Oct. 13, 2022

605: How Can Addressing Mental Health Help Fix Our Politics?

Sean is running to fix the problems in our politics by addressing mental health. Listen in as we talk about how he plans to change the way we think about mental health and how it relates to politics.

On today's episode, I'm joined by Libertarian candidate for Congress, Sean Armstrong (NJ-9).

We talk about how addressing mental health can help fix our politics.

Sean is a strong advocate for one of the most important issues of our time: mental health. 

Sean is running to fix the problems in our politics by addressing mental health. Listen in as we talk about how he plans to change the way we think about mental health and how it relates to politics.

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Brian Nichols  0:03  
focusing on winning arguments. We're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. You're on the show. And, of course, another episode I am always your humble host and can take joining me yes from the lovely Stratus ip studio with your security, Indiana, don't let cyber cats or old technology slow your company down. Learn more at Stratus ip.net. Or you can go head to Brian Nichols show.com forward slash Stratus ip and get your free Business Technology consultation today. One more time, Brian Nichols show.com forward slash Stratus ip All right, folks. So welcome to today's episode we're gonna be talking to Yes, another Libertarian candidate. We just had Tanya Millis here on the program. And what an absolutely fantastic conversation we have Tanya because she's running for a Congress here in Indiana. But today we're going to be going up to New Jersey. But first I want to go ahead. And this is actually to all the other candidates who are out there running for office. We have an awesome sponsor here on The Brian Nichols Show. Let me go ahead and pull this up here. Oh, if I can actually get to pull up here. There we go. So our sponsor today and that is right strategies. Now folks, I've been talking about right strategies for a while here and right strategies if you are a candidate or head even if you are a small business owner, well, this is a great opportunity for you to not only get some extra help, but also to help get specially focusing. That is in the world of running for political campaigns every NGO and small business in the digital landscape. Yes, with a proven track record of helping clients win elections, but also help grow businesses using smart strategic digital marketing. Right strategy is going to be your perfect partner to help you reach your goals because their team of experts is going to help you save time, money and also do so while helping amplify your message to help you win your elections and win in the marketplace. What's one of the most effective ways to reach people texting and with the SMS texting tool from right strategies, you're gonna receive an efficient, affordable and smart way to focus your marketing budget by helping you reach 1000s of voters and customers giving you a powerful impact on the outcome of your elections and your business growth. from social media management to expert graphic design work to marketing your campaign or product. Heck, even helping build your brand right strategies can put together a plan that makes sense for you and your goals and do so within your budget. While learn more about how right strategies can help you win your elections and help win in the marketplace. Head to the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash Rs. And you can get your free political campaign or free marketing plan report card. And of course, please be sure to let Morgan and her team over at rights. Reggie's know that I sent you one more time Brian Nichols show.com, forward slash R S. All right, folks. So yes, talking about running for Congress. That is today's guests, Sean Armstrong. He's joining us from New Jersey. Thank you for joining us in The Brian Nichols Show.

Sean Armstrong  3:06  
Hello. Thank you.

Brian Nichols  3:08  
Absolutely. Thanks for joining us. And yeah, kind of where I was from I live in Philadelphia there for a while and you're just a stone's throw away from my old stomping grounds and talk to us right now folks are looking for some liberty, especially up in the Northeast. That's partly why I escaped because I didn't really see too many prospects for liberty. But then I hear there are folks like you, Sean, who are out there running for office with a big L libertarian banner next to your name, talk to us, what are you doing out there in New Jersey helping fight for liberty up there in the Garden State?

