Libertarian presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen says the U.S. government should end the drug war, audit and shut down the Federal Reserve and bring American military occupation troops in dozens of countries back to American soil.
Dr. Jorgenson, a psychology senior lecturer at Clemson University, is a lifetime libertarian. She is a mother of two and a businesswoman with a Danish family background.
She appeals to disaffected Democrats and Republicans who find their parties aggrandizing the state, diminishing the individual, and bringing the national government and economy into ruin.
Dr. Jorgensen is dead-set against many of the abuses that prompted protests and riots worldwide after the police slaying of George Floyd.
“We cannot claim to be the land of the free when we lead the world in incarcerations,” she declares. The U.S. has 5 percent of the world population, but 20 percent of its prisoners. “One of the biggest factors that has led to a quadrupling of the prison population since 1980 is the racist and destructive war on drugs.”
End drug war, she says
Mandatory minimums have taken discretion from judges, keeping people in prison for years, decades or longer for offenses that have no victim. The U.S. is under a “carbon copy” of failed Prohibition of the 1920s, which created a criminal subculture. “What we have now is not a drug problem,” she says. “What we have is a prohibition problem.
“There should be no law to keep you from owning an object, whether it’s a gun to protect yourself or drugs for whatever you wish. If there is no victim, there is no crime.” The crowd cheers. “I will federally decriminalize all drugs and encourage states to treat drug use as a health issue, not as a criminal issue. We should allow the medical community to deal with substance abuse in a way that salvages lives instead of throwing them away.”
She vows she will pardon anyone in federal prison who was convicted of a victimless crime. “This is just one step toward ending the overincarceration of people of color and letting consensual adult activities become safer and less stigmatized.”
The war on drug has “negative affected our communities and the many interactions people have with police. The drug war has single-handedly created gangs that police themselves, often through violence.” The DEA is a costly agency that repeatedly raided legal medical marijuana clinics. “Long gone is the friendly local police officer who knows everybody on the beat by name. Instead, we have nameles, faceless SWAT teams imported from the federal government.”
The feds should not patrol streets, and she wants to defund DHS and DEA.
“I will end no-knock raids which often end of up killing innocent bystanders like Breonna Taylor. As libertarian congressman Justin Amash has brought up, when police misbehave, it’s almost impossible to take legal action” because of qualified immunity, which holds that no claim can be upheld unless a court in the region has established by a ruling that a an offended right exits in a prior case.
She promises that she would audit the Fed, and then close it down. She says she would target the U.S. income tax and abolish the IRS. “It’s time for the government to balance its checkbook the same way families do.”
Standing in front of her tour bus, Dr. Jorgensen takes questions from the audience of about 200 people under a great shade tree at Crabtree farms. Prior to her public appearance she’d held a fund-raising dinner.
Tyler promotes liberty in East Ridge
David Tyler is running for East Ridge city council as a libertarian. Libertarians may be anti-state, but he says they should not support protests that degrade into looting.” Looting and rioting will only lead to the loss of freedoms in the name of public safety,” he says, “and they will loot your pockets to pay for their newfound oppression.”
He says libertarians should be lococentric and “lift up the less fortunate who have fallen victims of poor government policies. We should build a community, for the future, or there will be no future worth fighting for.” The GOP and Demos use ballot access laws and bogus litmus tests “to silence dissenting voices,” chief among them the libertarians.
If he were buying a pickup truck, he could chose from Nissan, Toyota, Chevy, Ford, Mr. Tyler says. He could buy four choices of F-150, “and that in just one color. But when it comes to presidential candidates, we say we have just two options — the two worst options of all time?”
Mr. Tyler says libertarians have love, compassion and understanding. Leaders need “to dismantle the system of oppression that lies before us.” He asks his listeners if their burning passion to change the world is marked by hate, or love for fellow man.
The libertarian ethos is live and let live.
But not all get life extenders, says Angela Pence, a local organizer for the Jorgensen campaign. Especially bankrupt businesses. “It’s not the taxpayer’s obligation to bail these companies out.”
“I want everybody to have all their freedoms all the time,” says Luke White, from whose shoulder hangs a 9mm carbine with a greendot site on the top. He is wearing a front back containing an armor plate and six magazines of bullets. A heavily armed Knoxville resident with a wife stands nearby, and the two stand like sentinels over the proceedings.