reducing pollution worldwide requires cost-efficient zero emission energy sources like nuclear.
What is your position on national defense?
Turn America into One Giant Switzerland: Armed and Neutral – with the military force to defend America’s shores and soil against any foreign attackers or invaders. Protected by an armed citizenry and by a military laser-focused on defending America. No US involvement in foreign wars. Bring home our 200,000+ American military personnel stationed in foreign countries. No US military aid to foreign governments. No US blockades or embargoes of non-military trade. Peace.
What is your position on drug legalization?
I am appalled that the United States ranks number one in the world for having the highest percentage of people imprisoned. I am also appalled that the federal government permits police to seize a person’s assets without first convicting them of a crime, and then keep most of the assets seized. This is literally highway robbery. As President, I will use my Constitutional authority to end federal civil asset forfeiture prior to conviction, and pardon persons convicted of non-violent victimless crimes. I will also work with Congress to end the failed War on Drugs and other victimless crime laws.
What is your position on immigration?
The freedom to travel is fundamental to human liberty. As American citizens, we should be free to travel anywhere we choose. As President, I will use my Constitutional authority to repeal executive orders restricting immigration and work to repeal arbitrary quotas on the number of people who can legally enter the United States to work, visit, or reside.
What is your position on gun control?
I fully support the inalienable right of individuals to keep and bear arms, as recognized in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution and will work to repeal existing laws that attempt to restrict this fundamental liberty.
What is your position on health care?
Republican and Democratic policies over the past fifty years are the reason health care has become so expensive. Their latest proposals to ‘fix’ health care will further micromanage your doctors and restrict your access to care while failing to solve the underlying problem. They differ only on whether this should be done by private insurance companies or government bureaucrats. This is the exact opposite of what needs to be done. We can reduce the cost of health care 75% by allowing real price competition, and by substantially reducing government and insurance company paperwork. This will make health care affordable for most Americans, while also reducing the cost of legacy programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA.
What is your position on tax policy?
Taxes are never voluntary – they are always paid under threat of punishment. If you fail to pay what government says you owe, you can be fined, have your wages garnished, assets seized, even go to prison. Voting for more government spending inevitably leads to higher taxes to pay for it – now, or in the future. As President, I will work tirelessly to slash federal spending, make government much, much smaller, and let you keep what you earn.
What is your position on monetary policy?
I support free-market banking. The United States needs to immediately stop deficit spending and to stop creating money out of thin air. I support auditing the Federal Reserve to provide transparency. Regulations that prohibit or restrict money alternatives, such as cryptocurrencies, should be repealed.
What is your position on fiscal policy and the national debt?
As President, I will use my Constitutional authority to block any new borrowing. I will veto any spending bill that would lead to a deficit and veto any debt ceiling increase. I will give every Cabinet secretary a specific spending reduction target to meet and hold them accountable. There is simply no excuse for sticking our children and grandchildren with the bill for these bipartisan bloated budgets.
What is your position on trade?
The freedom to trade is fundamental to human liberty. As American citizens, we should be free to buy and sell anywhere in the world. As President, I will use my Constitutional authority to eliminate trade barriers & tariffs.
What is your position on abortion/reproductive rights?
I do not believe that abortion should be a litmus-test issue for Libertarians. As our platform states it: “Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.” I have supported and voted for pro-life Libertarians like Ron Paul and pro-choice Libertarians like Gary Johnson. And of course, I fully supported my 1996 running mate, Harry Browne, who personally opposed abortion, but believed that the state should be kept out of the matter. Among our past Libertarian presidential candidates, my views are probably closest to Harry Browne’s. Like Harry, I am personally opposed to abortion, but am unwilling to vote to use the power of the state to impose my views on other women.
What is your position on education policy?
The Department of Education has failed. In the forty years since the Department of Education was created, government spending on education has skyrocketed, while the quality of education has declined. Students used to be able to work their way through college and graduate debt-free. As President, I will work to eliminate the Department of Education and return control of education to where it belongs – with parents, teachers, and students.
What is your position on Social Security and Medicare?
Do you trust politicians to keep their promises? I don’t. They’ve spent every cent in the Social Security Trust Fund on other spending, leaving behind worthless IOU’s. Other countries have successfully replaced their government-run systems with individual retirement accounts safe from greedy politicians. As President, I would work to implement a solution like the Cato Institute’s “6.2% solution”, which would allow any American the opportunity to “opt out” of the current system while making the current system fiscally stable for those who choose to remain.
What is your position on energy policy?
I will work to remove government barriers to replacing coal-burning and oil-burning power plants in the United States with safe, non-polluting, high-tech nuclear power plants – and allowing off-grid use of solar power.
Why are you running for president?
Because government is too big, too bossy, too nosy, and, worst of all, often hurts the very people it intends to help. Government doesn’t work; liberty and freedom do
What issues do you believe should be key issues in this race?
Federal spending fuels the growth of big government. As a starting point, spending needs to be cut to bring an end to deficit spending. We need to end our involvement in foreign wars, repeal laws that turn peaceful voluntary choices into crimes, and end federal control over the economy, especially health care.
What is your strategy to win or effect change in this race?