Sean Armstrong  3:37  
Well, before I moved back to the New York area, I spent over 20 years in the field in Philadelphia as well. So you know, I know how intense the need is for just someone to go out there and speak for the quality of life for the citizens of large cities, Rural areas. New Jersey has its own issues. But having lived here for four years. I kind of got to the point, I'm a journalist by trade, that's what my degree was in. And that's where I started my career. And you know, I've really been looking at politics and business and people's lives as a more of an observer and a student analyst writing stories about people, which is what I love to do. And this is kind of the first time I've become more part of the story. I moved on from journalism really, I just didn't wasn't making enough money to support my family. So it's settled a little bit got into consulting, round the area of leadership, assessment, recruiting. And, again, that's kind of a student of leadership was becoming increasingly frustrated. And I guess fate dealt me a new hand by leading to being downsized out of a corporate HR executive role in New York City that I had moved here for and drove me into a Um, you know, this was early in the stages of COVID. And a lot of introspection was, you know, what's the world need from me? What do I like to do? What can I get to the world and got into volunteer work? Well, you know, all the while sort of looking for new employment, but that was kind of frustrating as well. I got involved in disaster recovery, COVID vaccination, and really just seeing people, for instance, you know, almost two years ago, that were first coming out to the VAX centers after being isolated in nursing homes and care facilities for the most part as the early phases phases of vaccination. And it just the see the isolation that people were coming out of in their faces, and what you could just just being able to welcome them to even even a place that, you know, a high school cafeteria converted into a VAC center was just, you know, a huge life affirming experience for them, because, oh, yeah, so there's people that care. And, you know, it just kind of built from there, and, you know, start a business on the side, I still have to pay bills, but this whole public service epiphany that I had, I've been involved in, you know, various causes to help people's lives for a long time, including the MS Society for over 20 years. But, you know, this was like, I just wanted to vote the rest of my career to this and, you know, maybe outside the corporate world is a better way to do it. So that's the hopefully not too long winded answer to your question.

Brian Nichols  6:40  
No. Well, and then I guess the the follow up question is Will Shawn what made you want to run for elected office and then do so politically suicide as a big L libertarian, a state like New Jersey?

Sean Armstrong  6:54  
Well, you know, it's in the beginning, it was for my own mental health, I'm a recovering alcoholic and a diagnosed with bipolar in my my 20s been kind of fighting, struggling not for wood that for a while, but, you know, I found that really kind of service to fellow Americans, neighbors community, people in my community, was the ticket just sort of focusing on my own mental health and being vocal about it brought a lot of people out of the woodwork on LinkedIn, and social media, you know, it's just thanks, you know, realize just raising your hand and saying, you know, I'm struggling to brings people out and they want to really share their issues with you. So in sort of hearing some of that feedback, you know, throughout my district throughout New Jersey, and the broader corporate world, was that you had this area where people were still in a closet, in wherever they're in their work lives, in their social lives, and just being able to come out and talk about it and do something as opposed to in my case, watching CNN, Fox News, and just screaming at the television and not knowing really not doing something productive, you know, you hear your mom, your dad can just go out there and do something, stop complaining. So I did and became part of the story instead of an observer. There you

Brian Nichols  8:23  
go. And we'll talk to us about your running now for office. Yes, as a big L libertarian, what was it about the little bit Libertarian Party? Was it the values was it the platform that led you to want to run for office on on that as the the banner behind you?

Sean Armstrong  8:37  
Well, you in your show with my New Jersey colleague, Jim to Sony, he mentioned Ayn Rand. And, and really, I had a friend who I admired who said, mentioned that he was a libertarian, just as I was getting old enough to vote, and I read The Fountainhead, which, in my opinion, is more compelling, better written books and Atlas Shrugged. But of course, I had read that as well and just bought into it. And I've never really strayed, and it has been frustrated or, you know, admittedly have voted Republican fairly consistently because they align most on that, especially the fiscal Law and Order side. But I have a lot of problems with that party as well, or any sort of big behemoth that becomes more self supporting than constituent supporting.

