“Libertarians believe that you should be as conservative or as liberal as you want to be as long as you don’t want to force yourself on others,” says Larry Sharpe, Libertarian candidate for governor of New York.
Sharpe is an unusual Libertarian candidate because he’s doing well in some polls.
One found Sharpe getting 13 percent, and after people heard his campaign pitch, 25 percent. That would put him in second place, ahead of the Republican.
So of course the establishment shuts him out—he and other third-party candidates weren’t allowed in the one gubernatorial debate.
Sharpe wins fans by arguing that it would be good if individuals make their own decisions without government spending constantly getting in the way.
“What we understand as libertarians is at the end of every single law is a guy or gal with a gun who’s going to put you in a cage; if you don’t want to go in that cage, they’re going to shoot you. What that means is you should only use the law when there is loss of life, health, limb, property, or liberty… Not because I don’t like what you’re doing.”
That’s refreshing to hear from a politician.
No new government programs under a Sharpe administration, then?
“No, no, no, no, no, no,” he assures me.
At least one candidate doesn’t want to make government bigger.
New York faces a $4.4 billion deficit. Current New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed raising taxes.
Sharpe has other ideas.
“Lease naming rights on our infrastructure,” he says in my latest internet video. “The Triborough Bridge could be called the Staples Bridge, or the Apple Bridge.”
My staff asked some New Yorkers what they thought about leasing naming rights to bridges and tunnels. “Bad idea!” said one woman. “It’s commercializing!” Most people were opposed.
I said that to Sharpe.
“You know what she should do?” he responded. “Start a nonprofit, raise $30 million, she can name it whatever she wants.”
One man said he didn’t “want to rename something after some sort of corporation!”
“Shake your fist and say, ‘This doesn’t sound good,'” replied Sharpe. “You’re going to wind up in a place where the tax burden is insanely high.”