Thursday, August 17, 2017

An Open Letter to my Friends & Colleagues in the Libertarian Political Party

To my Friends & Colleagues in the Libertarian Political Party in Maryland and Abroad:

The Chair of the Libertarian Party of Maryland recently dedicated his July report for state party members to addressing the ‘ongoing battle’ about winning elections, following the state convention back in April when I made statements to the attendees suggesting a ‘bottom-up’ approach to winning seats in public office (start local, grow from there) and actually getting libertarian candidates in seats of public office. I subsequently received the nomination & endorsement of the state party for a candidacy for State Delegate by unanimous vote that day. It was a great day – it was a proud day for me, to secure the endorsement of a political party that is now over twenty thousand voters strong in Maryland. In Bob’s July report in the newsletter, he states, “Winning elections for LP candidates would be great. It would give us more attention, more legitimacy … But it isn’t necessary for Libertarians to bring about a libertarian state or country.”

He went on to discuss the difficulties that minor parties have getting candidates elected to public office. He states that no minor party candidate has been elected to office in Maryland since 1916. He draws on “significant ballot access hurdles and restrictions.” And after citing the incredible amounts of money it takes to get candidates elected to public office, and how that is far beyond the reach of the Libertarian Party in the United States today, Bob made some important, significant, and truthful points. Bob reminds us that state leadership is not committed to getting candidates elected, because they CAN’T BE – the party simply isn’t large enough, well-enough funded, and the odds are stacked against third-party candidates in so many ways today.

He summates that “Libertarians don’t need to get elected to get our policies enacted,” that “when candidates insist they have to win, they are setting themselves up for failure,” and lastly, “it would be nice for LP candidates to get elected to office, but I don’t need for them to do so.”

After several months of hundreds of conversations with liberty-minded citizens here in Maryland and all around the nation of all different political affiliations, and months of scouring social media posts, it has become increasingly more and more obvious that all of the above statements are absolutely true. The aim of the state Libertarian Party CANNOT be to get candidates elected into public office - because at THIS point in time, in 2017, it simply can’t beat the obstacles & hurdles, or garner enough support from the citizens of the nation, to get its candidates elected at the polls. The party nominates candidates purely for the sake of challenging the establishment in order to strongarm the establishment to consider pro-liberty policies. I get it. I’m not challenging that it works, either – as Bob points out, the Socialist Party that never got more than 6% of a presidential vote continued throughout the first half of the 20th century to run candidates that took 10-15% of the votes in three-way races and forced Democrats and Republicans to enact their policies over time.

Five other people at that state convention this year were nominated for candidacy in 2018. I’ve come to know each of them personally - these candidates and I have been all over the state of Maryland together, we’ve spent countless hours in conversation, and we’ve done a lot of work together, reaching out to everyday working Americans like ourselves all over the state. I have the utmost faith that they will run clean, transparent, and respectable campaigns. I support them in their pro-liberty convictions, and that will not change. I’ve come to consider these fine folks to be friends.

Something I’ve learned along the way is that people care about their livelihoods, and they care about their communities. They want real, practical, solutions to the problems that threaten our liberty and our livelihoods in our communities. They want practical leadership. And so do I.

One of the problems the State Chair failed to mention is the public perception of Libertarians today. Here’s a prime example: we have a Vice Chair of the National Party who has denigrated citizens who serve our armed forces and our freedom with honor, and who teach our children in schools, and who work federal government jobs to put food on the tables of their families. I cannot, in good conscience, support leadership who isolate and exclude members of our own communities, including civil servants, active duty military, and veterans, all for the sake of exposure, for shock value, for publicity stunts, for their own candidacies and this notion of 'abolish it all overnight,' 'dismantle everything in the government,' 'do away with all taxation immediately,' etc. The fact is, the ‘rebel yell’ of the more ‘extreme’ members of the Libertarian Political Party isn't winning its way into representation in our communities, partly because in order to enact the best changes for our communities, we must embrace actual practical solutions that make sense to the people in our communities. Being taken seriously-enough to be embraced, or even just recognized as legitimate, by the majority of America involves a degree of organization and cohesion that might be achievable in another twenty or thirty years for the Libertarian Political Party, but simply isn’t adequate to the everyday American citizen today to garner support.

Reduction in government requires pragmatic cuts over time, rather than immediate elimination of whole agencies, entities, and structures that have stood in place for a very long time. Most everyday people know this, as do I. Many of the candidates who have sought the nomination by the party know this. Many members of the Party know this. In fact, there's no rule that demands an 'overnight' strategy for the Libertarian Party's vision of minimizing government. Viewpoints and strategies within the Party vary far and wide. Still, it is my belief that the more 'extreme' variations of dismantling government and radically altering the status-quo is generally offputting to citizens today and stands in the way of garnering more support from everyday people - especially when you have folks in leadership positions who would seem to sometimes advocate such extremes.

