The 2018 LPNY convention held in Albany on the weekend of April 20-22 was a great success! Many thanks to Jeff Russell, Bill McMillen, and the Capital District libertarians for all of their hard work, class and professionalism.
Our culminating event was of course the overwhelming endorsement of Larry Sharpe as our candidate for Governor. Seldom, if ever have I seen such excitement for a candidate or a campaign. The convention hall was filled with many new faces, young and old alike. Many came because they dare to believe that this can be the year that libertarians turn New York gold!
As the LPNY moves forward inspired by the events of that weekend, it is my honor and great privilege to have been elected as your Chair. I thank those who supported me and ask that we resolve to support one another throughout this year.
In the next six months, we have the opportunity to irrevocably change the political landscape in New York State. Larry Sharpe for governor is catching fire. The conditions are ripe for change. The culture of corruption in Albany is well documented and systemic. Criminal charges creep ever closer to the Governor’s office. Meanwhile, no Republican candidate offers a realistic alternative or challenge to the status Cuomo. Sharpe is the only candidate that offers a refreshing alternative to the beleaguered residents of the least free state in the nation.
The campaign needs you and I participating in the making of history. We don’t have the luxury of waiting for others to do the heavy lifting. This is our call to action. The stakes are high and so are the expectations I ask you to embrace. The volunteer petitioning effort will be our first test. In 2016, our volunteer effort was disappointing. Consequently, we became increasingly reliant on paid petitioners to do our job. The paid petitioner approach continues to become more expensive and is ultimately unsustainable. The greater our volunteer effort the more resources we might save and direct toward party outreach and development.
Will you join me in making 2018 the year of the libertarian? Many of you may be new to petitioning and feel apprehensive. Others may have experienced some past disappointment or difficulty during their first petitioning drives. We will address those concerns before petitioning begins in July. The LPNY offers any Chapter, TCC, or group of volunteers “how to petition” training from one of our successful experts. We will teach and learn from one another. I ask local party leaders to contact me if you would like to set up a training workshop. Our leadership will be responsive to your local needs.
As Libertarians, we are the standard bearers of liberty. The ideology we share is the only political orientation that rejects the use of violence in order to achieve social and political goals. We champion personal responsibility and freedom of choice. In contrast, the two parties currently dominating our state government use plunder to redistribute wealth to their special interests in the never-ending pursuit of re election. This must change. The Libertarian Party stands alone in rejecting the over reach of government and in defense of the rights of the individual.
We have always had the principled message. Now we must rethink, retool and refine our delivery. To that end I will ask that we start by reviewing the LPNY platform written in 1983 by some of the early and courageous founders of our party. Times change over thirty-five years. So should our approach. The state platform begs our attention. Few, if any products in America are marketed in the same way they were in 1983. We must make the LPNY platform our calling card. It will be a document that is principled and resonates with all New Yorkers who value less regulation, lower taxes, and the personal freedom to pursue happiness and economic opportunity. Proper messaging is the key to growth for the LPNY.
While our platform is the message, we are the medium through which it is delivered. Marshall McLuhan famously said, “The medium is the message.” McLuhan was absolutely correct. You and I are the spokespeople for liberty. How will we approach that task this year? Will we continue to be distracted by internal debates and the airing of our grievances on social media? Or will we listen more and shout less? As the ambassadors of liberty will we engage our neighbors or will we lecture them? Our approach must be polished, dignified, and professional. We are the voices of liberty. We move in that direction together and voluntarily. Others will observe and listen. Many will join us. Let’s prepare to welcome them.