From the Keene Sentinel. Be sure to click to the article to see the usual hate and fear-based comments about “free staters”:
To hear Russ Kotfila tell it (Westmoreland witch hunt must stop, Keene Sentinel, March 23), Free Staters are the quintessential upstanding citizens and those questioning their well established goal to infuse 20,000 ultra libertarians into New Hampshire to take over local and state politics are off on a witch hunt.
Mr. Kotfila seems to be suggesting that resisting or even talking about this influx is somehow unseemly and “will not be tolerated any longer.” For one espousing tolerance for Free Staters, Mr. Kotfila seems harshly intolerant of those who don’t feel warm and fuzzy about the Free State agenda.
A majority of Free Staters currently in New Hampshire have indicated they want to replace public education with home schooling and private schools; they want to end all government regulation of businesses, from licensing manicurists, to getting drivers licenses, to elimination of planning and zoning boards.
They don’t believe government should be able to mandate taxation to pay for schools, roads, Social Security or any social welfare programs like nursing homes.
Most people don’t agree with the platform of the Free Staters. When people find out Free Staters have landed in their small town and are seeking to influence elections, they have a right to untrammeled debate on these issues. The alternate choice is to simply hand over the state and its towns to Free Staters.
Mr. Kotfila offers an odd ending to his witch hunt thesis: “When the rules of civility are violated the rights derived thereof are forfeited.”
Rights are derived not from civility but from engaged citizens in a participatory democracy. Mr. Kotfila, a selectman in Westmoreland, should temper his rhetoric lest it appear he is attempting to silence those opposing the Free State agenda.
681 River Road
Gandhi’s famous quote is as follows:
“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Tick tock, Pam.