A Libertarian governor for Maryland?

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.

Author: Michael

It's me from my laptop computer.

3 thoughts on “A Libertarian governor for Maryland?”

  1. You’re only partly correct on what divides us Libertarians from our Conservative cousins. Yes, civil liberties, mostly. But not what you think.

    Many of us Libertarians are actually opposed to Gay Marriage fearing that it’s affirmative action and group rights in disguise. Many Libertarians are similarly Pro-Life. (Not me, I’m Pro-Choice.)

    Yes, we do differ on Drug Legalization.

    However, the bigger divide focuses on other civil liberties issues, like seat belt laws, speed limits, cameras in downtowns, smoking bans, gambling, swingers clubs, legalized prostitution and such. Conservatives don’t seem to understand why we Libertarians are so pro-freedom on these issues.

    At best they pooh-pooh our interest on these issues.

    Conservatives have some issues that are near and dear to their hearts. Why can’t you all Conservatives recognize that these issues are important to us Libertarians, and not sit there and denigrate us and ridicule us for our interest on these stances?

  2. Dear Mr. Michael, Libertarians usually siphon off just as many votes from the Democratic Party as they do from the Republican Party.

    Dear Mr. Dondero, how is a separation of marriage and state in any way a promotion of affirmative action? No, Mr. Dondero, no libertarians are opposed to gay marriage. It is an objectivey unlibertarian position to support having the government steps in and starts defining marriage one way or another, since (A) the government has no legitimate authority regulating or defining marriage and (B) any attempt by the government to do so results inevitably in the creation of special statist privilege. Once the libertarian goal of fully privatising marriage has been achieved, homosexuals and voluntary polygamists will be free to marry.

    Alex Peak

  3. Do you have proof of this? I posit that the Libertarians take away on a 70-30 split from the GOP.

    It seems to me that the only part of libertarianism which would appeal to those left of center is the laissez-faire attitude toward moral issues (pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage) because otherwise progressives seem to want a nanny state – thus you get seat belt laws, smoking bans, and the like. The isolationism Libertarians seek on a national scale would only appeal to liberals if the war is waged for the “wrong” (non-humanitarian) reasons – generally lefties don’t mind wars started under Democrat presidents but can’t stand ones begun by Republicans.

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