Brian Nichols  9:29  
And talk to us about I guess, because that now we're going more into the election, right. This is the election stuff. You're running for office in district nine up in New Jersey and you're running against it's Bill Pascrell, and Billy prenta, who he kind of really burst onto the scene there back the last election cycle. I think there was one video in particular that went super, super viral. I remember in particular, I think I shared it actually. It just gets you going. Right. And I guess then the question is, you know, I saw Billy and I think we're seeing a lot of this in the Republican party where I don't As populace so much as it is a desire for consistency, and folks who are going to go that path, and Billy kind of it seems like he's in that that camp. And then there's also that mega camp. And I think, you know, it's it's trying to hold, you know, which which side is going to take control of the actual party. So when you're looking at the Republican Party now, and you mentioned that you have a lot of values that you you still share, especially the fiscal side of the GOP, same. Tell me, you know, what is it then that made you want to run as a foil to Billy if maybe he's going to have a better shot of winning the election, but doing so with the the GOP next was named?

Sean Armstrong  10:37  
Yeah, I know, Billy sees or saw me as a foil. I think he just sees me more as you know, a little gadfly who can't really have a huge impact on his campaign. You know, I want to say right away, I spoke with Billy early on in the campaign, and, you know, made it really clear that look, we're on the same side and 80% here. And our goal I agree with you is to be the incumbent who's just been around too long. And it's just a straight rubber stamp for for Biden. So you know, if you want that, if you like what Biden's doing right now? Go ahead, you know, keep voting Democrat. And Billy and I are offering another choice. And we're we have a similar mission that respect what I don't agree necessarily, you know, in a way, I think he chose the wrong party. If he had the freedom, freedom from the shackles of a party that is going to kind of put him through the machine and turn him into a more of an instrument versus independent voice, then then it would be like ruining someone with the with with a lot of potential, like, I could see either of us as a million times better choice than the person that's in office right now. Hmm,

Brian Nichols  12:05  
interesting. So I know one thing we like to talk about here in the Libertarian Party, and we are show, right, we aren't sales marketing, we talk about how can we effectively position ourselves to be effective. And I guess in this case, if the goal was to get the progressive Democrat out of office, I would say, it makes sense for you to almost run against him from the left almost as a libertarian, but on those issues that libertarians and the left, I guess, crossed paths on, and it's gonna be more I would say, on your social issues, right. I'm guessing. So is it has that been a focus of your campaign? Or have you tried to stick more on the conservative fiscal issues that you are more comfortable and aligned with?

Sean Armstrong  12:43  
Yeah, well, let's take three major issues. I think the parties have had years and years to solve problems like crime, which is very acute in some of the larger municipalities in my district, affordability, you know, between you go from Paterson and drive 30 minutes to the west, and you're in, you know, multimillion dollar homes. So you've got issues of quality life and quality of life and affordability, that, you know, the big parties are haven't done anything about. So it's really upon us appoint a candidate upon voter to at least hold them into account and question what, what they're doing that? I hope that answers initially answers your question. Yeah. And

Brian Nichols  13:34  
I guess also, you know, kind of going into, let's talk about some of the issues that you're seeing right, because I think that's also gonna be important is what's what's the libertarian foil, right? Why? Why is a libertarian running, he's a libertarian, right, just to be an alternative or to actually bring solutions. So when you're going out and you're speaking to voters, are there certain things that you're going out and you're hearing that's consistently being brought up as like, these are top issues that are not being addressed by the incumbent that I'm looking for someone to address where you can bring libertarian solutions to the table?

