A Keene-area state representative laments the fact that, “there is, legally, nothing we can do to prevent them from moving here to take over the state, which is their openly stated goal.” The Other; “them” in this instance refers to participants in the Free State Project, the political migration of liberty minded people to NH. Though the FSP has no central direction and amounts to little more than a promise to move together with like-minded others, freshly elected representative Cynthia Chase has classified her new neighbors as a threat. But not just any threat. “Free Staters are the single biggest threat the state is facing today,” she opens with on a blog featured at the Blue Hampshire website. Continuing,
In this country you can move anywhere you choose and they have that same right. What we can do is to make the environment here so unwelcoming that some will choose not to come, and some may actually leave. One way is to pass measures that will restrict the ‘freedoms’ that they think they will find here.
One wonders how Ms. Chase plans to make the state “so unwelcoming” for libertarians in such a way that would not be unwelcoming to others. She tips her hand by opening in regret that political purges are illegal, but then suggests that she and her ilk can try.
Vanguardism on parade
In a house of over 400 representatives, the number of FSP participants holding a seat is under a dozen. Yet perhaps because new ideas are fascinating, these few have been credited and condemned by some opposition as responsible for much of the political zeitgeist in New Hampshire. Ms. Chase responds not by attacking the ideas of FSP participants, but by attacking the very notion of being driven by ideas. She uses the shallow label ‘ideologues’ to apply to the vague threat that concerns her, and dismisses the idea of ideas with “NH is not up for sale to any ideology.” And of her own beliefs, clearly they would never be tainted by the menacing concept of ideology. Striving to embody the Marxist definition of ideology as passive, unconscious behavior; “They do not know it, but they are doing it.”
The sacred mandate
It is not the best sign of things to come that a newly elected representative finds it wise to take to the internet shortly after her victory to denounce a segment of her constituency as some sort of danger. This demonization of the Other serves the dual purpose of creating a problem as well as projecting the framework of a solution through the way of a unified opposition. And to address the problems formulated in Chase’s mind, with solipsistic rationalization that would make Ayn Rand proud, the loss of majority status by the republican party in New Hampshire is reimagined as public backlash against the FSP, despite offices being held by participants as both republican, democrat, and even independent candidates. I would be pleasantly surprised if even a simple majority of voters in the state know what a ‘Free Stater’ is.
They can not put their ideology into our statutes unless we elect them in great enough numbers to take over our General Court. We have already seen them try during the last session of the General Court. Our last election was a repudiation of their extremism.
And herein lies the mandate, the premature passing of responsibility. Don’t mind me, because the previous tenant made a large theoretical mess, I will be justified in advance for what I consider cleaning up, for it is the will of the people. Little trust should be given to anyone who claims the will of god or country as driving their actions. With such individual will to be the bearer of power, it is imperative to maintain the perception of the power as rooted elsewhere.
While Cynthia Chase seeks to keep New Hampshire welcoming while simultaneously making it unwelcoming, an unsuccessful politician named Lucy Edwards commented on Chase’s post boasting of her own bigotry against prospective movers. Edwards says with pride,
A friend had a young man from Texas contact her to rent a room she had available. She got in touch with me to ask what to do when he told her he was coming to NH as part of the Free State Project. Here’s what she decided to tell him: “I told him that I already rented the room, and that I didn’t appreciate him coming here to change our state government, it was an insult to me. That if he wanted to make change to start self examining his own life in a mindful way and stay in Texas to make the changes he wants not come here. And not contact me again.”
I like the idea of being very open with these people that we don’t want them here if all they want to do is change our government to suit themselves.
Climaxing her shamefully unneighborly post with hypocrisy reveals the ignorance of Edward’s own self-righteousness. In analyzing what she wrote, we see just how immaturely Edwards socializes with others who have different ideas. She speaks of a friend asking her advice for what to do about a potential tenant who might be a communist…excuse me, Free Stater. Without saying what advice she relayed, she is happy to report that her friend lied to her potential tenant about the status of the rental, condescended him by stating that he ‘insults’ her, telling him to stay in the place that he lives, and in ultimate children’s fashion, requesting that the person sever contact with her.
Elitist Edwards pats herself on the back as being ‘open’ with people she despises for their ideas, ignorant (or not) of the fact that telling someone to sever communication is the exact opposite of openness. Edwards couldn’t even wait to hold office to bust out the double-speak. Though this would be the appropriate time to bask in the reality that this busybody who knows better than you was not elected, know-better busybodies have a way of being drawn to seek office.
Surely Chase and Edwards, being the friends of inflating states that they are, support the continued governmental management of K-12 education. Since Chase has only been in New Hampshire six months longer than I have been out of high school, perhaps these older ladies have forgotten some of the lessons in basic socialization and diplomacy that I had believed were taught in all functional, diverse groups. No bridges are built by telling those with different opinions that they insult you and never to speak to you again. One can self-apply the label ‘progressive’ regardless of whether their actions actually advance a state of community.
Unlike voluntary community organizing, politics is not based upon building healthy relationships, but about wielding the monopoly on violence. Is it surprising that politicians exhibit more antisocial behaviors than civilians?