A message for all Anti-Freestater bigots…

by Tim Condon

JoelWinters

Freestater, Democrat, and handsome devil Joel Winters

As we know, Rep. Cynthia Chase and others are known to periodically vent their spleens and their bigotry by raising awful alarms (!) about “the invasion of the Freestaters!” This supposedly monolithic anarchist horde is going to sweep through the state and end government as we know it (!). Well, three strikes and those idiots are out, as follow:

1. The first “Freestater” elected to the NH State House of Representatives, where he holds a seat today, was and is Rep. Joel Winters…elected as…

…a Democrat! Strike one for the alarmist bigots.

2. Rep. Winters tends to vote the Democrat “party line” as laid out by the party leadership. Strike two for the anti-Freestaters.

3. Rep. Winters recently voted with virtually the entire Democrat delegation—and against virtually all the Republicans—to raise state gas taxes by 83%. Damn. Strike three for the reality-challenged, bigoted anti-Freestaters.

The truth? The truth is that the Free State Project is attracting all types of people to the Live Free or Die State of New Hampshire. They are united only by their adherence to the Free State Project “Statement of Intent,” which says that “the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty, and property.” That is, of course, what the Founding Fathers believed in, and why they bequeathed us with a federal government of limited powers under the U.S. Constitution (Democrats don’t believe in either one anymore, so it’s no wonder they’re terrified of the Freestaters).

However…there’s one little problem for the Freestaters, and that is how one interprets the Statement of Intent on specific issues. Most members of the NH State House who moved to New Hampshire because of the Free State Project voted against the massive gas tax increase….but not Democrat (and libertarian) Joel Winters, and he’s got a principled argument as to why he voted in favor. So the anti-Free State Project bigots are doubly wrong: Instead of a monolithic mass of screaming anarchists they’ve been wringing their hands over, the truth is that Freestaters aren’t even “monolithic” in their beliefs and activism. They can be—and are—in direct disagreement on some fundamental issues…such as the Democrats’ gas tax and spending rocketship.

As for me, an activist Freestater myself, I think a Republican libertarian should run against Democrat libertarian Joel Winters. And then…may the best Freestater win! LOL!

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  • victoriap

    Mr. Condon – Excellent continuing propaganda on the Free State Project. Rep Joel Winters is an aberration. Free State legislators, including newly elected Democrat Rep. Tim O’Flaherty, vote with the liberty Repulican pack 99.9% of the time. This looks like a monolith to me, and I would be very surprised if it changes in the years to come.

    Who is your audience for this post ? Who are you trying to kid with this nonsense ?

    • C. dog e. doG

      Poor, poor Vicky, what does she have against those who don’t wish to nearly double the gas tax on the backs of the po’a folk?
      – C. dog chasing moonbats with butterfly nets

  • Great article, Tim. Many anti-FSP people need to understand that Free Staters are not created equally – we all have different views on how to achieve Liberty in Our Lifetimes.

    There are also two other Democrat Free Staters in the House (O’Flaherty and Michael Garcia).

    Furthermore, in Manchester Ward 11 (where Joel Winters won), there were four people (two Democrats and two Republicans) who ran for the House last November. THREE of the four people were Free Staters. Both of the winners (Winters and Sandblade) are Free Staters.

    I’ll bet something similar happens again in 2014.

    One final note: during Liberty Forum a few weeks ago, in three days, the FSP was able to raise more than $50,000 towards their goal of $270,000 in the next two years to trigger the move (reach the 20,000 signer goal). The FSP has never been stronger. Not only are we not going away, we’re winning.

  • victoriap

    What difference does it make what party Free Staters run under. So far, with few exceptions, they vote as Republicans. If Free State politicians were as independent and open minded as is described here, using Rep Winters as an example, they would be welcome to NH. But there is in fact an agenda, to whittle government down to the size where it can be tossed into the waste basket.
    Poor C. dog, who claims to speak for the little people. Who is going to fix their cars, when the pot holes become unavoidable. Perhaps there is some good hearted libertarian funding being tucked aside for this.

    • granitegrok

      Cynthia Chase comes into the State from RI and immediately starts to, as a Progressive, support policies here in NH that have made a financial basketcase of RI – that’s a good thing?

      The old chicken and the egg problem asks which came first – which came first: govt or citizens? Here the answer is the latter. Which does mean that govt is not absolutely necessary. Being a Conservative, I do believe in an ordered society and that DOES require goverment. But that government, to support the highest level of Individual Liberty and Freedom possible, must by design, be a limited one so as to have a large Civil Society. Being limited also means that it can be very good at the few tasks that it should do instead of doing the way to many it does in a middling to poor fashion.

