Jorgensen fielded several questions from members of the audience. Bethel Citizen photo by Samuel Wheeler

BETHEL — Libertarian candidate for president, Jo Jorgensen, made the last of her three stops in Bethel Saturday evening, addressing a crowd of about 60 people on the Bethel common.

Jorgensen spoke and answered questions from the crowd for roughly 45 minutes.

Jorgensen spent a few minutes giving opening remarks before fielding questions from the audience. A few members asked the Libertarian questions.

One person asked Jorgensen thoughts on the Environmental Protection Agency and its federal and state regulations.

“The free market can do this much better than the government,” Jorgensen said.

Jorgensen added that she participated in a third party debate in Chicago in March, where she heard a woman talk about how the government is one of the biggest polluters in this country.

“I don’t think anyone should be looking to the government for help when it comes to the environment, at the federal and local levels, because clearly they are not interested,” Jorgensen said.

Another person asked Jorgensen what she would do to help the veterans, specifically focusing on lowering the suicide rate (22 per day).

“We need to stop sending them to places that puts them in that position of wanting to harm themselves,” Jorgensen said.

Jorgensen explained that improving the healthcare system plays a major role in helping get veterans moving in the right direction.

“If anybody deserves the best healthcare that money can buy, it is the veterans. They risked their lives for our country. They need to be at the top of our list, not at the bottom.”

Another person asked how the Libertarian plans to tackle police brutality and systemic racism.

“We need to stop handing out tanks, tear gas and other military equipment to the 8,000 federal, state and local municipalities,” she added. “This is a perfect example of what the federal government is doing wrong. Unfortunately we’ve lost the local beat officer who knows everyone by name, and instead the federal government in arming them has turned them into soldiers, giving them a different mentality. It’s now more of an us v. them. I don’t want to be at war with countries and I certainly do not want America to be at war with its own citizens.

More Jorgensen responses

How come there has not been as much media coverage for you as there has been for the other two candidates? “I would say because Democrats and Republicans have the power and they know it and that’s how it works, when people have power they don’t want to give it up. They have this folly drama and fake debates where they supposedly differ, but what I say is that both of them want to make decisions for you. Both of them think Washington does a better job than you do at making your own decisions. Neither one is doing anything to stop the price of healthcare and neither one is going to bring the troops home. I would be the only one with major differences from them. It makes sense they do not want me on stage because they don’t want people to know there is a real alternative.”

Many Americans thought neither candidate accomplished during last weeks  debate, but a member from your campaign team said it accomplished a lot for you. Can you speak more on that? “It accomplished a lot for me because our website slowed down to almost a halt. So many people were looking up my name after that debate because after watching it I think people were disappointed that these two people were the main choices.”

What made you want to run for president and when did you decide to join the race? “I got into this race because government is too big, too bossy, too nosy and too intrusive. The worst part is, is they usually end up hurting the people they are trying to help. I have realized that it is not fair for an elite group of people to make decisions for everyone else. When I saw that we had such a bad system I knew someone had to step in and do something about it.”

In a time where the country is very divided, what is your plan to bring Americans back together? “By letting them make their own decisions. The Libertarian way is that you get to keep your resources and that you get to vote with your dollars everyday. This is the land of the free and we need to be able to make our own decisions.”

Federal involvement in education: “At the federal level I would work to get rid of the Department of Education so that localities can make their own decisions. Education is a local issue and it should be decided among parents, teachers and students. Each locality should be able to make their own decisions. This is one area where federal government should not be involved in.”

Why did you decided to visit Maine? You cited its rank choice voting system as one of the reasons, can you elaborate on that? “We’re trying to get to all of the states, as a candidate I don’t get as much say as to where I go as people think. I told them, however, that I need to visit Maine. Maine is the only state I specifically said that I was personally going to visit. Maine has ranked choice voting. In this election we have fear. I don’t think many people are voting for these two major candidates because they are excited or happy about them. I think they are doing it out of fear. Maine is doing it right because they are giving people the chance to vote for who they really want.

What do you really want people to know about you? “The one message I try to get out to voters is healthcare. We’ve been hearing from politicians that the free market doesn’t work so therefore we need to have single care. If we had the free market we would see competition bring down prices. This current system we have is not working for the American people.”

An entire video of Jorgensen’s visit to Bethel, along with full answers to questions can be seen on YouTube by searching Western Hills Access Television.






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