A Free State Would Be Great
|Title:||"A Free State" Would Be Great Fifty Would Be Better!|
"A Free State" Would Be Great Fifty Would Be Better!By Darrel Mulloy 11/17/02
"I ain't movin' to Idaho." That was my wife's reaction after reading Hari Heath's column at SierraTimes.com on Sunday. The column was written to sell Idaho as the choice for a Free State Project destination, and the arguments were good but, like Hari Heath, I am sure all of us want any Free State Project to include our own home state.
We, that is, most of us, live where we live because we like where we live, and we chose where we live because it is where we wanted to raise our families or to retire to spend the remaining years of our lives. I read with interest the first mention I found of the project in a column by Walter Williams, and if the chosen state were to be Colorado, I would have been right on board with the idea. Williams' column mentioned New Hampshire, I believe, and I can't imagine moving there, although I am sure it is a wonderful place to live, if you are living in New Hampshire, and it was your choice to do so.
According to Heath's column, it will take a commitment by 20,000 souls to inhabit the chosen state in order to make the changes needed in that state to attain the constitutional freedoms we should all be rightfully enjoying in our own home states now. Frankly, it surprises me that there are not now at least 20,000 such folks inhabiting any chosen state. If that is not the case, we are in worse trouble as a nation than most of us had previously assumed. Do the math: 20,000 people times fifty states= one million people, or 1/280th of the population of our country. I would sincerely hope that there are at least fifty times that number willing to re-establish a constitutional form of government, but I have been wrong before. I only garnered 20% of the vote in my recent attempt to unseat the incumbent sheriff in my home county. I thought in that case that there were many more fellow Grand County residents who would agree with me. Sometimes when you feel strongly enough about a subject, it is easy to convince yourself that there are a good number of people that agree with you. Such is not always the case, and this Free State Project is probably one of those instances.
While the principle is right, and I agree with the idea, I really don't expect to see it happen. While we who read and write these pages are all of a strong conviction, to most in the mainstream, we are "radicals". Don't believe me? Write what you read here in letters to the editor of your local newspapers. If you get any replies, they will be in the negative, or most of them will be. In a letter to the editor concerning my run for sheriff, a sergeant in the sheriff's office wrote that I was a radical, based on my written words at SierraTimes.com, accusing me of wanting to join some sort of secret patriots society. I can only assume that he was referring to a column I wrote mentioning the Free State Project, after reading about it in Walter Williams' column. He accused me of several other things that he said I believed from reading my columns, and while I am happy that Sierra Times got some additional hits from my campaign, none of the things he talked about seemed to endear me to the Grand County voters. I was accused of being a patriot, and worse a libertarian. I don't know if I will ever be able to live it down.
I worked hard to try to get elected, and more importantly, to offer the voters a choice in an otherwise uncontested county election, but I learned a good lesson from my first and last attempt at electioneering. The lesson is that unless you are a Republican or a Democrat, in a strong partisan county either party, you won't get elected regardless of the logic of your campaign. I ran unaffiliated in a county where over 33% of the registered voters are unaffiliated but nearly half are Republicans. With a less than 45% voter turnout, it seems that most of those who are unaffiliated who did choose to vote, voted Republican. The idea of getting a sizable portion of a state to vote outside of the party mold is all but hopeless, especially when you mention "libertarian" principals. There is a stigma regarding libertarianism that will keep even the most conservative majority from joining with a move in that direction.
I said it before, and I repeat, if a candidate has libertarian beliefs, he had better not run for office as a Libertarian, because he won't get elected. There are one or two exceptions, such as Sheriff Bill Masters in San Miguel County, Colorado, but they are indeed rare. Sheriff Masters had to win his first election as a Republican. He could not have won his first election as a Libertarian! However, after about twenty years of top notch leadership as sheriff, he could probably run as a neo nazi and get elected. (Just kidding Bill)
I want to live in a Free State, but like most Americans I am not willing to leave the state I chose to live in to achieve that goal. The Free State Project should be a goal in fifty states. State legislatures should be chosen who understand the meaning of the Constitution, and are willing to tell the federal bureaucracy to shove off. If we can't achieve that in our home state, it will do little good to move to another state to try to do the same.
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