On June 8, news.Bitcoin.com chatted with the U.S. 2020 Libertarian candidate for president, Joanne Jorgensen. The Libertarian Party’s nominee for president is the party’s first female candidate and she is a firm believer in free markets and civil liberties.
This week our newsdesk discussed a number of issues with the Libertarian 2020 presidential candidate Joanne Jorgensen, otherwise known as “Jo.” The Libertarian nominee is a well known political activist and academic researcher during the last few decades. Jo Jorgensen discusses a number of subjects with our newsdesk including Donald Trump, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, police accountability, the war on drugs, the war on terror, the Federal Reserve, and pardoning Ross Ulbricht. Jorgensen offers an interesting perspective that is unlike the incumbent Donald Trump and very different from the Democrat challenger Joe Biden.
Bitcoin.com (BC): Can you tell our readers why you are running for President?
Jo Jorgensen (JJ): Because the government is too big, too nosy, too intrusive, and it often hurts those it tries to help. News.Bitcoin.com readers can read about my stance on all the issues here at my website joj2020.com.
BC: Why do you think voters feel obligated to vote either Democrat and Republican over a third-party candidate?
JJ: Part of it is because they control the narrative. One thing voters look forward to is the debates and after some third-party candidates were able to be included in the debates, what they did was change the requirements. In fact, Harry Browne and I in 1996 tried very hard to get third parties into the debates. What they told us was “Well I’m sorry the Debate Commission won’t allow it.” Now what they were not telling us was that the Debate Commission consisted of half Republicans and half Democrats.
Both parties are for bigger government, they both enjoy the power, and they know that if the Libertarians get too much publicity, then people would realize this is what the average American voter wants. There are estimates that say 40 to 45 million people are Libertarian-leaning, and either they have never heard of the Libertarian party or they just don’t know enough about the party. If we could come in contact with them, they probably would be thrilled with our message and we could get somewhere. But again the Democrats and Republicans with the mainstream media — It’s hard to get any traction.
One thing that is promising and that we are thrilled about, is the fact that we are getting so many volunteers. So many volunteers visiting our website, signing up and what is really great is that many of them are not even Libertarian. We are just overwhelmed with how many people from outside the Libertarian party want to help us.
BC: What are your thoughts on how the US government handled the coronavirus outbreak— specifically the business shutdowns and lockdown orders?
It was the largest assault on history in my lifetime. It was tragic, they put us all under house arrest and tens of millions of people lost their jobs. Many of those jobs are not coming back. One of my grandfathers immigrated from Sweden and his family came to America for freedom. You know the land of the free and home of the brave. And while we are all under lockdown, the old country that he left they were all out walking about, going to school, going to restaurants, and having a general freedom that you would expect Americans to have.
BC: Since the coronavirus and even months prior, the US Federal Reserve has created trillions of dollars and it has been distributed to private dealers and interests. What are your thoughts on the Fed and how would you address this private bank as President?
JJ: First all the Federal Reserve should have never been created to begin with. Unfortunately, they are teaching history a little wrong in the textbooks these days. Because a lot of people say that if it wasn’t for the Fed stepping in, the Great Depression would have been so much worse. But actually the Federal Reserve caused the problems. The reason the Fed was brought about was to help with times of crisis — to smooth things over.
But the tragedy is that the banks had already worked out a system already. A system of where the banks helped each other out voluntarily and it did not involve the ups and downs of the Fed. So first of all, it should have never been created. Second, it took a small problem and made it much larger. And third, the first thing I would do if I was President of the United States would be to audit the Federal Reserve.
I would seek advice from former Senator Ron Paul and ask him his recommendation on who should be in charge of that investigation committee. Eventually, I’d like to see the Fed abolished. Because through the Federal Reserve we get money created out of thin air, which is basically the equivalent of counterfeit money.
It is a hidden tax that was not passed by Congress, so people don’t realize that now they have been taxed, but not in an honest way. If there even is an honest way. They are doing it under the dark of night where nobody knows and all retirees know is that their money isn’t going as far as it used to go.
BC: A great number of Libertarians like money such as gold and silver. However, in recent years many free-market advocates support bitcoin. What is your stance on Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency economy?
JJ: A message from the Libertarian Party platform says: “We favor free-market banking with unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all types — Individuals engaged in voluntary exchange should be free to use as money any mutually agreeable commodity or item. We support a halt to inflationary monetary policies and unconstitutional legal tender laws.”
So a number of people say that they want to back USD with gold. That would be a step in the right direction, but that is not enough. We have competition in cars, competition with computers, and competitive grocery stores. Why not have competition with money? So the people have access to something that is more planned and a monetary system they can better predict. Right now what we have is money that’s created under the whims of Congress and the Federal Reserve Chair.
