Be certain to view our "Guest Commentary" via the link above.
posted August 15, 2017
We, as citizens, need to come together and oppose the hate that fueled the violence in Charlottesville.
It's not the job of Government, it's our job alone.
Riot, assault, and murder, are not Constitutionally guaranteed rights, nor in any form or fashion Libertarian sentiments or orthodoxy.
The Granite State Libertarians strongly and without equivocation, oppose the Neo-Fascist, Alt-Right, Neo-Nazi, White Supremacy, and anti-Semitism taking root in these United States.
We have concerns about the so-called AntiFa, the self-styled Anarchist radicals who seek to provoke violence with themes of "Punch a Nazi" or "BashFash".
Neither group is non-violent, neither group adheres to the Libertarian core tenet of Non-Aggression.
Each sow hate and discord, and yet as was shown in Charlottesville, it's often the innocents who pay the physical, emotional, and financial price for their actions.
To the organizers of the Unite the Right:
including but not limited to those named on their posters, you are cordially invited to never set foot in New Hampshire.
That specifically includes Austin Gillespie, and Christopher Cantwell. Two persons who have at one time, claimed-to-be Libertarians, yet found no welcome in the Libertarian Party. You're particularly not welcome here.
We'll remind those who believe New Hampshire is a racist white supremacist paradise:
David Duke and his followers were beaten on the New Hampshire State House grounds ~ as the New Hampshire State Police were "helplessly outnumbered" until such time as the Klansman were sufficiently lumped-up, and additional officers could escort the Klansman to safety.
To date, Mr. Duke has refrained from returning to the Granite State.
Perhaps citing old injury, and our inhospitable climate.
~ Webmaster, for the Granite State Libertarians
posted February 1, 2017
By Jarec Rondeau
For many, one of the greatest sticking points in the libertarian ideology is how assistance will be provided for those that cannot provide for themselves. Government programs currently provide for people that have been knocked down by any number of causes; illness in the form of Medicare and Medicaid, job loss in the form of unemployment payments, homelessness in the form of a variety of services offered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. What would happen to the people reliant on these programs if the funding just disappeared or the programs were cut entirely
The founding fathers saw the issue of government reliance early on and addressed it in ways that can only be described as libertarian. In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson laid out what was his vision for the roles of government
“A wise and frugal government shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned”
– Thomas Jefferson, March 4, 1804
These sentiments were echoed by many of the founders of our country, the belief that government’s role in everyday life was to prevent harm from coming to its citizens but to otherwise leave them alone. In their time, this was taken far more literally than it is applied today. Today, we now apply this far more broadly than it was intentioned and “harm” has grown to encompass hardship.
This is not to say, however, that they did not believe in the power of charity in preventing hardship. Benjamin Franklin is credited with one of the better definitions of what charity should do. .
“I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think that the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it”
– Benjamin Franklin
It was his and others’ belief that charity was and still is a powerful way of bringing people out of poverty, not just making poverty a survivable lifestyle. In the United States, reducing poverty through voluntary donations is an entirely realistic goal. Americans are a very charitable people, to the tune of $373.25 billion in 2015 . To put this amount into context, this is more than 1,000 times the cost of operating the entirety of the much disputed Planned Parenthood. Imagine more than 1,000 organizations the size of Planned Parenthood operating around the country to cover different aspects of life to pull people out of poverty.
The best part is you don’t have to imagine that, because there are thousands of organizations across the country that operate solely on private funding to alleviate poverty and assist those that have been knocked down. The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics operates 1,200 free clinics around the country that are funded almost entirely on private donations and fundraising activities. These clinics ensure that individuals that cannot afford the costs incurred with sky high deductibles can still get basic health care.
On a more local level, organizations like A Hand Up, Inc. in Hartford, CT are battling poverty and homelessness. A Hand Up operates entirely on donated funds and goods to help individuals in transition that were previously homeless call a place home. They work with individuals and organizations to help fill new apartments with things that many take for granted, like used furniture, cookware, a bed and pillows. For someone that is just coming out of being homeless, avoiding the cost of these household goods can help them get a better start to a new life. This is the idea behind the name A Hand Up and the very essence of what Benjamin Franklin said over 200 years ago.