Sean Armstrong  14:07  
Yeah, I think so. You come off the New Jersey roads that you hear all the time is people are crazy, and I don't know why, you know, there's a term for it. COVID crazy. And, you know, I think people were isolated for so long that they'd become almost quasi feral or you know, you're not that sort of denigrate people but you kind of when when you're in a unfettered environment like a New Jersey highway or Twitter for instance, I think it can kind of bring out the worst in you. So mental health in general quality of life. Health care is a huge personal issue for me that I'll fight for it until I can anymore and you know, the point the to put a positive note on it. If you're alive and breathing right now, and thinking about voting and maybe thinking about You know, giving it more thought than you might have before and you can make that action and maybe go out and help some help your neighbor or help another person. That means you you won, you won a battle we all did, we got through COVID, we're still kicking and Let's not ruin that let's not, you know, accept the award and then walk away. Let's use that spirit for something positive to attack crime, issues like abortion, which really are personal and shouldn't be taken out of that level and legislated obviously, if there's no reason for federal abortion legislation. And personally, as a libertarian, I don't think anybody should tell me what I should do with my body or a woman to do with with her own. And both parties have haven't really done much to achieve some level of comfort that we have enough control over our bodies, I was squat as a victim, but then I'll say saved by the mental health system. Too much pharma driven pill, pill prescribing, and but I finally got to a point where I can handle my own addiction and mental illness with out a great deal of pharmaceutical interference. So medical freedom, freedom over your body's freedom over what you put into them, including a vaccination. And I have respect for people that the VAX resistors out there, I absolutely will support them. But on the other hand, I personally saw it as part of the solution, I was involved in vaccinating 1000s of people in this area and out west and, again, was able to provide an experience that was broader than just the jab in the arm, it was an outreach to people that, you know, we still have that human interaction that went away for so long.

Brian Nichols  17:01  
Interesting. And hey, by the way, like, from a standpoint of you talked about mental health, right. And I think one of the most underutilized tools that's in the tool belt that people just don't pay attention to, is physical fitness. Right. And I've talked about this many times during the show, I used to weigh three and 80 pounds, I was a big, big boy. And I lost when I was just doing cardio, I lost 180 pounds. And when I look at how much better I felt from where I was to then where I ended up, but then I can objectively remove myself from myself and analyze how unhappy I was. And you think about across the board, especially over the past two and a half years, millions of people across the world have faced this where they were quite literally trapped in a bubble, and had found themselves facing depression or facing some some very, very tough demons that they probably didn't want to face. And unfortunately, a lot of those issues were not due to things that they did, but rather their circumstances government telling them, Hey, I'm sorry, your job's not essential. So you're not gonna go to work today, or for the next two weeks, two months, two years, we don't know we're gonna see. But then also you see people being, you know, seeing their businesses shut down, and then not being able to continue that leading to mental health issue. I've had way too many friends way too many friends that have passed away because of either suicide, issues with substance abuse, or that leading to them, drinking and driving, stuff like that, where they kind of had a death wish, because they were having such mental health issues because of things that were beyond their control. So you see that happen more and more frequently. And I think right there, Shawn, that's part of the problem is that a lot of folks aren't able to have this common conversation. And frankly, the conversation isn't being had in the most important levels they should be being had. And the reason being is because we're focusing on a lot of more of these petty issues, these petty nonsensical arguments that really don't, they don't really help move the ball forward. Right. So I guess it's we're getting towards the end of the episode. That's my final thoughts for the episode is that we have to, we have to get out of our own way. We have to be more willing as a people to have conversations with folks, even though we disagree. But also, I think it's important for us to spend our time focusing on again, that target market of folks that are already open to our ideas, but let's lead on some issues that bring us together for once I think it's it's important for us to get away from the things that are easy to figure out, you know, hey, this is a great niche market. We can go after and really, you know, nail nail here, but let's focus on something that actually, Brett unites us for once and I do like that. Thank you, Shawn.

Sean Armstrong  19:42  
Yeah, I mean, you say like you mentioned, it comes back to just doing your job. There's so much interference for nurses, police, construction workers, people that are their teachers who really want to do their job and they've got unions and government really tying their hands. And so that's what that's the key to mental health is have a job go out there and make a difference, a small impact one student's life, one patient's life, or a larger impact if you want to be, you know, communicate more broadly. But each little step adds up to a lot. I'm a cyclist, I just drove rode my bike 100 miles across the state in New Jersey. And when you come over the bridges into Ocean City, there are 1000s of people in wheelchairs who don't have that ability to get on a bike and ride 100 miles. That's what that those are the people that see you as an example. They don't necessarily envy you, but they might be Wow, so this guy wants me to be able to do this, people look at a nice house that you live in, in the same way, they admire it, you need to appreciate that and, and, you know, be kind and hope to, you know, allow them to get to the point where they can, number one, do their job that makes you happy, no matter what you're doing. And, you know, even if it is professionally, auditioning for President of the United States or something. Yeah, that's a job. I don't know how good it is. But if you're there responding, a first responder to someone on the worst day of their life, and you make it a little bit better or a lot better, why don't you just focus on that do it in a big way or a small way. And that's why, you know, I'm trying to give voice to that sort of pent up energy that a lot of people have, and that's making them in some cases, lonely and mentally ill.

