People we deal with in politics on a regular basis fall into four categories.
The best of all, of course, are those whom we personally like and usually agree with on the issues of the day. For me, former Canterbury Represenative Seth Cohn best epitomizes this grade A category, but it’s not likely that we’ll like and agree with most people we come into contact with.
On the other end of the spectrum are those whom we virtually never agree with and also personally tend to dislike (loathe might be too strong a term, but I would accept its usage).
I can think of one person in particular, but my New Years resolutions prevent me from naming a name (he’s the lone Democrat on my list of people who will never be mentioned this year).
Much more common are those in the two other groups. It’s remarkable how many people I often agree with and still do not like (again resolutions prevent me from naming names).
Then, at least for me, is the category of people whom I seldom agree with (or at least with who I often disagree), but people whom I still like and admire a great deal. (If quantification of the numbers is necessary, HRA or Liberty Alliance scores could always be used; they are based on so many votes that they serve as a good proxy of those with whom we tend to agree_.
Cynthia Chase, the Keene Democrat who has been in the headlines, both here and nationally this past week, is a classic example of that fourth type of person.
I disagree with Rep. Chase’s comment on Free State types being a threat to our state. In fact, I used to begin my old TV show by calling myself “a free stater before there was a Free State movement; more Jeffersonian than Jefferson”. In other words, I arrived in New Hampshire (at Plymouth State College in 1969) long before the free state movement kicked in, but I have always considered myself wedded to a libertarian philosophy, my position on guns in the State House notwithstanding. Also, unlike Jefferson, I actually believe in what Jefferson wrote (what a hypocrite the great man was).
Be that as it may, I considered Rep. Chase a friend when we met two years ago; and I consider her just as much a friend today despite her comments.
A tendency to demonize those with whom we disagree is hardly productive. Let’s call it the Rush Limbaugh syndrome. Just like Limbaugh made Sandra Fluke a heroine to the left by disparagingly her, he somehow feels it’s okay refer to Rep. Chase as looking like a Teamster (whatever that's supposed to mean, I don't know; it's too strange an insult for me to grasp).
I treasure our liberties; I believe free staters may be our salvation rather than our downfall, but Cynthia Chase remains a friend of mine.
I’d rather reason with her than demonize her.
For example, I pointed out to her that of the Republicans who voted NOT to repeal gay marriage, many albeit not all of them were libertarians and/or free staters. The 2010-elected Manchester Ward 2 State Rep trio of Win Hutchinson, Mike Ball, and Cameron DeJong (buttressed by Tammy Simmons from Ward 10) certainly falls into that category, libertarians all if not out and out free staters.
The problem with Rep. Chase's comment, I fear, is that she mixes up the goals of free staters and Libertarians with the works of former Speaker Bill O’Brien who sadly co-opted and corrupted the movement. Free staters deserve to be condemned for not standing up more forcefully to O’Brien’s fascist tendencies (only a few of us did and look at the heat we took). I know, I know; some might accuse me of demoizing Billy The Bully, but as always, I operate under a three strikes before you're out principle, and Billy The Bully Without a Pulpit had a series of three strikes before I considered him a threat to our freedoms and our way of life. He bastardized the free state movement, forever to its detriment, sad to say.
However, I would prefer to reason with Rep. Chase and point out how she might well agree with free staters on any number of issues (including medical marijuana and beyond that total decriminalization of marijuana, I dare say).
Of course, she and I (and other free staters) will always disagree on the amount of government spending and taxation. I worship at the altar of individual freedom AND responsibility, and I fear she worships at the altar of cradle to grave government socialistic control of our lives (although I'm sure she would not want to be so characterized).
That doesn’t mean we can’t be friends; and it certainly doesn’t mean she looks like a Teamster (Rush really ought to be ashamed of himself; those kind of comments are what created a Republican minority in so many places in our republic).