      Progressives believe that the only way individuals can succeed is to have the Large Hand of Government looming over each person because life is too tough and too difficult. I, many Conservatives, and many Libertarians believe that Govt has become too big and that Large Hand, in its attempt to ameliorate life’s difficulties, is squeezing Freedom out of our lives simply due to its size and no longer allows us to have the full range of choices we once had.

      Toss it into a wastebasket? No one here, not even the majority of Free Staters is advocating for that. In answering the question of “what is the proper role of Government?”, we merely wish to return it back to its Consitutional bounds. Civil Society can and will reabsorb those functions that it was had (and hijacked by Government). True, it will take time and there may be some dislocations. In the long run, we will return to a better and the Proper ratio that allowed us to become the richest, most powerful, and free country in the world.

      Obama has complained that we can no longer do the “Big Things” anymore – all he has to do is look over his shoulder at the massive bureaucracy that now enforces 100s of thousands of pages of regulations – many of the contradictory and obtuse and a tax code that controls behavior instead of our own notions of how to behave. Is this the kind of government you want, victoriap? A pork-laden, stultifying, hide-bound one that says “you can only do what we allow you to do”? You can only wear the clothes we allow, the PJs, you sleep in, the cribs your kids ride in, the cars you drive, the appliances you use, the house you live in, the foods you can eat – almost every jot and tittle of everyday life has become a politicized nightmare.

      Freedom, in its essence, are those choices we can make for ourselves unfettered. Govt is taking that choice away.

      To answer your question, if Govt grows smaller, even much smaller, individuals will fix your car – just like they do now. Local govt will still exist and it is my stance that one of its major responsiblities is to take care of the roads – that still will be done (either by town employees or by an outsourcer that does the same work to the same standard but finds creative ways to be more productive at doing so (thank you, profit motive). Your micro-scenario of doom-and-gloom doesn’t hold the water that your pothole would.

      Unless, of course, you have made yourself THAT dependent upon government (a different problem).

      • victoriap

        The complexity, dysfunction, incivility we are swimming in these
        days, – which it seems you would attribute largely to government
        and its bureaucracy, I see differently.

        I believe that government has grown to a large extent because of
        the societal and environmental impacts from the seemingly endless
        choices Americans have been led to believe they deserve to make,
        impacts that have been amplified by technology. I find it interesting that you still say “…the Large Hand…. no longer allows us to have the full range of choices we once had.”

        You sound like a spoiled American to me, dissatisfied despite all
        of the options for freedom at your disposal in NH and beyond. I wonder what our forefathers would have to say about your endless desire for freedom.

        • granitegrok

          ” I wonder what our forefathers would have to say about your endless desire for freedom.”

          That is EXACTLY what they were all about – they knew that people yearn for Freedom. Not the faux freedom from” the endless viccissitudes of common life as the Progressives demand (e.g., FDR’s Second Bill of Rights) for Positive Rights but the Negative Rights that the Founders knew would protect our freedoms would need – Freedom from a government that could (or has) so easily over reached their original intent. Indeed, technology has given us more choices than our ancestors but Progressives in Government have taken even more away during that time. Why should the Government determine what the lightbulb I can buy or the showerhead I can install or the toilet I can buy?

          Government has not grown because of the choices we have made but from the Progressive philosophical that, at its heart, says that life is too difficult and too complex for citizens to navigate on their own. Thus, they have brought that philosophy to bear in thrusting politics and government into every nook and cranny of our lives – with the accompanying growth in government to do that. Look at the rise of govt since the founding to about 1890, then from 1890 to now along with the rise of Progressivism (a foreign philosophy birthed in Germany and not on American soil like our Founders were).

          Spoiled? I wish only the birthright as an American citizen that our forefathers gave their lives for. I totally reject the notion that a paternalistic government should (nay, MUST) take care of me.

          And that I can’t make them simply leave me alone. I am being forced to participate in the turning of American Exceptionalism into a European style Communitarian society that will result in the same style of government that our forefathers left – unelected, unaccountable bunch of “better than thou” elites who believe their mission in life is to either “perfect us” and come around to their mindset, or simply to rule in a manner no different than the monarchies that existed before the Founders radical idea that each and every citizen was sovereign.

