The cool thing about an election is that you can still like someone even if you didn’t vote for them.
Not every race has to have one hero where everyone else is a demon who will cause doomsday if they win. For instance, there was the VP race for the Libertarian Party at the Orlando convention, and I pretty happily voted for Bill Weld. I thought Weld represented my views better than anyone else, could get the most media, was the best presenter, had the most fundraising abilities and well, I just felt he was flat-out the one most qualified for the gig. That said, however, Larry Sharpe was (holy shit) a good option and (holy freaking shit) I want him to run for Governor of my home state of New York.
Sharpe not becoming the VP nominee shows how good of a field it was for the Libertarian Party. If he won that race, I feel with the possible exception of David Koch, he’d have been the best running mate in LP history. He, unlike many other former nominees, holds several abilities that are foreign to them. Such as the power to actually not make people fall asleep when talking. Or that wonderful ability to present an idea without making people morbidly confused and later asking why they didn’t read more Rothbard. Or hey, just being proud of his resume and life as a person and portraying it with confidence. While I don’t believe he would have been as good as Bill Weld, he holds strong as a veteran, consultant and speaker in which he’d have been amazing for the LP in his own right.
He didn’t win, and unlike some people, he chose to handle the loss very maturely and has been a respectful member of the liberty community ever since. I think he’s clearly shown the case for why he’d be the perfect LP nominee for Governor of New York in 2018 and the guy who can actually start a tone where the LP becomes relevant in statewide races. I feel that for this job, he’s qualified and would be capable enough to go against Andrew Cuomo and whoever the GOP digs up at the country club to run a losing campaign.
Here’s my top three reasons he should be the LP nominee:
- He wouldn’t be awful like the last two
To anyone who watches Larry Sharpe speak, he has this ability to lead a room in a polite and friendly way while conveying his point. Warren Redlich and the 2014 nominee whose name I completely forgot, just didn’t have that. Redlich, being someone who I have respect for and collected signatures for in 2010, just really wasn’t that great in terms of presence. He was extremely nerdy and socially awkward even for libertarian standards. The 2014 guy who I met once and can’t remember much about just seemed like another generic LP candidate who never wanted to compromise, had very little he offered and got the nomination due to no one else wanting it. Larry is someone who I’d actually be excited to see on a debate stage, interview or speech to a mixed political demographic audience. He’s simply better than anything the New York LP has ever had before.
- He makes pretty good content
I will encourage everyone who’s reading this to go like the page “Larry Sharpe, Libertarian”. He doesn’t post bullshit memes or do god awful live streams. He does honest and pretty well spoken content which could be libertarianism for everyone. As a candidate, I feel that with a bit more of a budget, it could go viral and gather a large enough following to make regular voters know who he is.
- His father wasn’t a governor
The guy is a minority, in business, a veteran and someone who didn’t inherit the Governor’s Office, like Andrew Cuomo did. With the liberty movement, the message needs to be empowerment of people regardless of background and not holding the same families in political power for generation after generation. With Andrew Cuomo likely to put up a third term, having someone such as Larry going to more low income and mixed race communities saying the benefits of free markets and ending the War on Drugs, it could start a positive stir beginning the libertarian Black Lives Matter movement. It’s a tall order, but I feel he will be up for it.
My general pitch for Larry Sharpe comes from my feelings that he could do a better job than any statewide nominee the LP in New York has ever had. That is a fairly low bar to pass, but I’m confident he can raise it to new heights. However, the country has changed a bit this election. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are breaking boundaries for the LP and it’s time to actually discuss something new: Winning. For the Sharpe campaign, I don’t know if I’d want to say “Go out and win 2018”, but I do think saying “Go out and get 20% of the vote” is a modest result to ask for. Especially when the Green Party of all things can manage a solid 5% in 2014 running leftist number onem Howie Hawkins (that’s his actual name).
Here’s six things I’d recommend Larry does in order to help breaking 5% in 2018.
- Make Alex Merced the running mate
I’ve known for Alex a long time. I’m voting for Alex in his Senate race. I think he’s one of the better LP candidates for a statewide race and feel that unlike many others, he holds this gift of taking it seriously and not as a hobby. Now, he’s probably going to kill me for saying this, but I’ll sadly say it. I’m not totally confident that he will defeat Chuck Schumer. I’m going to say I’m as confident he will win as Republican nominee Wendy Long winning, but I don’t think he will do it. For that, let’s see if he can try the the Lt. Gov. spot as his next bid. He could work very well in creating content and present things with passion. Plus, Sharpe/Merced? It’s just a good campaign sticker.
- Make marijuana a big piece of it
The fact is this: Andrew Cuomo is the anti-pot Democrat who doesn’t appeal to leftists easily. A message saying the goal is to have every non-violent drug offender released from prison and legalizing marijuana could stir the pot and get some do the green Democrats more in line with the LP on this one.
- Get jacked up
This is a weird one, but I’m going to note the patents I have are actually in the exercise equipment space. I’ve also grown very set on figuring out the best look for a person in business or politics to convey in order to show their brand. For Larry, I notice he is very thin and also his arms kind of sway down a little bit when standing. It’s not a bad look, but I feel with a veteran background, he could stand to try body building a bit. It’d show a little bit more confidence in exposure and provide a more commanding vibe, assuming he makes it to the debates going against Andrew the corrupt Cuomo.
- Make me Hand to the Campaign
I’m going to Game of Thrones reference this and say I want to be the Hand to the Campaign to help with marketing and presentation. My resume is in the liberty world, I’ve co-founded one of the most vocal pages for liberty, reaching tens of millions weekly, doing interviews with some pretty modestly-sized names. I’ve patented products I’ve brought to licensing, was one of the earliest adopters of Bitcoin and raised funding for my first startup when I was just a teenager. I like discussing good policy and think if I could help, I’d be able to help carve out a platform capable of appealing towards Upstate New York, the harder leftist and lower income communities. Call this article an advertisement, but hey, I’ll be that jackass who does it.
- Focus on poorer communities
The fact is this: The Democrats take the poorer communities for granted and the GOP doesn’t recognize they exist. Going to Harlem, the Bronx or depressed Upstate New York and presenting a real plan and showing they matter would be a nice twist forgotten by Albany.
- Be more issue-oriented
This is my one complaint with Larry that I think needs to change. His arguments tend to be more on the big picture. The underlying tone of an issue and less of breaking it down for simple terms with regular people on a thing they see everyday. With that, I’d like to see him tackle things more on the standpoint of bringing up the Drug War, occupational licensing, how the exact budget of New York works, the Tax Code and more. A bit less mention of the NAP and things more in line with how regular people think.
Final words? Larry Sharpe for Governor!
This article was edited for grammar, style, and spelling, but not for content. The views expressed are that of the author, Charles Peralo, exclusively, and do not reflect that of BeingLibertarian.com or Being Libertarian LLC
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