Liaisons Corner - Marc Cohen
Liaison for the Jewish Community 09/07/05
Liaisons Corner: Marc, please tell us where you were born and raised?
Marc Cohen: I grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts. It's a small-to-mid sized city about 40 miles west of Boston. I went to Tufts University for college, where I received my Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. I moved back to Worcester a few years ago to raise a family but I'm looking forward to moving to New Hampshire!
LC: Are you married or single? Tell us a bit about your family life.
MC: I'm married to a beautiful and intelligent woman, Melissa. I have three wonderful daughters named Lillian (age 6), Sarah (age 4), and Jessica (age 2). Recently, my wife has been nagging me about another, but we'll have to see about that...
LC: What led you into the freedom movement?
MC: As a young man, I tried on a lot of different ideologies and ways of thinking. As one grows older, and hopefully wiser, experience begins to temper the exuberance of youth. I think many people enter the Freedom Movement idealistically, but for me it's just the opposite I see it as the only practical way we can move forward as a nation, a culture, and a society. So many of the problems that we have in our nation today, especially in terms of political conflicts, come from the fact that the government consistently sees fit to impose "one size fits all" on everyone.
To take one issue that has been in the news recently, consider the controversy over the teaching of Darwin v. Creationism in public schools. This is an area where parents on both sides have strongly held beliefs and, agree with them or not, they want to be the ones to determine what their kids learn in school. So long as the government controls the educational agenda, parents will fight vehemently over what that agenda should be. Let PARENTS be the ones to make decisions about their own children, and the conflict disappears overnight.
LC: As the Liaison Leader of the Jewish community, what aspirations do you have for Jewish folks and the Free State?
MC: Honestly, my aspirations are not for Jewish folks per se, but really for everyone. I just happen to be Jewish, and so that is a group of people to whom I have a personal connection. But I am also a husband, a father, and a patriotic citizen. If you really believe that living a certain way and having a certain kind of government is what's best for everybody, then you believe that it's what is best for everybody. So what I really hope is that we can get this done, make it work, and serve as an example for every citizen of this great nation. We have the ability to become a nation of upright citizens who take responsibility for their own lives and local communities instead of waiting for our "Nanny" to take care of us. I think that this will really appeal to a lot of people. But someone has to be first, and that's where the Free State Project comes in.
LC: I have often thought that with the Jewish community having gone through so much persecution over the centuries, why haven't Jewish people flocked to the Free State Project in large numbers. Any thoughts on that?
MC: It helps when answering this question to think about my grandparents. They were very traditional people. They got married when my grandfather got back from fighting in Europe (he manned a mobile anti-aircraft gun with Patton's armored corps). He was only 19 (he had lied about his age to enter the service). My grandmother was only 16. They opened a small business, and worked hard to make it thrive. They had five kids, the oldest of whom is my father, and stayed happily and lovingly married 'till death did they part (my oldest daughter, Lillian, is named after my grandmother). And they thought that, in the eyes of G-d, President FDR ranked after Moses but ahead of Abraham. During the 1930's, FDR was the political leader most enthusiastic about standing up to Hitler and it won him, and his Liberal Democratic successors, their loyalty for life. For Jewish people of my parents' and grandparents' generations, being a Liberal Democrat is just a given. But for me (I'm 36), and people like me, this is definitely beginning to change.
LC: Marc, would be so kind as to give us your vision of what the Free State might look like when it actually becomes really free?
MC: I see it as a place where individuals are free to make decisions about their own lives without interference. I see it as a place where low taxes and less regulation lead to increased business opportunity and a higher standard of living for everyone. I also see it as a place where the most important rights in our constitution are protected and revered.
LC: Marc, is there anything else that you might want to share with the FSP membership and website drop-ins?
MC: I don't see the Free State as being some kind of utopia. Having the freedom to decide things for yourself sometimes means having the freedom to make stupid decisions and that's OK. A world with less government won't be perfect. In fact, it will probably have a LOT of problems. The question is, is government (with the great job it has done with, say, inner-city public schools) really in a position to offer the best solution at the lowest social cost? If you're really being honest with yourself, you know that the answer is "No".