Their local leader, carpetbagger Zandra Rice Hawkins, continues to have an addled bug up her ass about the Free State Project and its nettlesome objective to keep NH from going all socialist. She came to NH, AIUI, for a job -- opposing freedom, y'see -- because that's evidently what she really wants to do, rather than simply move to, say, CA or NY or MA, where the government she apparently wants already exists. But that kinda job just doesn't exist there, there's no need for it in those other places. And she's willing to knowingly misrepresent the Project, to collectivize, to "broad-brush", to profile, in order to win.
But she's shy, understandably, about going on the record with those demonstrable lies, so she doesn't allow recording at these (fundamentally non-objective) "information sessions" (notably, FSP past president Carla Gericke, conversely, invited transparency, so video of her rebuttal [I heard later that Zandra's decided she ain't gonna allow that sort of open debate at future sessions -- probably wise, considering the effect...] should surface soon, and I'll link to it). So here were some of my running thoughts during the presentation.
I came to NH in the '80s because of what it was, what it offered -- and as excited as I was about the FSP's announcement, I didn't sign on because I figured if they weren't smart enough to pick NH, then they were on their own. (Parenthetically, I also, for the record but without realistic expectations for the foreseeable future, unapologetically support NH Independence, just as the Founders did in 1776, and because Mordor-on-the-Potomac flatly rejects the validity of the 10th Amendment and NH Constitution Part First Article 7 and its enforcement mechanism Article 10. The law is the law, right...?) Fortunately, overall, these are some very bright people (it's been my experience, coming at it from both sides of the equation, that there's a high positive correlation between intelligence and liberty, so no surprise there), and they made the right choice.
NH's government was vastly less intrusive than the states I'd lived in, MA and CA. And to that point, if those are government models you prefer, well, they already exist. Go and be happy. Why are you so committed to denying others the same choice -- to create their preference, because it doesn't exist anywhere else -- in one tiny corner of the globe? You need to control it all? Where do you suggest libertarians go to live as they choose, to create the society they prefer? Or are we simply not permitted that "luxury"? Why?
But "ultra-extreme" (whatever it's supposed to mean -- but again, objectivity isn't the, um, objective here -- this is her hysterical, unshakable, inseparable, never-missing, essentially hyphenated adjective for the FSP) progressive opponents of individualism like yourself, Zandra, have been hypocritically (goose and gander not being equivalently entitled, apparently) trying to take over and transform NH government, to relentlessly extend its reach and power over the individual, ever since my arrival (and doubtlessly before). This legislative session alone is an outright nightmare of expanded regulations and new taxes -- some blatantly contravening Constitutionally imposed limits -- making the lives of people who have harmed no one demonstrably harder. Because that's how you and your comrades see the role of government.
But I do not consent. So I welcome anybody who works to preserve freedom, who opposes your preferred ever-growing government interference. And the goal of the Free State Project is to respect and protect the rights of the smallest, most vulnerable minority: the individual. And I am so good with that.
To the unrepentant "lies" part, that "take over" language you incessantly ascribe to the Project, and regarding which you complain regardless of correction, predates the Project, and only ephemerally. It was, I believe, from the musings of a grad student initially presenting an idea, in the paper announcing that idea, not announcing the formal Project that eventually resulted. Have you ever had an original thought, Zandra, let alone of a complex nature, fully formed the instant you committed it to paper? Are you Mozart?
The idea caught on, thankfully, and many people had a hand in fleshing it out -- substantially, in fact, within a matter of weeks -- to the point where the Statement of Intent was presented for people's approval. "Take over" simply isn't in it. Never was. You really should finally let that go. Or, hey, keep using it. It's a free country, right? Continue to be brazenly disingenuous, if you insist.
Polling consistently suggests that libertarian leanings are actually pretty strong in people, particularly those not intimidated into resigning themselves to choosing between the lesser of centrally prescribed evils, into not "wasting" their vote because -- as ever thus, somehow -- "this is the most important election of our lifetime...!" All it takes, really, is not submitting to irrational, unsupportable fearmongering. Like yours, Zandra.
(The only truly wasted vote is the one cast not for what you want, but for what someone else wants, the one not cast for your principles -- which is precisely how we end up with, e.g., an unavoidable choice between the two most reviled political candidates in human history, head to head. So tell me: how can secession be worse...?)
As to any potential agreement, any "common cause", Zandra will have none of it. She'll wait for the GOP to come around before she'd work with libertarians on, say, the "War on People Who Use (Some) Drugs"™, or the police/surveillance state, or criminal justice reform, or the death penalty, or any of the other myriad issues on which Project participants have worked with, say, the ACLU-NH (HOW CAN THAT BE...?!?), or...
But honestly, after this "information session", I'm hard-pressed to recognize for what, particularly, she actually does advocate, short of reflexive opposition to the concept of secession (as we who, in fact, seceded from Great Britain have since cheered -- even recently -- in places like the USSR and Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia and...). And reflexive opposition to the FSP, of course -- which, again, isn't the same thing...
No, again again, that's not her objective. Her job is her objective. And any alliance here wouldn't bode well for that job's security, if ya know what I mean. Much like force-monopoly government actually solving problems, it would go directly against longterm self-interest. The alternative, though, would have to be that she simply hasn't the capacity to think it all through. Hmm...
Despite Jason's idea catching on among these disaffected, "politically homeless", the Duopoly in NH has self-servingly, monopolistically, collusively, continued to make it prohibitively arduous, thus suppressing vexatious competition, to run as anything other than an 'R' or 'D', and still demands a "first-past-the-post" voting system. If you support those conditions, Zandra, then you can't complain when people who wish to influence the government actually use, however reluctantly, the restrictive and manipulative system on which you insist. Fair?
So. Do you advocate for expanded ballot access? Do you support approval voting over plurality? Or do you just want these troublesome malcontents to go away and let you rule them in peace?
I'm offering you solutions here, Zandra. Think about it...
- Can Progressives and Libertarians Find More Common Ground in NH? – Carla Gericke
- Hate and Intolerance in New Boston - Granite Grok