The Advocate, The Disrupter, The Strong Finisher
Larry Sharpe, Chase Oliver, and Volusia County's Joe Hannoush combined to give the Libertarian Party mixed results this past electoral season. No matter what they have planned next, I see one as an established advocate, another as a disrupter, and the last gentleman I shall mention qualifies as a strong finisher.
There is also a group of people worthy of attention.
The advocate is New York gubernatorial candidate Larry Sharpe. Mr. Sharpe was sued off the ballot by the Conservative Party of New York State, forcing him to run as a write-in candidate.
Mr. Sharpe is a great interviewer with workable ideas who might be better suited as the party's voice rather than as a candidate.
Larry Sharpe twice ran for the governor of New York on the Libertarian ticket
My choice for disrupter is Chase Oliver. He did well enough in the Georgia Senate race to be known as the force in causing the battle between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican candidate Herschel Walker to go to a run-off.
The strong finisher? I am recognizing two. One is the Libertarian Party of Iowa (they are the aforementioned group of people worthy of attention) for having gained major party status, and the other is in Florida's neck of the political woods; Joe Hannoush. He checked in with 74,054 votes going head-to-head with Republican incumbent Michael Waltz for Florida's sixth congressional district.
There was no Democrat in the race between Mr. Hannoush and Mr. Waltz. With one major party not anteing up, voters had the opportunity to look at Mr. Hannoush. Apparently, many liked what they saw. Mr. Hannoush's percentage of the vote was up from 2.3% in a 2020 House of Representatives run to 24.7% this election cycle as he vied again for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 2020 run did include both a Democrat and a Republican.
What Chase Oliver, the Libertarian Party of Iowa, and Joe Hannoush show is when given proper attention, people like what libertarians are saying.
Well then, what did Mr. Hannoush have to say? I spoke with him for a podcast I briefly co-hosted.
What follows is an abridged version of that show.
Charles I Guarria
I just want to go over What the Libertarian Party is writ large and what exactly they are about because everybody knows we have more than the two major parties. We have a couple of third parties, such as the Democratic Socialists of America, we have the Green Party, and we have the Libertarian Party. Now, the Libertarian Party happens to be the only party that actually puts a president on the ballot every year. For you folks around the world. You might not even know we have more than two parties, Democratic, Republican, but we actually do, and I am going to ask Joe to first explain what libertarians are all about. And then we'll actually get into the whys and wherefores of his positions.
So the Libertarian Party, like Chuck said, is the largest party that you probably haven't heard of, and we're not Democrats or Republicans, and we're by far the next largest one (political party). We're like the best of both worlds. We're the best of the Democrats were the best Republicans. You should love everything that we want to do. We basically want to take over the government, so we leave everyone alone. Basically, you'd be as liberal or conservative as you want to be. Just don't use government to force your views onto other people. That's pretty simple, very pro-peace, pretty pro nonaggression. And, yeah, do you want maximum individual liberty? We believe in the intent of our Founding Fathers that's to live free.
Charles I Guarria
Let's focus in on local issues. So now, what are your three big issues?
I have like eight, but I'll start with three. So for me, it's balancing the budget. I think that's something that impacts everyone because everyone gets impacted by more deficit spending; it's more money out of our pocket. Everyone gets taxed. You know, it doesn't matter what tax bracket you are (in), you're gonna get tax, you will pay taxes in some form or another unless you make basically no money at all. So, balancing the budget is number one for me.
Charles I Guarria
To be clear, when you say the budget, you're talking about the federal budget, correct?
Yes. The federal budget actually, the one thing the state government has the responsibility, requirements to do is balanced budget. The federal government doesn't have that law. So it's kind of interesting the dynamics there; there is no (federal) balanced budget amendment.
Would you want one?
I would want one, yeah. Okay, another issue for me. It's our involvement in foreign conflicts, basically, foreign wars. If we're not in one war, we are in another, and basically, my entire life, we've been at war with someone. And none of that has been declared; it's been unconstitutional, undeclared wars.
We declared war in world war two,
That was the last time we did it. But since then, I believe the only attack (on the USA) was 911. And unfortunately, it wasn't a country it was it was a terrorist organization. But the reaction to that was basically invading, occupying two different countries, in effect. We've actually lost more American lives since then, in the war efforts than we have on 911. Which is really sad to think about that. I would rather keep our troops here. If they do come back (from war), some have PTSD, physical injuries and the VA is really not doing a very good job of taking care of them. I hear stories; when I was collecting petitions, I talked to thousands of people, some of them were veterans, and they would tell me, not all of them; probably about 80% would have horror stories about how the VA has mistreated them. What I want is if we get attacked, of course we attack back. We have to hold the attackers of our country accountable. But I don't think we should be occupying countries for 20 years.
Charles I Guarria
So to back to your main point of balance the budget, you would also bring troops home.
Yeah. We don't want to do it overnight, right. We want to do it responsibly. I don't want to leave the Korean border where there's tension there. Or anywhere where there is a lot of tension.
I want a sunset; basically, I want to have our government to talk to their government and be like, okay, we're gonna leave after 10 years or whatever the number is, and so that they have time to fund their own military defenses and train their own troops to train them up. Again, I want to leave responsibly. I don't want to just like, you know, let's get on a last helicopter, and we get some ugly scenes out of that.
Charles I Guarria
Alright, so we got two (issues) there.
A third one would be ending the war on drugs. The way I look at it, drugs is more of a, if people want to do it recreationally. If people are just playing video games while they're high like, who cares (if) they're in a personal home. It's okay, you know; just don't do it while you're driving; it's common sense, right? Police have a lot on their backs already. And now they're going after people that are doing the equivalent of just having a beer at their house. We outlawed alcohol before, in this country; one thing that we do know is that they have a criminal record (if arrested for drug use), and so that's going to impede them from bettering their lives after a conviction like that.
When the show was recorded, Mr. Hannoush was running for federal office. Combining the local issues of development, homelessness, etc...he summed the opinion of many within the libertarian party.
I believe, and this is something that (all) libertarians believe also, is we want the authority, the ability for government to do something to be done at a local level. We want community, going back to neighbors helping neighbors. Your neighbors know best, your local government knows best, I want to be able to look my mayor or my county chair in the eye and air my grievances. When you have a representative like a member of Congress, how often have you seen your member of Congress? I've met mine once, well actually, I met him before he got elected, and I haven't seen him since. I want to be able to, the people that are telling me what to do for lack of a better term, I want to be able to look them in the eye. So a lot of these issues I think should be held on the local level.
***That conclude the podcast highlights***
As I mentioned earlier, this is an abridged version of the podcast transcript. It was also cleaned up for readability without losing the integrity of the questions and the answers.
A final thought. I know some people will think Mr. Hannoush did well because the Democrats did not run a candidate. Yes, to a degree, that is true. However, keep this in mind, now that the voters know who he is and what the Libertarian Party stands for, many are going to continue voting for the Libertarian Party. That's how a movement grows.
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See ya soon!