In July 2020, we interviewed 2020 Libertarian Presidential Candidate Dr. Jo Jorgensen! Dr. Jorgensen boasts an impressive resume before she got into politics, being the founder of a tech company, obtaining a Doctorate in Industrial and Organizational psychology, and breaking gender barriers in the tech industry. We talk tech, pandemic, and why people should look outside the two-party system for leadership.
(Note: Podcast was recorded on July 10, 2020, before we formally created the Inovare Podcast by Capitol Presence. Podcast is not indicative of a presidential endorsement, as Capitol Presence remains a non-partisan company.)
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 0:54
Hello everybody out there, and welcome to another edition of “Cloud, Coffee, and Code”. Thank you so much for joining us. We have a very special guest in with us today, I can honestly say it’s the first politician that we’ve had on the show, so that’s a very interesting conversation to be had. Her name is Dr. Jo Jorgensen, she’s a senior lecturer in psychology at Clemson University, she holds a PhD in industrial organizational psychology. She later worked in technology for tech giant IBM and was the president and sole owner of her own software duplication company. And if that’s not enough, that’s quite the resume, but if that’s not enough, she recently became the first woman nominee for the Libertarian Party as their current 2020 candidate. Please welcome in Dr. Jo Jorgensen, thank you so much for joining us.
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 1:43
Great to be here, thanks
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 1:47
So, I will start off like I start off every happy hour, this is a happy hour, so I hope you don’t mind, but I am – I always shout out who I’m drinking this week. This is Manassas Station, an American Lager because after all it’s the Fourth. Well first, let’s, I know that I said this in the in the introduction, but you do have a background in tech and so –
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 2:13
Well, slightly tech.
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 2:16
Well, you were, so, you were a woman in technology, and you’ve seen firsthand what it’s like to walk through a not exactly a diverse industry, it’s pretty male dominated, but you managed to progress, you went through the field, you started your own company, you were the president of a company. Um, and so knowing what you know now through technology, if you were to go back and give yourself piece of advice through the technology, through tech, you know, what would that piece of advice be?
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 2:50
It would have been don’t make a detour into technology, go straight to psychology, is basically what it would be.
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 2:58
I love it. I love it. So, so you are in psychology now.
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 3:02
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 3:03
And so, we’ll get into your to your politics and policies now because I have a ton of people who were in the QA, but as a psychologist, what, what led you to that career and then ultimately from that, what led you into politics?
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 3:20
Well, I’ve always been interested in basically how the brain works. I started out as a biology pre-med major. And then when I found out just how powerful the brain is in overcoming diseases and basically what’s going on in the body, I decided that that’s what I wanted to study. And as far as politics, I’ve actually never been interested in politics. I’ve had people ask me, “So I guess you were, what, student body president, maybe on Student Council?” And my answer is “no, I always hated the idea that an elite few back to make rules for the rest of us. So, I was never drawn to politics. And I look at running on the libertarian ticket is basically an act of self-defense of trying to get back the decisions that we should be rightfully making instead of the bureaucrats in Washington making for us.
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 4:10
Interesting, interesting. So never a, never a class president, huh? That was never –
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 4:15
Didn’t even run for it, didn’t even like the idea of it.
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 4:18
Wow, wow. But American President has a nice ring to it, though.
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 4:22
Sure does! Along with the address
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 4:26
That’s right. So, I’m gonna, I’m gonna take a question you’ve probably never heard before maybe. I always like to ask people about their journey and, and how you know, how they got to where they’re at. And a lot of our journey has to do with failures. That’s how we learn the best right is through is through failure, right trial and error. And so, there’s nothing like asking a politician what their biggest failure is right in how they got to where they are now. But what’s a failure that was in your career that ultimately led to who you are now, and that, you know, you learned a valuable lesson from?
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 5:04
Well, I’m not sure that psychology would agree that that’s our greatest lesson is in our failures. Um, I think it would be in training and knowledge, skills and abilities. So again, I’m not a politician. What I have as a strength for politics is, I’ve never raised taxes, I’ve never spent more than was in the budget. And I’ve never kept Americans under house arrest when a pandemic came about.
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 5:33
That is uh, that is, I will take a greater look at that in training. Training is always important, right. Preparation. I can’t, I cannot argue with that.
And so, if you don’t mind, I will get into some, some policies and politics here. I assume that’s okay with you.
