Well, they have a candidate now at least:
On November 21, 2009 the Central Committee of the Libertarian Party of Maryland selected Susan Gaztañaga as their candidate for Governor and Doug McNeil as their candidate for Lieutenant Governor.
In a speech on November 21st, Susan Gaztañaga stated, “A Gaztañaga administration will be a transparent administration in which citizens will know exactly where their tax dollars are going. The double burden of excessive taxation and intrusive regulation is keeping the neediest citizens of Maryland from starting businesses, creating jobs, and building a thriving economy.” She continued by saying, “If the State government sticks to its basic responsibility of providing a safe, secure environment in which people can conduct their business, maintaining our infrastructure of roads, bridges and tunnels, and providing an emergency response system, I am confident that Marylanders will be able to feed, clothe, house, educate and care for themselves and their loved ones.”
If you have sharp eyes, you’ll notice I added her name to my left column of candidates earlier today.
When it comes down to it, though, a good Republican candidate should be saying the same thing. And while I have all the respect in the world for the Libertarian Party, I worry that their candidates take votes away from conservative Republicans who agree with them on about 70 to 80 percent of their platform. Then again, if the GOP ends up with a candidate that caters too much to Democrats and runs as a “centrist” the conservatives may have no choice but to express their disgust by voting third-party.
To me, most of the difference between conservative and libertarian comes in items Gaztanaga wasn’t cited on during her speech and that’s in social issues like abortion, drug legalization, and gay marriage. Social conservatives tend to believe in legislating morality, which is okay to a point but risks being just as onerous on freedom as the worst socialist tyranny.
The hardest part in convincing Maryland voters to vote for Libertarians – or Republicans, for that matter – will come in convincing them to vote against what the mainstream media and Democrats have sold to them as being in their best self-interest. For their part, Democrats continually walk a tightrope between wealth redistribution and a tax rate (or progressivity) punishing enough to drive producers out of the state. It’s why liberals’ aims are larger, as in on a national scope, because the tax-and-spend progressive agenda only enacted at the state level leaves producers with alternatives like moving to states more friendly to their interests. Make the stakes such that you need to leave the country entirely and some may resign themselves to submit.
It would do well for the GOP, though, to pay some mind about some of those items the Maryland Libertarians are proposing. Unfortunately, I have no idea if the Green Party is contemplating running a candidate for governor to siphon votes from Martin O’Malley because he’s in lockstep with their overall agenda. In any case, having more choice is usually not a bad thing so I’ll stand by that assessment for the time being.