Why is Fosters’ so ill-informed? Buzz, I’m looking at you.
Filed under: Democrats, Free Press, Free State Project, Hypocrisy, New Hampshire, News, Politics, Republicans, Response, Update
What Free Staters are and aren’tTuesday, January 15, 2013
The two anonymous editorials that Foster’s has printed in the last week regarding the Free State Project reflect a lack of understanding that I’ve found only in the most closed minded individuals, left or right, here in New Hampshire.
In early 2001, Yale doctoral student Jason Sorens brainstormed about what might happen theoretically if libertarians got together in one place. In the ensuing 10 years, the reality far surpassed anything young Sorens could have imagined, and he’s said so many times. Quoting his original essay as gospel or blueprint misses the boat entirely, nobody but the most strident opposition are even reading it. Certainly the 13,500+ current signers to move aren’t, nor the 1,000+ who have moved over the last 8 years. Professor Sorens wrote a “10 years on” sequel essay refuting much of what he wrote back then. Theory: 20,000 activists. Reality: Far less are needed, and more effective than he imagined.
I’ve served in the legislature, and worked with folks like Reps. Cynthia Chase and Bill O’Brien. I’ve argued strongly with both of them, and yet each voted the same way as I did on some issues. Free Staters aren’t Republicans in sheep clothing, nor are they simply Libertarians. There are those who have been elected as Democrats, and those who refute all political actions and instead work on local voluntary replacements like private charities to help the homeless. Few listen to Rush Limbaugh, and as least as many listen to NHPR. It’s not a monolithic group, it’s a herd of cats, diverse and opinionated on all sides, even those elected. I participated in multiple House floor fights, where Free Staters were on both sides.
Fosters’ missed the real reason for sending Chase flowers: her attack, as in martial arts, only served to increase the very movement she opposes. The flowers’ card showed there were no hard feelings to the woman who moved from Rhode Island in 2006 herself. Chase sits next to Rep. Laura Jones, a Free Stater, who is one of the sweetest and most principled people in the House. Chase could take a few political lessons from Jones. The roughly dozen Free Staters, in 2011-2012, and in 2013-2014, aren’t influential of 400 Reps because of co-option, but because they make sound arguments and understand economics and liberty. They advocate for personal responsibility, small government, local control, and freedom. These are hardly radical concepts, but sadly, too often forgotten. Ask the most vocal opponents of the FSP, and even they will begrudgingly admit that Free Staters have been very effective, above average legislators who work hard, do their homework, and argue persuasively.
The big swing in NH from right to left was caused by national politics, mostly top of the ticket GOTV. 2014 will see many dozens of fresh voices on both side of the ticket with Free Stater connections, and many will win. Statewide, I’ve met local people who fundamentally agree with the Live Free attitude, small-l libertarians, making up the backbone of why New Hampshire lives free. Flatlanders moving to NH over the years, turning it into Northern Mass, are finally being counteracted, and locals are cheering, wanting more Free Staters to move, and they will. Free Staters will continue to be elected, as both fiscally conservative Democrats and socially liberal Republicans, because our two-party voting system forces them into those ill-fitting molds, just as New Hampshire itself isn’t a Red or a Blue State.
We’re all Free Staters now.
Editor’s note: Editorials are not anonymous. They are the voice of the newspaper, not an individual. As a result they are not signed.
So I have to focus on the editorial note there. So the voice of the newspaper must reflect the editorial editor, who is this case is Paul “Buzz” Dietterle.
Let’s look at a few recent comments left on the above editorials from Buzz:
From the editorial page editor
After reading comments here and on the FSP Facebook page, it appears FSP has an identity crisis. Who are you? You are not Democrat. You are not Republican. Some of you reject the label of Libertarian (small l or big L depending on its definition).
So why not strike out on your own where your beliefs can clearly be stated and voted for?
Perhaps, it is because you are new to the political process and not evolved that far yet. Maybe some of you want to hide under the cover of the GOP? Or maybe it is because you can’t agree among yourselves.