If tomorrow all the funding behind government programs to help the impoverished dried up, Americans would find a way to fill the gaps. This is, at its heart, a very libertarian ideology; the idea that individuals can and will help those in need without government forcing them to.
~ Jarec Rondeau
posted January 23, 2017
By Moe Egan
We are living in interesting times.
The Chinese saying that is a back-handed curse seems to fit perfectly the current political climate in the United States. Half the country is sporting red baseball caps-ready to make America great again, while the other half has donned pink knit pussy caps and gather en masse to march in solidarity against the perceived threats of the new administration.
Meanwhile, Libertarians are diligently plotting to take over the country and leave you alone.
I have never seen such a deep divide in our nation- so much fear and animosity toward ‘the other side’, so much loyalty to Political Party above all else.
We seem to have forgotten that We The People are the ones in charge of our individual destinies and Our country.
As Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Adams, “No government can continue good, but under the control of the people.”
I watch both sides of this current political kabuki dance and choose not to take a side, because for the first time in my adult life, I’m watching this political passion play as a Libertarian. I see determination and hope and fear on both sides.
I see friends, D’s and R’s believing that they are right- and everyone else is wrong. I’ve seen friendships dissolve over political affiliation and the social media angst is feeding an army of on line trolls.
I know that all involved want what they see as best for our country. I also know that there is another option.
The Libertarian option.
In this past presidential election, the Libertarian Party made inroads, gaining ballot access in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Good, bad or indifferent, it was the first time for many, that the Libertarian Party made it onto their political radar as voters. Disenfranchised Republicans and Democrats joined the Libertarian Party in droves, the core of the Granite State Libertarians among them.
Across the country, people are seriously considering the Libertarian Party for the first time.
As someone who is a newly minted ‘capital L’ Libertarian myself?
I, like you perhaps, have a lot of self-education to do about the tenets and history of the party.
So…what *is* a Libertarian?
How much time have you got for an answer? Seriously.
If you asked 17 Libertarians, you’ll probably get 17 different answers; all valid, all accepted, and each just as passionately defended.
Under the Libertarian banner are Anarcho-Capitalists- who’d replace the State with a Free Market economic system;
Minarchists- who believe in smaller government and greater liberty;
Civil Libertarians- whose focus is on increasing civil liberties, Classical Libertarians,
Neo Libertarians- a conglomeration of neoconservatives and Libertarians; there are even Socialist Libertarians. Where you have freedom, you get diversity.
It does sound a bit confusing, doesn’t it?
Penn Jillette, one of my favorite Libertarians, says it best I think, in answering the question, why are you a Libertarian, “I do not know what’s best for other people, I also don’t believe that other people know what’s best for other people. I can barely make decisions for myself, I do my best to make decisions for my family…Libertarianism is taking a right (turn) on money, and your first left on sex and looking for Utopia down the middle.”
Or, as Dan Fishman, a leading Massachusetts Libertarian says:
“Other parties claim to have a big tent, we libertarians don’t have a tent, just the open sky.
There’s room for everyone here.”
So, what do these many brands of Libertariansim have in common? Freedom.
The root of ‘libertarian’ is the Latin word, liber, meaning free. Libertarians believe first and foremost in the freedom of the individual; freedom over his/her life, person, property, livelihood, actions, destiny, family and fortune.
Total freedom would lead to total chaos, you say? There’s one big caveat- your freedom stops at the borderline of mine. Work where you will, start a business if you want, believe (or not) in the deity of your choosing, love and marry whomever rings your bell, carry or don’t carry a gun, acknowledge 420 in all it's forms if you wish – but don’t harm me or force me to do things your way, thank you very much.
Pretty simple stuff. Let me look after myself and my own, and you look after yourself and your own- and help out where we can without government interference or oversite.
But who will build the roads? The US didn’t impose a national income tax until 1931. We had roads, and an army; but we’ll save this topic for another blog.
One central tenant to Libertarianism is the Non-Aggression Principle, or NAP. The NAP precludes anyone from initiating, or threatening the use of force to interfere with an individual or his property; this does not exclude the use of self-defense, if needed. All Libertarians agree to follow the principles of the NAP when becoming a party member. Who oversees that they stick to the NAP? They do. It’s all about the individual, the individual’s rights and responsibilities; to himself and his community. With great freedom, comes great responsibility. And with great freedom comes great growth for the individual and the community
- We seek to substantially reduce the size and intrusiveness of government and cut and eliminate taxes at every opportunity.
