For most of my life I did the American thing: Vote every two to four years. Watch the news, read the newspaper but never really dig in to politics and never go to city or county government meetings. Bone up on candidates and issues at the last second before an election. Skip most runoffs. Rarely write an elected official about anything.
Like many Americans, I developed a hyperfocus on news on September 11, 2001. I became even more patriotic (I thought) – put the flag sticker on my car, supported the troops, didn’t question the Patriot Act, etc. Then I started hearing Democrats complaining about Bush and Cheney and torture. And I started hearing about incredibly expensive things like expansion of prescription drug coverage. It had for some time been a standing joke among everyone I knew that we had better dump everything we could into our 401(k)s because we were never going to see any of our Social Security contributions. But it got real when we were several years out from 9/11 and the economy – despite what we were being told by the government and the media – was not healthy. Yet Congress and the President were going to give a huge chunk of change to financial institutions and others who’d made stupid decisions and needed to suffer for them. I started paying a lot more attention. And reading more than the weekly Target sale circular.
It’s been an evolution to libertarianism. I knew I didn’t quite fit into the Republican mold, but I didn’t realize just how opposed to much of their platform and practices I was until I started examining both. Don’t even start me on the Democrats. I will say that like Republicans, they have traditionally had some strong points. Also like Republicans, they are willing to flush those principled points down the toilet when it suits them. The extent that these two parties have ruined the United States is the extent that the desire for this move is a result of politics. In other words, it’s huge.
Life in New Hampshire is undoubtedly not sunshine and lollipops. But there are many reasons why it’s the freest state in the U.S. and possibly the freest place on the planet that’s still inhabitable. In fact, there are at least 101 reasons. The bottom line is that I am sick and tired of more and more levels of government, elected officials and special interests demanding more and more from citizens, people – elected and otherwise – thinking that if they’re only given enough power and money they can make things just right. Or perhaps if many of them told the truth it’d be that they really only wanted the money and power and making things right is just an excuse to gain both.
One or two of my family members are intrigued by the possibilities New Hampshire offers. The oldest children, who have families of their own, think we haven’t given any thought to the separation between us and them and our grandchildren. My daughter Amanda swears she will never, ever move to New Hampshire and probably seldom visit due to the distance and expense, so I shouldn’t kid myself about how close a relationship I’ll have with any current or future grandchildren. The title of this post was the response I got from my oldest son when I told him in a chat message that I was intent on moving to New Hampshire.
And still I seek a place where I can be left alone by government to the greatest extent possible. The rest of the world looks like it’s going to hell, and I’d like a place where freedom and sanity has more than a tenuous toehold. A place where if it gets as crappy as it often seems it will, we will be around many more like-minded folk who take care of things themselves instead of looking to government to solve every problem that comes along. I won’t kid myself about the kids, and the thought of only occasional visits kills me. But I can’t simply sit here, shut up and accept the sociopolitical system just because our kids don’t think it’s so bad. Being together is important to me, but it’s not more important than our freedom.