Frankly, as you collectively morph from one to another, you could be all of the above or none of the above.
When you decide, let us know.
To quote: ‘Which only betrays your true motivations: maintain a two-party system that doesn’t serve the needs of a true democratic society.”
Let’s see if we’ve got your thought process correct. Because we only believe in a two-party system, we are encouraging the Free Staters to form a third party.
That only makes sense if a Free State third party is a guaranteed failure.
Does that mean there is fear the Free State Movement will die if it tries to survive on its own?
If you are so all-fired sure of the Free State Movement you should be willing to go for it, out from under the cover of the GOP.
Do you dare? We think not.
Even if we grant you the hypocrisy, it doesn’t get Sorens off the hook. You are using Chase as an excuse. And, yes, maybe we are using Chase as an excuse to criticize Sorens and FSM, so fair is fair if you think we are being hypocritical. But we are still correct.
and finally in response to this question “Foster’s posts a comment titled, “Naming names” and then that comment fails to name any names. So who are these “Freestaters” with their “my way or the highway” attitude? And on what issues?”, Buzz wrote:OK, we’ll throw you a bone — Honey Puterbaugh. But the rest you have to get elsewhere.
“What I propose is a Free State Project, in which freedom-minded people of all stripes … establish residence in a small state and take over the state government,” — Jason Sorens, Founder, Free State Movement
With these words, written in 2001, Jason Sorens announced his intention to politically invade New Hampshire by encouraging as many as 20,000 of the like-minded to come here.
Even though Sorens has since disavowed his desire to “take over the state government” his words have repeatedly come back to haunt him and his followers — as they should.
Last week, State Rep. Cynthia Chase, D-Cheshire Dist. 8, called Free Staters the “single biggest threat the state is facing today” while inviting them to pack their bags and leave. She went on to write that one way to force them out would be for the Legislature to “pass measures that will restrict the ‘freedoms’ that they think they will find here. Another is to shine the bright light of publicity on who they are and why they are coming.”
Clearly, Chase chose some inopportune words in calling for anyone’s freedoms to be restricted, but the rest of her comments (http://tinyurl.com/Leave-NH) aptly reflect what many Granite Staters have been quietly saying for more than a decade.
Granite Staters — -left, right and center — value their independence. They instinctively resent the notion that anyone should or could turn New Hampshire into a one-party dynasty like Massachusetts. In refusing one party rule, New Hampshire has thrived on the political push and pull which has held sway for decades — near or at the top in education, public safety, health, and quality of life.
Do we have problems? Sure. Has the Legislature gone overboard at times — both to the left and to right? Absolutely. But that is democracy. Unfortunately, the Free State Movement came to New Hampshire with the stated intent of taking over our way of life — a way of life the vast majority of us believe is pretty darn good.
And even though Sorens made his intentions clear from the get-go, the Free State Movement has gone about its work in a surreptitious manner.
Free Staters are more libertarian then they are conservative or Republican. Yet, their chosen road to Concord and legislative chambers has been through the Republican Party, not the existing Libertarian movement. This allowed Free Staters to often run for office without have to clearly state their Sorens-ian intentions of political domination. It also wrongly has brought brand-named conservatives to their defense.
As Chase’s comments went viral last week, she unwittingly drew criticism from the likes of conservative deity Rush Limbaugh and Breitbart.com, rapidly becoming the right-wing’s go-to website. Both came to the defense of the Free State Movement, not understanding the “Et tu, Brute” nature of the organization which stabbed true Granite State conservatives and Republicans in the back on Nov. 6.
Whether voters send the Free State Movement packing is yet to be seen. And we doubt there is much if any legislative substance to Chase’s threat. But we do urge the state Republican Party to take a long, hard look at distinguishing itself and its conservative values from the libertarian ways of the Free Staters even if that leads to a viable third party. At least then we will have a more clear idea of who and what we are voting come Election Day.