- We believe that peaceful, honest people should be able to offer their goods and services to willing consumers without inappropriate interference from government.
- We believe that peaceful, honest people should decide for themselves how to live their lives, without fear of criminal or civil penalties.
- We believe that government’s only responsibility, if any, should be protecting people from force and fraud.
The concept of libertarianism goes back centuries.
From, “Libertarianism: A Primer”, by David Boaz, Executive VP of the Cato Institute:
“The first known libertarian may have been the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, who lived around the sixth century B.C. and is best known as the author of the Tao Te Ching. Lao Tzu advised, “Without law or compulsion, men would dwell in harmony.”
English philosopher, John Locke has been called The Father of Libertalism. He believed that all people are born with intrinsic natural rights (life, liberty, health and property).
Our Founding Fathers incorporated much of Locke’s philosophy into the Declaration of Independence.
Classical Libertarians wish to get back to the basics of Locke and the founding father’s philosophy.
The Libertarian Party (USA) was founded in 1971.
The Libertarian Party (or LP) is one of America's largest and longest serving third parties. Libertarians seek a middle ground between the left's liberal values and the right's conservative ones, believing in total individual liberty (pro-drug legalization, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-home schooling, pro-gun rights, etc.) and total economic freedom (anti-welfare, anti-government regulation of business, anti-minimum wage, anti-income tax, pro-free trade). The LP espouses a classical laissez faire ideology which, they argue, means "more freedom, less government and lower taxes."
2016 Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson summed Libertarian up this way:
Libertarians are socially accepting and fiscally responsible.
We live in America. We live in a free society where we are able to make choices.
It's about giving individuals freedoms, and holding them accountable.
That's pretty spot-on.
Are *you* ready to be Libertarian with us?
posted January 8, 2017
By Linda Keane
Two roads diverged into the woods…
How the hell did I get myself into this?
What does it really mean?
I mean, you can’t be seriously considering becoming a Big L Libertarian. Can you?
The summer of 2016 was rolling along like any other summer. Those long hot days melted along into star spangled evening with no end in sight. My husband and I had moved into our dream house in Deering, New Hampshire and the thought of returning to my teaching job for my 30th year in the trade hadn’t even crossed my mind. It was really a summer of peaceful, sun-filled days followed by restful, quiet evenings under a canopy of stars I had lost living in the city. The only interruption to our bliss-filled existence was that damn election! Everywhere I turned all I heard was Trump, Clinton… Hillary, Donald… Clump, Cheeto Face, Hildebeast… on and on to ad nausium. The divisiveness and hate was everywhere.
I couldn’t stand either one of them. The DNC forever lost my respect as an organization with the rigging of the election through super delegates, e-mails, and outright lies. Deborah Wasserman Schultz’s comments regarding the need for super delegates to keep ‘grass roots activists’ out of contention, while “welcoming grass roots activism” really set my teeth on edge. Couple that with the fact that the NH delegation voted for Clinton, despite the fact that Bernie took more than 60% of votes cast in the NH Democratic Primary? That really frosted my backside. Bernie (and Berners) got screwed, that’s all there was to it. The smug pride the DNC took in doing so, cause me great consternation in the midst of a nearly perfect summer. The Republican circus, in bypassing solid choices like Rand Paul, and John Kasich for a complete lunatic whose only means of convincing anyone he meant what he said was to repeat it, three times, every time was a non-starter.
Little did I know my lazy, blissful summer was about to come to a crashing end. My Irish ire was, to put it mildly, maxed. I don’t mean stomp your foot angry, I mean seething, teeth grinding, need to buy a new TV, angry. Watching the political process devolve into what could only be described as a pissing contest to see who could out scream, out lie, out insult the other. I spent more time sputtering and spitting over the shenanigans, false news, and outright lies from every angle. As a life long independent, I never voted party lines or followed any one group of politicians. If I were really honest, I’d tell you I really tried to ignore the whole thing because I found what Congress does so infuriating that I can’t see straight. I always found that Washington was nothing but a big machine working for no one but themselves without so much as a backward glance towards the American people that put them there. They bank on folks like me, too busy and uninterested in their actions to pay attention enough to squawk about it.
