Letters to the Editor: August 21, 2003

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Letters to the Editor: August 21, 2003

Virtues of the Free State

Mr. Armstrong,

I'm writing in response to the article by John Thomas on August 14th. I believe he overlooked a number of important factors when he talks about the difficulties we will face, and the type of person who is an FSP member.

Briefly, many of the members, like myself, were not active Libertarian Party members to begin with. In my case, I worked for about 2 years with the Republican Party in the late 90s, then switched to the LP, but never became active because of the focus on national politics and the lack of a pragmatic plan for success. For some of the same reasons, he is wrong to correlate the drop off in LP activism with the FSP.

Also, he does not take into consideration the active Libertarian-leaning environment of the leading candidate states. New Hampshire, for example, has an extremely active LP, and the governor there welcomes us as allies in the fight for freedom. It is not the FSP's goal to set up a political structure. The goal is simply to get like-minded people into the same state where they can use whatever methods they deem best to promote liberty.

I agree that it will be difficult, but people *will* move. It may not succeed as soon as we hope it will, but one state will be chosen as the free state. The seeds of freedom will be planted there, and we will eventually see "liberty in our lifetime." I firmly believe that.

--Bryan Stevenson, August 21

Free State Project a 'Fight to Finish'

I think your article on the FSP [by John Thomas] is a hard-eyed, realistic view of the challenges faced by the project. Without being negative, the article makes the most important points of all - that this is not a pleasant diversion or a intellectual exercise; it's a fight to the finish. Failure is not an option; and the FSP will have many enemies. I for one, am certainly ready to learn, to convince, to cajole, and to work for liberty. I am also ready to die, if necessary. I believe the rest of the porcupines are likewise up to the task.

Thanks for your bracing message. Indeed, we must gird our loins for the long, difficult trek to liberty. And no, we won't forget our communities of origin during the journey.

--Thomas H. deSabla, Silver Spring MD, August 15

Trojans Were Suckered


This isn't very important, however I wanted to point out some possible confusion with the titles of Berntson's and my articles about Trojans.

A force of Greek warriors gained entry into the city of Troy to defeat its occupants, the Trojans, by use of the Trojan Horse. Thus, I am proposing that libertarians, who are like the Greek warriors, defeat our statist enemies, who are like the Trojans, by means of a Trojan Horse strategy.

The main page title for my article, "Comparative Advantage and the Trojans," isn't too bad, however the title on the page with my article, "Comparative Advantage for Libertarian Trojans" is confusing.

Might I suggest "Comparative Advantage for Libertarians vs. the Trojans" or "Comparative Advantage for Libertarians by Means of a Trojan Horse" for both titles instead?

And, although "Trojans Prevent Birth of Freedom" is a clever title for Berntson's response, his article is about how my Trojan Horse strategy prevents the birth of freedom, not about how our enemies, who are like the Trojans, prevent the birth of freedom (even though they do). Might I also suggest "Trojan Horse Prevents Birth of Freedom" as the title for his article? I realize it's not quite as clever as your title, however I think it's less confusing.

As I said, this isn't very important.

I just now realized that once Libertarians have gained entry into the city of Troy via their Trojan Horse that they could be considered to be Trojans, too. (It's like Earth people who land on Mars becoming Martians.)

So, perhaps, I should just say forget that I wrote any of this.

--Steve Gresh, August 15

Ari Armstrong replies: The confusion is my fault. I changed the title Gresh originally suggested (because it was boring). I try to find titles that are interesting and relatively short. Of course, they should be accurate, too.

Breakthrough for Libertarians?

I'm a Colorado Libertarian (former conservative Republican) and it looks to me like we Libertarians have a "breakthrough opportunity," nationally.

First, the Republicans, (read Bush and Co) have led us into an obviously stupid war. In the opinion of my humble self, no one can make a decent explanation (rationale) other than "we were afraid that they were very BAD GUYS, so we, of course, had to ZAP them." Now, we Americans are faced with a $ 4 billion (with a B) monthly cost to do "our thing" in Iraq. Does this sound like a bunch of little boys (now grown into big boys) in a sand box, defying each other? Come on now!

So anyway, can't we Libertarians make a lot of hay over this? Think about it! We, the party of principle, can present OUR candidates to the Public as being free from such "interference in the other guys terrain." Now we Americans have earned the enmity of the entire Arab world... and for what? Folks, that guy from Vermont, Dean... would like to capitalize on the "anti-war" theme, and then slip in a lot of good old democratic/Liberal programs, like more socialism, etc., etc. Is it possible that this is a time when "the party of principle" can slip in beside him, or even ahead of him, to "take on" the Republicans? Is there a place for us... in this mess?

--Blair Law from Edwards, August 10

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