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 5:50
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 5:51
So, while you are the woman, the first woman Libertarian nominee, you know, this isn’t necessarily your first stint or go at politics, right. You were the you were the Vice President, nominee for the party in 1996, and so what, what experience are you drawing from, from that experience for this presidential run?
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 6:15
Well, I had a great mentor in watching Harry Brown. And one of the best things about Harry Brown is he had gravitas. And one thing that the campaign reminded me is, you know what, you’re going to be on enough ballots, that, technically, theoretically, you could be elected vice president, and you need to act like it. And I think that the office of President should be held with the utmost respect. Now, the politicians always don’t, don’t always treat it with the respect that they should, in basically their own little personal interests and helping out their friends. But my goal is to return respectability to the office.
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 6:55
Great, and so with that, there’s been a few things going on in 2020 this year, I’ll leave it at that, right. We’ve had it we’ve seen it very interesting, very interesting year. And so, a lot of a lot of what’s been going around is around COVID-19, coronavirus, whatever you want to call it. And so recently, you’ve expressed multiple things about how the FDA presented itself and how they presented obstacles in drugs going to go to market. You even brought up how Southeast Asia that how they widely tested their citizens, and you had said that you would have tested everyone. So, can you kind of elaborate on some of your, what you would have done differently during the coronavirus and COVID?
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 7:43
Well, sure, a lot of people don’t realize that starting in 1962 with the FDA, not only did you have to prove safety, which has always been there, you also had to prove efficacy, which sounds like a noble cause, that you have to show that your drug works. But as a scientist, I understand that it’s not as simple as you know, “Hey, Fred, come over here and let’s give you the drug and see if it works”. You’ve got to have double blind studies, you’ve got to have just really jump through hoops, which is why it can cost a billion dollars or more just to bring a drug to market. And so, what the FDA did was they put an obstacle in there. In that the testing that the people doing the testing had to prove that their testing kits worked was what we found in the past before 1962 is the market did a great job of weeding out those that didn’t work from those that did.
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 8:38
Yeah. And so, one of the things that you had touched on was the government involvement and the “stay at home” orders. And so, so you had mentioned that you would have avoided the stay at home over, “stay at home” order, rather, and you would have reduced the government involvement, and so, so can you can elaborate on that. What type of government involvement would you have reduced?
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 8:59
Well, sure, if we had got, if we had been able to get tested, and of course, I wouldn’t have had mandatory testing. But we’re all adults. And if you listen to everybody, people wanted to get tested, they wanted to know if they had the disease, they wanted to know if they could spread it to their loved ones. So, without the government roadblock keeping them from being tested, people could have gotten tested and then those that could have gone out and still enjoyed the economy contributed to it, could have. Those who were sick could have stayed at home and then not spread it
And that’s what we saw in Southeast Asia. So, what I would have done is had a system in which people could go out and work and then we wouldn’t have lost the tens of millions of jobs that we saw disappear. And this is a great example how government right now has a, um, they’ve got a they look at, “Oh, here, we’ve got a problem now, we don’t have enough hospital beds”. So, we have to keep everybody home. Well, why don’t we have enough hospital beds? It’s because of Certificate of Need laws and other laws. And so, this is a prime example of how the government breaks your leg and then thinks that you should be grateful when it gives you a crutch.
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 10:14
And so, speaking of democracy and which way we should go and the crutches. I have, I’ve always been wondering – I’ve been thinking about this question a lot and how to ask you. See the socialism portrayal that Americans have with Europe is that they’re all socialists and they’re all or they all have a king or a queen, but there are a few countries over there that you’ve mentioned by name like you, I believe Switzerland is one of them. Where you had said that you wish that America would be one giant Switzerland, right? And so, a lot of people who might not know Switzerland might automatically jump to socialism or you think they have a king or a queen or whatever? Right, but they’re actually a democracy and –
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 11:04
Do you mind if I interrupt here?
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 11:05
Yes, please do.
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 11:04
I’ve only mentioned Switzerland when it comes to bringing our troops home. What I’ve said is I want to turn America into one giant Switzerland – armed and neutral. So that only refers to foreign policy. It only refers to national defense. What it refers to is the fact that we shouldn’t be in everybody’s business. We shouldn’t be the world’s policeman and we shouldn’t go around creating wars. We need to bring our troops home.