Of course, it makes absolutely no difference to Party leadership that Libertarians won't be getting elected to represent the citizens of our great nation on any sort of sizeable scale, because as leadership has stated, that doesn’t seem to be their mission anyhow.

But I’m not a guy who is here to offer impractical or hypothetical-at-best solutions to the citizens of my intended constituency.

And ultimately, my loyalty is to the people of Baltimore County and the great state of Maryland, rather than to a political party. We must ALWAYS put PEOPLE before PARTY affiliation.

Bearing that in mind, and having spent months and countless hours reviewing citizens’ responses to the pressing issues in local communities, having given tremendous consideration to viewpoints of how to best advance liberty and the betterment of the lives of those in my own community where I was born, raised, and have made a life for myself – I have come to a necessary decision regarding my pending political campaign here in Baltimore County. I have made this decision for you as citizens yourselves, for our communities, and for the sake of liberty.

With humility, gratitude, and unwavering loyalty to the people of Maryland, I have proudly made the decision to run with the Republican Party in my pending candidacy for State Delegate in the 42nd District of the Maryland House, encompassing most of Baltimore County, Maryland.

We need folks in public representation who believe in lessening taxation, lessening regulation, and maximizing individual liberty. My views and platforms are embraced by liberty-minded citizens of Maryland every single day. A third platform I advocate, of enacting term limits for representative officials across the board, is not so much a partisan issue as it is an issue of integrity in our leadership.

We MUST address the most important issues concerning everyday folks here in Baltimore County, and in the great State of Maryland – and the Libertarian Party just isn’t enough-supported by everyday working citizens of our great State of Maryland, or enough-dedicated to getting candidates they nominate actually elected, for me to push forward a campaign exclusively representing the Libertarian Party today. I intend to work for the People, and it has become clear to me that the People have spoken – this is the best way to enact real change in our communities.

Marylanders know the importance of less taxation, less government interference & regulation, and the greatest individual freedom – my hope is that, as I continue to support your efforts to advance liberty throughout Baltimore County, Maryland, and our great nation, that you will support my efforts to advance liberty alongside strong Republican leadership who work diligently for the betterment of our local communities.

You see a lot of “debate club” atmospheres within the Libertarian Political Party, which is great for exploring the fundamentals of the liberty movement.

That being said, practical, applied leadership requires something more.

And that’s what I intend to offer.

Regardless of political affiliation, we need folks who aren't hung-up on fringe issues that all-too-often separate liberty-minded citizens from one another – and most importantly, we need leaders who aren't getting their palms greased by wealthy, big-name donors and dollar signs. I believe to the core that I am the man for the job, and that I will serve our best interests – those of liberty, property, and our livelihoods – with due integrity, respect, and vigor.

We need folks from humble, middle-class backgrounds, who actively participate in community events, who volunteer locally, who work in human services, who know and understand what is at stake, who wish to preserve our communities and our property values, folks who want a return to a way of conscience and responsibility in the way we treat our neighbors and conduct business with one another in our communities. And we need representation that sets the example by respecting our civil servants (who are so often our very own neighbors). I think you will find that I fit such a description in my plethora of duties in which I serve our community in my everyday life.

We do need folks who believe in lessening taxation, lessening regulation, and maximizing individual liberty.

We need representatives who, unlike the Baltimore County Council and County Executive have recently demonstrated, will actually take a stand for legislation against the expansion of Section 8 Housing Vouchers being mandated into our communities, which have the potential to negatively impact our property values significantly, and thereby, our hard work and our livelihoods.

We need representatives who will fight the ‘surveillance state,’ the recent reinstatement of red light & speed cameras on our roadways, which do little more than garner tremendous profits for the government and for the manufacturers and owners of those devices. They’re error-prone, there’s no actual proof that they provide any sort of public benefit, and the implementation of them has failed the people on multiple occasions, in multiple locations, throughout our nation – including right here in the State of Maryland.

We need to look at our actual terms of public representation, and we need to look at how term limits for those in seats of public office benefit the citizens of our communities. The Founding Fathers warned against unlimited terms of representation. Congress is a great example of how ‘career politicians’ tend to disappoint those they are appointed to represent.

These are all platforms with which you are undoubtedly quite familiar in your respective constituencies (for those of you who are also seeking a position of public office) and in your own communities.

I look forward to continuing to be in touch as we move into the election year 2018 and I have many opportunities to give my community a firsthand look at who I am, what I offer, and of my intended contribution to my community as I work alongside liberty-minded leadership for the community we share.

I hope to be of service to you as I continue to see so many of you in the community over the next year. I am here for you, I am available to you, and I always have been.

In Liberty, now and always,
Joseph D. Sandy