Our most important metric will be the number of new libertarians who join the Libertarian Party and our fight for liberty. To reach the tens of millions of Americans who already hold generally libertarian views, we will present positive, practical, and principled policy proposals, that can be realistically implemented if I and other Libertarians are elected.
What makes you a Libertarian?
I was born in Libertyville, so perhaps it was fate. Actually, I think it was the influence of my grandparents, who immigrated to America from Europe. They constantly talked about the opportunities that freedom provided. I was a libertarian long before I discovered the Libertarian Party, while listening to a radio show in 1979. I want to help more Americans discover that they are already libertarians and encourage them to join the Libertarian Party.
What do you believe the role of the Libertarian Party should be?
The Libertarian Party should offer a positive, practical, and principled policy agenda for the nation, and work to build a base of support large enough to elect Libertarians to public office and implement that agenda. The LP should appeal to a broad spectrum of libertarians and libertarian-leaning voters.
What do you believe is the proper role of government?
Governments should defend the rights of individuals, not violate them. I believe that the best government is that which governs least.
What makes you qualified to be president?
I am over 35 years old and a natural born citizen - the only requirements specified in the US Constitution. I have also never been elected to any federal office, and thus have not had a hand in running up 23 trillion dollars of debt, getting us involved in foreign wars, passing laws turning peaceful, voluntary choices into crimes, or turning control of major sectors of our economy over to government. That makes me eminently qualified to chart a different course, one based on a respect for individual liberty.
If you had one personal or professional reference to make your case to be President, who would you pick, and what would they say about you?
If he were still alive, I would choose David Nolan, founder of the Libertarian Party. When he endorsed me for Vice President in 1996, he said "Jo has done her homework and paid her dues; she knows her stuff and is an attractive, articulate presenter of our philosophy."
What do you believe has held the Libertarian party back from Electoral Success, and how will you change that?
The Libertarian Party simply isn't big enough. We need a much larger base of support to be competitive in national elections. There are tens of millions of Americans who fundamentally agree with us on the issues - we need to reach them and persuade them to join us. I will focus my campaign on reaching out to these voters.
How will you drive media, and what would you tell Libertarian delegates about your experience and track record in the media?
As the Libertarian Party's nominee for Vice-President, I campaigned in 32 states plus DC and appeared as a Libertarian spokesperson on over 300 radio shows all across America. I regularly lit up the call-in boards, helping listeners discover the Libertarian Party and generating inquiries and new LP members.
If elected, how would you govern as the only elected Libertarian in Washington with Congress controlled by the other two parties?
As president, I would rescind executive orders that restrict individual liberty or give additional power to government. I would veto any bills that would lead to a deficit, and any bills limiting personal or economic freedom. I would pardon individuals solely convicted of non-violent, victimless federal crimes. As Commander in Chief, I would end our involvement in foreign wars and bring our troops home. Finally, I would work with members of Congress of all parties to advance bills that would move public policy in a libertarian direction.
How will you answer a voter’s concern that they are unwilling to vote for a Libertarian because you are unlikely to win?
It is extremely unlikely that anyone's vote will be the determining factor in a Presidential election. It makes far more sense to vote for what you truly want, no matter the odds.
What message would you deliver to attract Non-Libertarian voters?
I will appeal to any voter who hasn't already deeply drunk of the Red or Blue Kool-Aid. I believe that a positive, practical, principled libertarian message will have broad appeal among voters who aren't already devoted fans of the Red or Blue teams. However, my primary target will be voters who already hold generally libertarian views but aren't yet a part of the Libertarian Party.
What makes you the best candidate to lead the Libertarian ticket in 2020?
I am the only candidate who has experience running for federal office as the nominee of the Libertarian Party, rather than as a Republican, Democrat, or Independent. As a life-long principled libertarian who understands the need to present practical libertarian proposals that could actually be implemented during my term of office, I believe I will be best able to bring different factions together and unite our party.
How would you bridge the factional divide in the Libertarian Party?
I believe the key to bridging factional divides is to advocate policy proposals that are firmly grounded in libertarian principle and could realistically be implemented during my term of office. We need to be principled and pragmatic. As Libertarian activist Don Ernsberger used to say, "Liberty Works -- and Liberty is Right".
How would you apply the non-aggression principle to policy?
The Libertarian Party Statement of Principles is the foundation of our party and our platform. Short term policy proposals must always move in the direction of increasing individual liberty, consistent with our principles and platform.
What is your fundraising experience, and how will you finance a national campaign?
I have recruited several individuals to my campaign team who have experience raising millions of dollars for libertarian causes and campaigns.
What campaign organization do you have in place for a national campaign?
I have a full-time campaign chair and campaign manager, plus social media director, treasurer, scheduler, technology director, webmaster, and two persons working on special projects, including media and fundraising.
Describe your campaign to date
I have assembled an experienced campaign team, including a full-time campaign manager, and have arranged my schedule to permit me to travel Fri - Mon to state conventions and other events. I have been traveling to events every weekend since the beginning of January and will continue doing so through the national convention in Austin. We are booking remote interviews Tue-Thu, and my team is working to expand our volunteer team. I recorded a video response immediately after the State of the Union address which has been well received.
Will you be at the Libertarian National Convention in Austin, Texas?
What is the status of your campaign?
Actively seeking the nomination.