I would act in support of a free market in currencies. Some people say that the constitution authorizes the federal government to create currency, just like it authorizes the creation of the post office. But in neither case, does the constitution give the federal government a monopoly on currency or the delivery of mail. Businesses should be able to trade and accept whatever they want and that would mean bitcoin and all the other cryptocurrencies.
BC: A lot of people can’t stand Donald Trump. But there are many with the Libertarian perspective that Obama was just as much of a tyrant. For instance, the 6-7 wars Obama was involved in, signing the NDAA, and militarizing the police during the Occupy protests. How would you compare the last two presidencies?
JJ: They are both big government. If you ask the average person: “Do you think the government is too big or do you think it is too small?” They will usually laugh when you ask if it is too small. It gives the voters a false sense of choice and people say “well my team won this time.” Its basically big government guy number one and big government guy number two. So we are basically down to literally just the red and blue team. They are both for big government and all you are doing is rooting for the red and blue, and not necessarily policy. When I joined the Libertarian party and movement in 1979, in the ‘70s and ‘80s we would often tell people we take the best of both sides.
Like the Republicans, we believe in economic liberties. Like the left and the Democrats, we Libertarians believe in social liberties. But now you can’t even say that anymore because neither side is for any liberty. We see Republicans like Donald Trump coming in and spending money and enacting horrible laws in industry. Then on the left, we see some of the biggest movements against free speech that have been around for quite a while. The left has become so anti-free speech, so we can’t even say we take the best from both sides.
For instance, with Obamacare, we do not have a free market healthcare system. I keep hearing people say “since the free market doesn’t work, I guess we will have to go to single-payer or we have to go to this system or that system.” No, we don’t have a free market healthcare system and we haven’t had it since at least World War 2. If we went back to the free market, we would have much lower healthcare prices. Because we would have the checks and balances of a free market system.
BC: Do you think ending the war on drugs would help reform American police forces?
Absolutely. We have so many laws and the police in so many areas there’s kind of an ‘us versus them’ mentality. Crime is a local issue. For instance, assault, burglary, and all of those things are done to a specific person, home, or to their cars. There is no need for the federal government to get involved. Policing is a local issue. But what the federal government has done is that they have made it a federal issue. One of those ways we can reform police is by ending the drug laws. We have drug laws at the federal level. Now we got the federal government giving local police forces tanks and paramilitary equipment. Free training, and free money to buy other forms of equipment. The police forces wouldn’t have that money if they had to raise it in their own communities.
So what if people use marijuana. Does it matter if someone has a joint in their home or a bottle of bourbon? Who cares? As long as you use it safely and peacefully.
BC: Ever since I was born, for the last 40+ years, the US has been at war. What would you do about these conflicts if you became President?
JJ: One of my top three issues is to bring the troops home. It is to turn America into one big giant Switzerland. Armed and neutral. The irony here is that a military is supposed to protect us. But what is happening is that our military is making us less safe and not safer. It has had the opposite effect.
There was no justification for Bin Laden to orchestrate the 9-11 attack. However, Bin Laden was able to justify the attack with his followers. Part of the way he was able to do that is was to say look the United States is still here, and they said it would be ‘temporary.’ He said that the U.S. lied to us and said they would be out of here by a certain date, but they are still here. If we were not over there, Bin Laden would have had a much harder time convincing his followers that the U.S. needed to be attacked.
We spend more on military spending than any other country. We spend 3x as much as the next biggest military spender. The U.S. could cut military spending by two-thirds and still be tied with the largest military on the face of the earth.
BC: What would you say to people who don’t think that it’s worth it participating in voting because Democrats and Republicans always win?
JJ: I would tell them that the reason that Democrats and Republicans keep winning is because everybody keeps voting for them. If you don’t want big government, then don’t vote for a Democrat or Republican. Some people say “well its a waste of a vote,” but I tell people it is a wasted vote to vote for something you don’t want.
BC: Can you tell our readers what types of plans you have that would address specifically bitcoin and cryptocurrency advocates?
First I would enact Ron Paul’s Free Competition in Currency Act. This would repeal legal tender laws and taxes on coins and monetary metals. And it would repeal the prohibition on coining money.
Also, I would repeal the Bank Secrecy Act, Know-Your-Customer (KYC), and other laws that violate our right to financial privacy. Many people go to bitcoin because they do want privacy so I would work to repeal those unjust laws. I would also appoint commissioners to the CFTC and the SEC who would then seek to deregulate Bitcoin and other crypto-assets.
I would appoint leaders at the Treasury Department, who would be told to leave bitcoin and crypto operations alone. Lastly, I would pardon Ross Ulbricht, the individual who operated the Silk Road (SR) marketplace. Ulbricht is serving more than one life sentence in prison for nonviolent offenses, partly because some of the SR members were selling drugs for bitcoin. By doing these things it would help keep finances private and help stop the government-induced devaluation of the dollar.
What do you think about our interview with Jo Jorgensen? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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