          • victoriap

            I’m not interested, philisophically, in having a paternalistic government. I live a very independent life, self-employed, no benefits. I don’t ask much at all from government. When I participate in government, it’s as an unpaid volunteer who essentially wants people to have good information so they can think and plan for the long term.
            I do not believe that our individual freedoms should be so boundless that there is no acknowledgement of limits, especially the physical, carrying capacity limits of the planet we are spinning on (after taking technological advancements into consideration). I also believe in the importance of looking out for the common good, as we struggle to live within certain physical limits.
            Our founding fathers didn’t have to worry about these things, with a still unexploited continent.

          • granitegrok

            Philosophically, but from a practical standpoint, you have no problem with a Large government. By definition, that is a paternalistic one as it must do more and more to justify its size and expense. Like all bureaucracies, there seems to be a need to do more and to do that “more” in ever more areas of American life – programs only increase in size, never decrease, and thus, become self-perpetuating.

            I receive my degree in Bio in the 70s when Paul Erlich wrote his Malthusian thesis that we were all about to die – in about 5 years, 10 max, if we didn’t cease our growth. Newspaper articles were agog that we were going into another Ice Age. Peak Oil theorists said that oil would disappear soon, nuclear energy would make us a wasteland. Demographers said that birth rates were way to high and that many would starve – by the end of the decade solely because we could not grow enough food. We were running out of metals to mine, too. And yes, the environment needed help It was a rather dismal outlook in starting out my adult life (having the bad economy and the inflation rate rise from Nixon / Ford / Carter administrations didn’t help either).

            Each and every dismal dismaying dirge has been proven false. Each time that we were to fall off the cliff, guess what – human ingenuity came up with solutions, new techniques, and technological innovation that not only forestalled the coming cliff(s) but blew them up altogether. Instead of less oil, we have found more and more and that which was expensive have become cheap because of innovation. The Green Revolution saved millions, if not billions, of lives were saved. True, people starved but the reasons were man caused (like war, crime, corruption, bad transportation, and worse governance. Our environment also has cleaned up tremendously to the point now where we have reached the Law of Diminishing Returns.

            Thus, every time I hear about the carrying limit of the planet over the last 5 decades, each and every “ultimate maximum”, I hear a boy crying wolf. Is there a max? Maybe, but no one can tell me what that is with any credibility what so ever.

            So I really don’t believe that our continent has been exploited.

            And every time I hear “common good”, it pretty much is, once the smooth icing on the cake as been removed, mere raw eggs and uncooked flour. For the common good has turned into one of the phrases used when some Nanny Stater or Communitarian has decided that I no longer should do something or possess something for in their more perfected status, they declare “I don’t need that”. Look at the current gun grabbing going own. No, I don’t believe that we should ignore our friends and neighbors, but assistance for the good should be voluntary and not forced upon one; I think it a false argument to believe that the common good comes before the Individual freedom that our Founders secured for us – much tyranny has been foisted upon the people over history using that as a reason, for the Bigger the Government (needed to carry out “the common good”), the smaller the citizen.

            Just like in our town budget when somebody keeps trying to push yet another spending increase with the phrase “its just a cup of coffee a day”. Once might be ok, but it has been an entire litany of whole gaggles of googins that come in saying the same thing over and over for every bright idea they believe no one should be without.

            After a couple of years of this, I find myself backing up to the Town Hall with a whole tanker full of coffee in order to pay “my fair share” – and each delivery means just that much less economic freedom for me and my family.

            And there never is an end to the demands for more and more. At what point, is enough, well, enough?

          • victoriap

            Two immediate responses to your interesting post. Yes, technology can expand the opportunity to use certain resources. But there are limits to what our ecosystems can bear. You can’t simply walk away from this reality.

            And in regard to your thoughts about the common good, sure there are limits on what that is, and how it will be paid for. But protecting the common good is an ethic, to be cherished in good times and bad. The seeming lack of concern about this among Free Staters, along with the disregard for any limits to “freedom” is very troubling to me.

          • victoriap

            “And there never is an end to the demands for more and more. At what point, is enough, well, enough” –

            Actually – we may agree on that. I guess the question is – enough of what ?

  • victoriap

    What difference does it make what party Free Staters run under. So far, with few exceptions, they vote as Republicans. If Free State politicians were as independent and open minded as is described here, using Rep Winters as an example, they would be welcome to NH. But there is in fact an agenda, to whittle government down to the size where it can be tossed into the waste basket.

    Poor C. dog, who claims to speak for the little people. Who is going to fix their cars, when the pot holes become unavoidable – perhaps there is some good hearted libertarian funding being tucked aside for this.

  • Emily Sandblade

    “…I think a Republican libertarian should run against Democrat libertarian Joel Winters.”

    And just precisely where you last November when this did indeed happen?

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