At the end of my rope, my husband cued up a rally for Gary Johnson and I prepared myself to be morbidly offended again. Instead, he spoke peacefully and respectfully. He didn’t scream. He didn’t insult. He just spoke truth.
Fiscally conservative; socially inclusive. Isn’t that what I’ve been wanting all these years? The deficit is so out of control that each child born will be in debt $43,000 dollars at birth this year. I found that fact so difficult to swallow, it hurt. How can we allow unfettered spending to such a handicapping extent? I’ve so tired of bombing places we don’t belong. Regime changes Gary stated, “When has a regime change ever gone well?” I couldn’t argue with the fact, he was right. How many times have the American people been lulled into thinking the government was doing the right thing and ‘protecting us’ by supporting the bombing of innocent people? The easiest way to create a terrorist is to kill a man’s family. Over the years, it has become more and more evident, that individuals that make up the United States have become a secondary player to the US as a world entity. In order to play on the big stage, they have to go big or go home. I’m all in favor of going home especially when the government lies to us about what is really involved with their decisions.
So, I climbed on the Johnson/Weld 2016 bandwagon and started campaigning for them throwing the rest of my peaceful summer vacation to the curb. I made phone calls, participated in sign waves, event planning and whatever else had to be done to get the word out that Gary and Bill were in it to win it. I know I sure was.
In the mean time, I began reading about Libertarianism and listening to more and more supporters of the platform. I found out a couple of universal truths that made a world of difference to my understanding of government and the intention of government from our forefathers who work tirelessly to give us every opportunity to control the future governance of this nation (I’ll write more about them some other time) and where I stood on the political scale. I found out I was not as apolitical as I profess to be. For certain, I want smaller, more responsible government. I want someone in DC, ANYONE in DC to look at what they are doing and point to the justification for it in the Constitution. I want less spending and less stupidity with our finances. I want more local control and less nation interference with local control. I want less oversight in the choices I make, particularly those that don’t impact anyone but me. I want friends and family that have been alienated by their communities and government to be welcomed despite what they represent after all, their choices aren’t hurting me or anyone else. This all fit nicely into the Libertarian point of view.
And so, I’ve taken that first step down the less popular path toward becoming a Big L Libertarian. I’m finding you don’t just easily step into the party without having to have a nicely shined ‘shit-shield’ to deflect some of the ‘you’re not Libertarian enough’ rhetoric that even an inclusive party can through at you. But I keep on walking it out because, quite frankly, I really believe the Libertarian Party is onto something in personal freedoms and less government. And, I do believe with all my heart and intellect that the Libertarian Party is the last, best hope this country has to turn itself around before the deficit forces this country into a socialist or fascist state. If our government had any intention in upholding the Constitution, we’d have seen some semblance of it in recent years. But Congress keeps subverting the document in favor of socialism and oligarchical decisions. I know I haven’t felt like my government gave a single thought to individual, unalienable rights in a long time.
While I know I have a lot to learn about the roots of Libertarianism and politics as a whole, I’m done believing our government is looking out for us. I’m done remaining silent and hoping thing will get better. I’m overdone with thinking Democrats and Republicans have any vested interest in anything but their own power and existence. And while history will tell the tale of how things turn out, I’m taking the road less traveled Robert Frost tells about because I do want to find a different outcome to the one we’re on as a nation, as a resident in a state, and above all, as an individual. I pray it will make all the difference. Granted, it’s a journey of that is not for the faint of heart, but neither is the path this country is on. The difference is whether you’re willing to keep wearing the blinders and drinking the Kool-Aid they’re handing out or bear down deep and muster the courage to call shenanigans where it lies. So, here goes everything; one foot in front of the other.
~ Linda Keane
posted January 5, 2017
“But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” – John Adams.
“It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, “whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,” and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.” – John Adams
“I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a disgrace, that two become a lawfirm, and that three or more become a congress.” – John Adams,
“The consequences arising from the continual accumulation of public debts in other countries ought to admonish us to be careful to prevent their growth in our own.” – John Adams, First Address to Congress, Nov. 23, 1797.
“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” – John Adams