If there is one thing the Libertarian Party and the liberty movement as a whole lack, it’s unity. Larry Sharpe is great with that.
When you consider all the different divisions within both the party and the movement, it truly is no wonder. There are anarcho-capitalists, classical liberals, minarchists, the ever-present neo-liberals, constitutional conservatives, and the sometimes inconsistent “socially liberal but fiscally conservative” types who often ally with us.
Luckily, there is one man that is transcending that.
Without any label other than libertarian, he is indeed unifying libertarians (of all types and affiliations) across the United States, even though the seat he is currently seeking is a regional one.
He is Larry Sharpe, and he came to win!
Seriously, you can ask him yourself.
Every week on Facebook he hosts a live broadcast called The Governors House where viewers can call in and ask him questions on his positions or topics that he is currently speaking on. And in numerous articles and social media posts, he will tell you… he came to win.
Not to win a percentage. Not to gain ground for the Libertarian Party. Not even to gain ground towards a 2020 presidential bid on the LP ticket. Larry Sharpe came to become the governor of New York.
And if you think there is no chance that a Libertarian could become governor of a “solid blue state” like New York… think again!
Sometime in December (if I remember correctly) a popular New York based daily newspaper published an article about a hopeful GOP candidate who was taking his name out of the hat for the Republican nomination to contest current Democrat Governor Cuomo. I saw the link on Facebook, so I went to check the comments on the link… I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.
Almost every, single comment was a positive one mentioning Larry Sharpe. And what is even better, there were no negative comments about him. No haters, no trolls… nothing!
Of course one must acknowledge that this newspaper may not have the reach of the New York Times or the Post, but is still a widely distributed newspaper, both in the Empire State and abroad.
That, ladies and gentleman, should make every libertarian hopeful.
Without sacrificing principles, Sharpe has found a way to be pragmatic.
Focusing on core issues, Sharpe has drawn an audience all too eager to share his messages; from criminal justice reform, ending the “War on Drugs,” massive cuts, to gratuitous state-wide government spending, and fixing the roads of New York by selling naming rights on popular roads and bridges (i.e. changing the George Washington Bridge to the Verizon Bridge).
But it’s not just selling people on how to implement libertarian ideas into modern-day problems. Larry Sharpe has found ways to explain long-standing libertarian theories, but in a way that resonates with many Americans (including those outside our camp).
I still remember the day: one of Sharpe’s video’s came across my Facebook news feed regarding a conversation he had with a political opponent. The man in question told Sharpe that (in his opinion) libertarians wanted to force their way of life on others (I am paraphrasing).
Without missing a beat, Sharpe explained to the man that in a libertarian society he could easily form a community of like-minded individuals who could pool their resources to their hearts content (again, paraphrasing).
This idea (people coming together to form communities based on mutual lifestyles, goals and philosophies) is what’s known as a covenant community in libertarianism. It is a theory that was formed by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, and while certainly brilliant, he didn’t sell it very well.
When explaining the theory, he would often use the example of a community of moralistic conservatives who would ban (and forcibly remove) homosexuals, alcoholics and any others that fell outside of the lifestyles of those who signed the covenant (in Hoppe’s example, the covenant is in the form of a written contract).
While most libertarians would agree that people coming together and voluntarily associating with each other is a core value in the liberty movement, anyone that ever took a marketing class would probably tell you he should have used a better example.
Luckily, we got Larry Sharpe, and Hoppe isn’t running for office (which is a good thing, and I got no beef with Hoppe).
But selling people on revolutionary new ideas on government and society is not the only thing a political candidate in the USA needs to do. You also need to be able to stand up and fight the fight when the time comes.
We have seen it with Rand Paul in the Senate (regarding our egregious and bloated spending) and we have seen it with Justin Amash (regarding the rule of law).
We have seen it in Gary Johnson fighting to get third-parties into debates at the national level, and now we see it in Larry Sharpe as he stands up to divisive elements and factions within the Libertarian Party; even going so far as to resign a little over a week ago after efforts to remove controversial LP Vice-chair Arvin Vohra, failed.
(For those not in the know, Vohra verbally portrayed US soldiers as willing mercenaries for the state…the exact language is not something I shall repeat here.)
But perhaps what inspires me the most (and politicians rarely inspire me, just so you know) about Larry Sharpe is that he doesn’t just unify party libertarians, he unifies libertarian Republican’s also.
As I type this very article, I can see posts from one of his campaign directors on my phone, a registered member of the GOP and a firm supporter of the Republican Liberty Caucus.
Now, that might not seem like a big deal (after all, GOP or LP, we are all libertarians), but you should first look at history.
While it has been fairly customary for non-affiliated libertarians to vote both Republican and LP, party members will often vote party (and I will admit, the LP might actually be guiltier of that than liberty GOP).
Republicans thirst to maintain power over the Democrats, while the LP member’s quest for greater numbers often find the two fighting each other for no logical reason.
The cause of this is so multi-dimensional that I could write an entire article about it. What it ultimately comes down to however, is ego! Too many people think their path to more freedom is the best one (and they all seem to think it’s incredibly obvious why their plan is the best).
While other prominent libertarians would be happy to scream into the wind about how a certain libertarian is a fake one and the other guy over there is a statist, Larry Sharpe has a simple message: if you agree with a vast majority of a candidates platform, you vote for that guy (not a direct quote, paraphrasing yet again).
So, as I conclude this article, I wish to leave you with something Larry said recently on his Facebook live show, The Governor’s House.
He was speaking about his biggest donors and consistently in the top 5, is Larry Sharpe! That is right, in a day and age where billionaire reality TV stars still ask for millions in donations, where women who have milked politics all the way to $50,000 speaking fees (for a single hour) can launch huge campaign fundraisers despite being multi-millionaires – Larry Sharpe is largely funding this campaign on his own.
But, it was his message that followed that burned into my brain.
He said “I am bleeding, so I ask you to bleed with me”.
Just the way he said it. With such passion and conviction, it was moving and inspiring.
So, in lieu of a monetary donation (I am broke) I am appealing to you, my fellow libertarians.
I appeal to you to like, follow, and share the unifying message of Larry Sharpe as he pursues the highest office in the great state of New York.
I ask you to tell people about him. Listen to his ideas and share those also.
In short, I am asking you one thing….
I am ready to bleed with Larry Sharpe, are you?
* Bryce Jackson is a writer and cook from Woodstock, Vermont. Becoming a libertarian in 2013 and a writer in December of 2016, Bryce’s work has been featured on multiple websites and blogs. He is a contributing author for The Libertarian Vindicator and The Free Mind Media blog. He has also been featured as a guest author for Being Libertarian and The Daily Liberator. When not writing libertarian politics and philosophy, Bryce writes semi-autobiographical stories (featured @BryceJacksonBlog on Facebook) and takes care of his two dogs, Brigit and Dozer. Bryce’s father also lives with him.
Want to write for Being Libertarian? Click here.