From the Department of Backhanded Compliments

Apparently NH lefties are passing around this lengthy condemnation of the Free State Project. Much of it, though, reads like something that could be put in an FSP recruiting brochure:

Free Staters in NH are generally intelligent, focused and diligent people, who are sincerely interested in promoting personal responsibility in its broadest meaning. They are committed to discussion and action on the issues and problems they see facing New Hampshire and the nation.


The migration of Free Staters to New Hampshire has dramatically changed the political discussion here.


Here is an alternative perspective on the FSP from the same Foster’s article, which the passage of time has shown to be more accurate than the others in it:

“Dave Corbin, a University of New Hampshire political science instructor, said the Free Staters could accomplish many of their goals even if only a fraction of the proposed 20,000 moved here. ‘Those who are analyzing the potential effects of the group on the basis of numbers alone are not looking at the situation deeply enough’, he said.

‘Let’s say only 4,000 of them move here. You wouldn’t just say ‘What’s 4,000? That’s only a drop in the electoral bucket.’ That’s not looking at the situation properly . . . When you talk about those people who are politically active in New Hampshire, you’re only talking about 5,000 people; those are the people political candidates target. If you have (only) 1,000 people (from the Free State Project) coming here to make a difference, they will,’ Corbin said.

Corbin pointed out how important activists are to any political campaign, as an index of the influence Free Staters could eventually achieve. Each individual activist represents not just one person, but all the people they will persuade. ‘Any time you have a campaign and you have an activist, you know you have 20 or 30 times the number of votes as activists,’ he said. (emphasis original)

But then there’s the scaremongering (all-bolded!) conclusion:

More New Hampshire residents need to wake up to the reality of the Free State Project.

We can’t wait for the Union Leader and NH Public Radio to fill us in on how expansive the Free State Project’s plans are for New Hampshire, – and how this plan is playing out now on the ground. We need to find out for ourselves, and we need to tell others.

We need to confront Free Staters in our towns, and at all levels of government. And then we need to force them, as proper citizens, to have endless conversations with their fellow residents about New Hampshire’s future. We cannot let them make over the State of New Hampshire in their own libertarian image.

Of course, partisan hacks (and yes, they exist on the right too) would rather resort to scare tactics than honest and open dialogue, and that attitude is always wearisome wherever one finds it, but at the same time, it is encouraging that the FSP has moved beyond the “first, they ignore you” stage to the “then they fight you” stage.

5 thoughts on “From the Department of Backhanded Compliments

  1. “then they fight you”…. great note to end on! It is good to argue about stuff because it points out flaws in systems. Bring it on!

  2. It took the Progressives(Socialists) 100 years to get their government can solve your problems Welfare State into law. When,eventually, the Welfare State runs out of resources and bankrupts a nation any action to downsize or dismantle that Welfare State is met by knee jerk reactionary rhetoric from the Left. Shouts of greed,racism,insensitivity,class hatred and a plethora of other vindictive derision.abounds. This is why I’ve always said that the biggest hypocrites are these Limousine Liberal Ben & Jerry’s leftists. They talk all about free speech and personal liberty yet when the chance occurs for any dismantling or even opposition of their socialist causes then the knives come out along with the censors and the jackboots. .

  3. The group or individual responsible for this piece is not identifying itself, but it’s obviously a “left-leaning” one. Keeping that in mind, it is interesting to notice that there is one common theme in this piece: xenophobia. It’s all about whining that people with different values, beliefs, dreams etc. are “invading” New Hampshire (as if all New Hampshire natives would share the same “non-libertarian” beliefs in the first place).

    Seems to me, that the statists, the profiteers of tyranny are getting somewhat nervous, because they’ve realized, that there is a real “threat” that their power to exploit, control and suppress other people by the force of government could diminish and even cease to exist.

    I salute the Free State Project and I’m proud to be a participant and hopefully soon an active part of this great humanitarian enterprise.

    Greetings from the EUSSR!

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