It’s that time again where candidates are trying to get your support to vote their way. Rallies, stump speeches, texts, emails, mailers, billboards, and so much more are bombarding you daily, especially in this final week. This article is from the perspective of a Libertarian and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. My experience and thoughts are my own, and though I reference the gospel, nothing I say should be taken “as gospel.” While I will use my own doctrinal understanding to give an LDS case for supporting Jo Jorgensen, it is clearly not to be taken as an official church stance.
First, we must look at the Libertarian Party at its most basic principles. As Libertarians, we seek a world of peace and liberty. Further, we advocate for personal responsibility. Liberty and responsibility always go hand in hand. While we absolutely believe in agency and free will, the individual is responsible for the consequences that result from every choice. This also means that your rights end where another person’s begin. All this falls under what we call the non-aggression principle, which states that the only legitimate use of force is in the defense of self, family, and those unable to defend themselves.
More choices, open markets, less government to dictate how to live
More choices, open markets, less government to dictate how to live
Now that we have established the base principles, I’d like to introduce you to Dr. Jo Jorgensen, our nominee for President of the United States. I will discuss her platform and how it aligns with the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ.
First, it should be noted that Dr. Jorgensen holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology as well as an MBA. Using this education, she built a successful consulting business from the ground up. She was also the Vice Presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party in 1996 and has continually held positions in other campaigns for public office that her platform supports. Her qualifications speak for themselves. She’s principled, able, and consistent.
Moving on to her platform, she definitely has a theme: agency. More choices, open markets, less government to dictate how to live.
One thing on everyone’s mind lately has been what we do to address COVID-19 and future pandemics that may arise. Dr. Jorgensen believes…
- Testing. Government agencies should not put in place hurdles and red tape for getting tested. One of the biggest failures was the CDC and FDA not approving testing quickly enough to be able to trace where problems existed. It took a doctor breaking the law to discover community spread in Washington, where the first cases sprung up.
- Shut-downs. We shouldn’t have shut down the economy. The government shouldn’t be able to tell you what is essential, because all jobs are essential to putting food on the table. Further, lockdowns caused increases in depression, suicide, and medical problems because many medical services were deemed nonessential.
It was Elder Dallin Oaks who said in 2010, “Latter-day Saints believe in applying the best available scientific knowledge and techniques. We use nutrition, exercise, and other practices to preserve health, and we enlist the help of healing practitioners, such as physicians and surgeons, to restore health.”
Unfortunately, we did not apply the best scientific knowledge and medical guidance in reference to locking down. The “cure” ended up worse than the disease.
- Dr. Jorgensen believes in the right to try, where you and your doctor decide the best course of treatment. When President Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19, he was given access to non-approved FDA treatments not available to the general public. These hurdles should not exist between the doctor and patient. Everyone should be able to access treatment, especially with life-threatening illnesses.
Criminal justice reform
Another big issue is the need for criminal justice reform, as we have seen due to many incidents that arose during 2020 and go back decades. Dr. Jorgensen is the only candidate with a plan to address needed reform that goes beyond lip service.
- Ending qualified immunity. Unfortunately, when a prison guard or police officer crosses the line, the individual officer is protected from liability because of qualified immunity. In many cases, officers are not held accountable because no specific law exists applying to law enforcement, even if a law exists for everyone else. So they are given a pass even though life, liberty, and/or property were destroyed or threatened by the officer, in many cases without justifiable cause.
In one of our sacred books of scripture, it reads
We believe that the commission of a crime should be punished according to the nature of the offense; that murder, treason, robbery, theft, and the breach of the general peace, in all respects, should be punished according to their criminality and their tendency to evil among men, by the laws of that government in which the offense is committed; and for the public peace and tranquility all men should step forward and use their ability in bringing offenders against good laws to punishment.
- Ending the war on drugs: Dr. Jorgensen believes that the criminal penalties associated with possession and personal use of illicit substances should cease. In the majority of cases, these individuals have not caused harm to anyone nor their property. When a person has not harmed someone else, they should not be sent to prison. Only when they aggress against another person are they guilty of a crime.
While doctrinally, we as church members follow the Word of Wisdom, we cannot justify the violation of another person’s agency if no life, liberty, or property was harmed. All of us were given free will. Our job as members is to preach the Gospel, not enforce the Gospel through laws.
- Ending mandatory minimum sentences. Jo Jorgensen’s policy is to end mandatory minimums at the federal level while advocating states follow suit. These mandatory sentences bind a judge’s hands, making it impossible for them to weigh circumstances and facts surrounding the case. Is there no difference between stealing a luxury car and stealing a loaf of bread to feed a starving child? Judges should have more discretion to determine whether punishment or restitution would be warranted.
As the prophet Alma teaches his son, “See that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually.”
Debt and spending
Government debt and spending, as well as the economy, are probably among the biggest issues on everyone’s mind when measuring a candidate. There is far too much to cover in a quick article, so we’ll focus on a few points.
- Deficit spending. Year after year, the federal government spends far more than it brings in revenue. We have seen the debt rise to over $27 trillion as a result, most of it in the last 15 years. Dr. Jorgensen will veto spending above revenue. It means we will have to look at real cuts to the way we spend. She will provide a balanced budget to Congress.
In the Old Testament, the Psalmist writes, “The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.”
We have been counseled by our Prophets to ensure we don’t incur debt, and when we must (like for a home mortgage), it is modest and reasonable. Why do we hold government to a different standard than we would our own family?
- Jobs. The easiest way to have a massive amount of job creation is to get the government out of the way. While some common-sense regulations exist like not dumping chemicals into the water supply, there are a great many that keep new entrepreneurs from entering the market because they cannot afford lawyers to navigate every little regulation that exists, most lobbied for by big businesses to keep out competition.
Dr. Jorgensen is the one who will work to cut needless barriers so we can all reach greater prosperity. We believe in self-sufficiency, and removing many hurdles will help us more easily get there.
While there are certainly more issues available to discuss, we could write an entire book to cover them all. I encourage you, the reader, to check out Dr. Jo Jorgensen at www.jo20.com. As a Libertarian, I also recommend looking into down-ballot races too. Be sure you perform your due diligence.