Libertarian National Committee Region 7

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How will I create more Liberty today?

Here are a few simple ideas to help create more Liberty . . .

  1. Watch the legislature's website, and write legislators about bills that infringe on freedom. Once you've written that letter, adapt it a little and send it to the Editor of your local newspaper.
  2. Go to the capitol or your city council meeting, and speak about an issue.
  3. Write a letter to the editor about a news item. Offer a Libertarian solution, or a smaller government option.
  4. If you Facebook or twitter, post a message that makes people think about issues related to Liberty. A Facebook or twitter account with hundreds of friends and followers can plant a seed in a lot of minds.
  5. Start a blog and cultivate followers. You can use Facebook or twitter to promote. Get reciprocal links to other sites.
  6. Take your libertarian or freedom oriented magazines and newsletters to coffee shops or libraries, if they have a public reading material basket.
  7. Leave copies of our newsletter in the library's newspaper area. Usually it's at the front - where they put the piles of The Weekly and Stranger.
  8. Start a discussion group, or a free class to study Liberty.
  9. Volunteer to give a presentation to a class at a school or senior center on American History and the founding of the US, or on libertarianism, or voting . . .
  10. Post message of positive libertarian philosophy on blogs or bulletin boards, either electronic or hard copy.
  11. Put a Liberty message on your car - a bumper sticker or a window sign. Make sure it can be read while driving.
Messages are always better received when they are simple, easy to understand, short, and positive.

Post your ideas or results in the comments here . . . and have a gentle day! :o)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Open borders?

Yesterday, I got an eMail that said “I cannot support the LP because of its “open borders” policy.”

I replied that "Since libertarians believe in freedom and Liberty for all people, "open borders" is an inviolable (IMO) part of our platform."

Later in the day, Hugs and I were shopping for a birthday gift for his 87 year old mother. He found “Ellis Island: An Illustrated History of the Immigrant Experience” at Powell's Books in Portland. While we drove back to Seattle, I looked through it.

The images, both graphic and verbal, are vivid – the farm laborer from Serbia, eyes wide to keep the tears from falling, who was sent back; the story of the little girl who had a rash on her face, and whose coat was marked with chalk to deny entry; the photos of tiny little children’s shoes: from China, Austria, Albania and Greece. Portraits and stories of thousands of people who risked death to travel in steerage; who, hungry, cold and proud, presented themselves for the humiliation and pain of the physical examinations at Ellis Island.

Stories about the monotonous, bland food, which, while filling and plentiful, was the “least common denominator” – that which offended most people the least. (Apparently, the Italians hated the oatmeal, and the Jews kept kosher, of course; and most of the other groups didn’t like the food of one group or another.)

This country was founded by people seeking refuge from religious oppression. For a century, it was filled by groups of people seeking relief from oppression, from poverty, and from war.

They came here, not seeking a handout, nor even a hand up, just the opportunity to work hard, to earn money, and to live free in a free land.

We started with a great experiment in freedom . . . "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore”.

And what have we done with it? We’ve built a fence and slammed the gate, because “you’re too tired, too poor, and there are too many of you huddled outside the gate”.

The unintended consequence of our “we must help those less fortunate” policies have hurt the very people they were intended to help. The United States of America is no longer the refuge of oppressed people looking for opportunity.

As Ben Franklin left the Constitutional Convention, a woman asked him, “….. Sir, what have you given us”. Ben’s response was, “…… a ‘Republic’ ma’am, if you can keep it.”

And we’ve not kept it.

In the attempt to help people, we’ve created a situation where we now want to exclude those who most need help.

A Libertarian solution would be to end the welfare programs that people are afraid we can't afford to offer to anyone who can slip over our borders; and allow peaceful people to travel freely. Private charities could choose who they offered help to.

Because government is not the answer. Freedom works best.