This one is special.
My wife and I knew a married couple in town with whom we used to spend a lot of time. They had a baby girl who is now about eight and a half years old. When she was two the father just decided he did not want to be married any longer so he left, forcing his wife and daughter to move to New Jersey to be near family.
Mom has since completed school for a new career and they both will be returning to NH this summer. Yesterday, when my wife was on the phone to our friends in New Jersey she asked the little girl when she would come see us again. She said “soon and forever.”
This little “native” Free Stater will be in good company upon her return.
Not many citizens in NH realize how much of an impact the small but dedicated Free State Project has had on politics in this state. (Take a look at the vote to keep NH out of the Real ID Act for one example.) I see about as much of the Free State crowd as anyone and I can verify that the description “small” is only temporary. New members move in weekly. Not all are visible. Not all champion the same issues. But each and every one I meet has a deep appreciation for what NH offers in the way of individual freedom.
I have written several articles for various blog sites about the Free State Project. One was after I went to dinner with about half a dozen couples and noticed how dedicated the Free State couples are to each other. In another I mentioned how well behaved the children were at a Free State meeting I went to in Manchester. Try holding a two hour political meeting in a small restaurant with kids in tow. That, if anything, is surely a test of family cohesiveness and mutual respect.
Not long ago I went to the release of the movie “V For Vendetta” with about fifteen or so Free State members. It was a hoot to say the least. It was as though this movie was made specifically for this unique target audience with whom I happened to be, and everyone else in the theater was just “going to the movies” as though they were unwitting extras in our entertainment.
This year I will, if the stars align, and for the third time, be a speaker at the 2006 Porcupine Freedom Festival, the world's largest gathering of Libertarians this June 23 – July 1. It is named “Porc Fest” in honor of our NH porcupine, of “don't mess with me - I won't mess with you”, fame.
The first two times I spoke at Porc Fest I warned the attendees not to lead all conversations with their own political opinions but to listen to their new New Hampshire neighbors. Join local organizations and volunteer for boards. Get elected to small local positions and learn what it is to be politically involved in the Granite State.
Well they have done all that and more. I better get some new material.