Group aims to live free
|Title:||Group aims to live free - maybe here|
Group aims to live free maybe hereThursday, November 14, 2002
By Albert McKeon, Telegraph Staff, email@example.com
Staff photo by Dan Williamson
Free State Project Vice President Elizabeth McKinstry, center, talks to a group of interested people at the Borders bookstore cafe in Nashua on Wednesday. About 20 people came to learn more about the project and its plans to get 20,000 people to "move to a single state of the U.S. to secure there a free society," according to a pamphlet that McKinsty distributed.
NASHUA Our nation's founding fathers hatched their idea of a free society by candlelight.
Some of their modern contemporaries reviewed plans for such a society by fluorescent light, with java and a trove of books at their disposal.
Armed with ideas, energy and a gun one man carried a sidearm in a holster about 20 neo-Jeffersonians met Wednesday night at Borders bookstore. They came to hear the plan of the Free State Project, and support its dream of creating a "sphere of liberty" somewhere in America, maybe even New Hampshire.
"It's a place where a person can reach his or her potential a place where kids are learning the way you want them to learn … where reputation means more than government licensing … where people are held responsible for their actions," said Elizabeth McKinstry, Free State Project vice president.
A few people at the cafe had already signed a statement of intent with the project. Essentially, they have pledged to move with 20,000 other like-minded people to a state where they can "exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty and property."
In other words, no more "big-spending liberals, Republicans in name only" or quite simply "socialists who want big government to take care of you from the cradle to the grave," said Lars T. Christiansen, a Republican who represents Hudson and Pelham in the Statehouse.
Christiansen supports the project. McKinstry's talk also enticed people who have other gripes with government: its role in child services, education and gun control.
The inclusive nature of the project, its willingness to accept people of all stripes who espouse libertarian ideals, should boost its membership. This nation certainly has its fair share of disenchanted taxpayers.
The group claims 2,000 members, and hopes to have 20,000 in four years. Once 5,000 members have joined the fold, they will choose a state to live in. Sometime after 2006, those 20,000 will pack the wagons, and head north or west.
New Hampshire places high on the project's wish list of 10 desirable states. The others are Vermont, Maine, North and South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Idaho, Alaska and Wyoming.
The project has not yet decided how it will make its mark in its chosen state. It could join an existing Libertarian Party, or forge an alliance with conservative Republicans. McKinstry hopes the project can be a party in itself.
The project would aim to cut the size and scope of state government by two-thirds. The group does not want to secede from the United States, or pit itself against the federal government, McKinstry said.
"Where we can opt out, we will," she said. She cited rejecting federal highway funds as an example.
What they will do is vote, encourage others to embrace a free society and protest laws that encumber that dream. They claim they will not turn a state upside down, but rather make it more like itself hence New Hampshire's attraction, the land where one can "live free or die."
Racists, sexists or homophobes better not hitch a ride with this group, McKinstry said. She promises the project will not embrace anyone with a belief system that envisions giving some people fewer rights than others, or those who promote protective classes.
"We could reach critical mass with Aryans latching on, but we'd find out. Anyone that stupid won't be able to be that stupid around us."
Don't call them radicals, either.
"We're not that radical," McKinstry said. "The Mormons did it. In San Francisco, gays are less than 10 percent of the population but they have a great say. We're normal people. We're like everyone else."
Albert McKeon can be reached at 249-3339.
Content ? 2002 Telegraph of Nashua
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