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 11:33
And so, this is a question that I get a lot from people regarding that is Libertarians traditionally think small government. And so how would you, how do you prop up a national defense with a small federal government?
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 11:51
Well, of course, you would need a much smaller defense. In fact, right now our defense budget is three times larger than the next largest budget in the entire world, on the entire planet. So, we could cut our defense by two-thirds and still be tied with the largest budget. There’s no reason we need to be supporting wealthy Europe with their defense needs. And also, being in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, that only causes more problems than it solves. The purpose of the federal government is to protect its citizens. And what’s ironic is not only are they not doing a good job of protecting us, they’re making us less safe. All we have to do is look at 9/11 to see that.
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 12:33
So, I’m going to go into the Q&A if that’s okay. Here, have a couple of questions that have come through. So, Shane asks “I want to vote for you, but I’m terrified that Trump will win again, if I do. What advice would you have for somebody like me?”
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 12:48
Well, first of all, what are you terrified about Trump? Are you concerned that I might not increase the deficit as much as he has? Are you concerned that perhaps I will bring the troops home and I will have peace? You know, Trump, I and let me mention, I understand why so many voters voted for Trump, because they wanted somebody different. They wanted an outsider. They wanted somebody to come in and kind of straighten things up. But he’s just doing the same thing that Republicans have been doing for decades: giving us bigger and bigger government and our deficit just keeps getting larger. So, my question would be, do you think government is too small? And usually people say, “Oh, my gosh, no.” And my answer is, well, then why would you vote for bigger government?
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 13:35
So, I know that you have a hard stop here in about three minutes, so I’ll make sure that I get to a few of these QA’s. One more other QA that is out there that says, “I want to help, how can I help and what are you looking for in terms of volunteers?”
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 13:49
Oh, thank you. Please come to joj2020.com and I’ve got to tell you, we have just been overwhelmed with how many non-Libertarians have jumped on board. Usually when a campaign starts, especially a Libertarian campaign, starts off pretty small with the core supporters. And then as it gains momentum, it reaches out into the community. But from the very first week, we’ve had many non-Libertarians volunteer, and we’ve got many more non-Libertarians volunteering for the campaign than Libertarians, so we couldn’t be more excited. So, the address again is joj2020.com.
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 14:27
Great. And so, I’ll have to end on a fun question, right. So, I, I know that you’re at Clemson University, and so Go Tigers, I grew up a Clemson fan, you know Go Tigers. My question there would be what are your thoughts on if they play, do think that they can do it, they get back to the championship?
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 14:50
Oh, absolutely. And as you probably know, they came to the White House and because of the strike that was going on, President Trump gave them fast food and he was roundly criticized for it, which I didn’t see a problem with that. In fact, I think the average college student would probably prefer fast food to sitting down with a fancy dinner. So, I’ve often joked that if I become President, then I’ll be the one who gets to welcome Dabo Sweeney and the Clemson Tigers to the White House. So that would be a great moment in history.
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 15:22
Yeah, I would love to see it. I am a bit, I did not go to Clemson, I went to West Virginia. So, Go Mountaineers. I grew up a Clemson fan. And when I saw that, I knew I had to bring up the Tiger. So,
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 15:35
Yep, well great, great question.
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 15:37
Hey, well, thank you so much for coming on. I know that you have a quick, you’re a busy woman these days. Right? And you have a quick drop off at 4:30. So, thank you so much. And is there anything that you would like to say before you go?
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Candidate for President) 15:51
No, as I would say is, I understand if you voted for Trump, because you wanted something different. We’re the only party who is actually different, who truly want small government and for any Democrats. I’d like to point out that the Democratic Party was traditionally the anti-war pro-peace party, and we saw how the Democratic Party muzzled Tulsi Gabbard. So, if you want peace, again, the Libertarian Party is the only party to go to for that. So, I’m at joj2020.com and I can’t thank you enough for that.
Roy Edwards (Capitol Presence) 16:26
Of course. Yeah, have it. Thank you so much for coming on. I appreciate it and best of luck come November; we’ll be pulling for you.
So, guys, thank you. Thank you so much for hopping on with us this week. If you have missed any of our previous shows, you can go to cloudcoffeecodepodcast.com, that’s cloudcoffeecodepodcast.com. Obviously, we’re live every Friday at four o’clock. So, until next time, cheers. Cheers and Happy Fourth of July, everybody!