Brian Nichols  21:39  
Yeah, we have our good friend here on the show serene, Artur Lyon, who she was on back in 2019. I think it was. And she was running for office for President rather that is and she was running as a libertarian, but she was running with more of this. Just kindness, right this love this empathy mentality. And there was something to her message that resonated with a lot of folks. I mean, she didn't end up getting the nomination. But she really impacted a lot of folks that she spoke to yours truly included and serene, has been a good friend since we connected. And I see that there is this desire, Shawn, for sure. Folks want to feel cared for folks want to know that people care. So let's just show them we care. I think that's a very easy, logical next step. So with that being said, thank you for bringing the mental health conversation and the idea of caring and empathy to the political landscape. It's needed right now. And with that being said,

Sean Armstrong  22:34  

Brian Nichols  22:35  
for that. Absolutely. With that being said, folks who are interested in learning more about your campaign, the issues you care about and the issues you're bringing to New Jersey's ninth congressional district, we're going to go ahead and follow you and continue the conversation

Sean Armstrong  22:47  
at Psalm cast on Twitter is where I'm really the most vocal about my platform and my mission that could lead you to Facebook or Shawn hyphen, armstrong.com. And really lp.org The Libertarian Party website is a great place to see what you know, where a lot of the different perspectives are coming from a complete diversity of points of opinion, but singular focus on life, liberty, freedom, and happiness.

Brian Nichols  23:18  
There you go. All right. Well, folks, if you enjoy today's episode, I'm going to ask you to do me a favor, go ahead and give it a share. When you do, please go ahead and give yours truly a tag. And also make sure you go ahead and tag Shawn as well make sure we include all the links there in the show notes will get super easy for you. If you're I mean, 90, I think 95% of the entire audience here The Brian Nichols Show listens to the podcast via audio. So if that's the case, just go to your podcast catcher click the little artwork for The Brian Nichols Show, it'll bring you right over to our website where you can find today's episode, you can find all 600 plus other episodes. Plus, you can find Shawn's bio, all of his links for his social media and the entire transcript of today's episode. Oh, by the way, also, we have video version of the show. Did you know that if not well, please go to our YouTube, go to our rumble and go to our Odyssey wherever it is that you get your video content. Just do me a favor when you're there. Hit the subscribe button hit the little notification bell so you're not missing any single time a new video is uploaded. And then when you're there, make sure you get the video like as well. And oh, by the way, I mentioned we had a candidate on the show yesterday. Well, I'll make sure I include that video here. Right below Tanya Millis. She's running for office here in Indiana as a libertarian in Indiana's Eighth District. So many candidates, so many districts, Shawn, but no, Tanya is a fantastic, fantastic libertarian, just like you Sean so if you guys wanna go ahead and check that video or that episode out, yes, I will include that right here on the video link. And otherwise, folks, that's all I really have for you today. We have a great episode. Get ready for that coming up tomorrow. But otherwise, that's all I have for you, folks. It's Brian Nichols signing off. You're on The Brian Nichols Show for Sean Armstrong.

Unknown Speaker  24:55  
We'll see you tomorrow for listening to The Brian Nichols Show. Find more episodes at The Brian Nichols show.com

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Sean Armstrong

Candidate, LIbertarian Party NJ-CD09

Corporate Human Resources executive seeking to make a difference. I built a career, in journalism and consulting, learning and talking about what distinguishes great leaders. They share the common qualities of courage, passion, energy and commitment. The also refuse to compromise. To that end I would like to inspire voters to fight and change the status quo. We need to change now so we can have the luxury of compromise in the future.