In February of this year, republican state representative from Pelham, Caleb Dyer became the only sitting state rep in the United States to join the Libertarian Party. Now, just three months later, New Hampshire is making libertarian political history again as Keene democrat representing Ward One, Joseph Stallcop, today announced at a press conference at Concord’s state house, that he is also flipping to Libertarian! Here’s the full press conference video:
Not only does New Hampshire now have more sitting state reps than the other 49 states combined, but Dyer and Stallcop, both 21 years old, are forming what is likely the youngest political caucus in the history of the United States.
Now that state reps from both parties have openly defected to the libertarians, the big question is which state rep will be next? Will the courage of these two young men inspire the other libertarian reps who are still operating as republicans and democrats to “come out”? Former state reps Eric Eastman and Joe Lachance also recently revealed they have flipped from republican to join the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire.
Rep. Stallcop joining the Libertarian Party is also historic as he is the second sitting democrat state representative to have ever done so in the 45-year history of the national party.
New Hampshire, of course, also holds the distinction of having the first-ever democrat state rep to have flipped, when prior to the 2000 election, late state representative Steve Vaillancourt joined the party as a sitting democratic state rep and then ran for re-election in 2000 as a libertarian and won! This fact contradicts those naysayers in the liberty movement who have been claiming it’s impossible for libertarians who make the flip to actually win re-election. What they are saying is impossible has already been proven possible by New Hampshire’s own political history! In addition to Vaillancourt, in the nineties New Hampshire had multiple libertarian state reps who also won re-election.
At this morning’s press conference, Stallcop gave an excellent speech that revealed the command-and-control structure in the NH democratic party, which echoed Dyer’s experience in the republican party. Thinking for one’s self when in the major parties is apparently discouraged and voting his conscience resulted in his democratic colleagues lying to and looking down on him. One was overheard saying of him, “Maybe we shouldn’t have college students doing this job.”
He called out the democrats’ hypocrisy, saying, “they claim to be against casinos for fear of addiction, yet ignore the lottery’s grasp on the poor. They claim to be for criminal justice, though many turned away from a bill that would close the asset forfeiture loophole. They claim to be for the protection of transgender rights, yet didn’t even mark that bill as a caucus priority.”
Stallcop called his experience a Cinderella story in reverse and went on to excoriate the two-party system, saying he’s, “seen beyond the veil of politics and found that ignorance spreads best with mascots and teams”. His speech made it clear that the government’s social programs are built on a “house of cards” and he called for voluntary solutions that don’t hinge on one political vote. Other speakers included LPNH chairman Darryl W Perry, national LP vice-chair Arvin Vohra, and state representative Caleb Dyer, who is now the floor leader of the new Libertarian house caucus. (Click their names to jump to the start of their speeches in the full video.)
Stallcop recently surprised many by attending the 420 rally at the state house, not only toking up with the crowd of civil disobedients, but also giving a great speech. Rumors began flying that he was considering joining the libertarians, a particularly exciting prospect as it flies in the face of the common misconception that libertarians come from the right, politically. Libertarians come from across the political spectrum, because the non-aggression principle, the guiding principle of libertarianism, is a universal principle and attracts anyone who can understand why it’s wrong to use aggressive force against peaceful people.
Libertarians and voluntarists around the world should take note of what is happening here. Once again, New Hampshire has proven how unique it is. There are 101 reasons why thousands liberty-loving activists have been moving here, and that list just keeps getting longer and more attractive as we continue to have success after success, as libertarians elsewhere continue to fail over and over again. If you really care about liberty, you really need to be planning your move to New Hampshire, ASAP. If you’d like to connect with other libertarians already living here, please visit the Shire Forum.