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Free state garden: Weeding is always good


Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, co-authors of the Freakonomics books, have an entertaining chapter in their latest best-seller about “teaching your garden to weed itself.”

Example: When King Solomon proposed splitting the disputed baby in two using a sword, he reasoned the fraudulent mom would reveal herself by agreeing to Solomon’s proposal, while the true mother of the child would identify herself by quitting claim on the baby to save its life.

Political parties have a responsibility to weed themselves of people who don’t represent their views, and primary season is the best time to do that. There are steps both parties can take to encourage their gardens to weed themselves.

Take the free staters. In recent years a growing handful of free staters have managed to get elected to the New Hampshire legislature through, shall we say, false pretenses. Some have masqueraded as a conventional Republican or cross-dressed as a mainstream Democrat, keeping their true views hidden from voters. Mall security guards call this sort of thing willful concealment.

Now, if a member of the free state movement runs openly as a member of the free state movement and gets nominated and elected, so be it. But if he or she gets elected by deceiving voters about his true policy objectives, that’s quite another matter.

In many communities with several state representatives and crowded primaries, it can be fairly easy to slip through by blending in with the herd.

New Hampshire Democrats and Republicans face the challenge of weeding their gardens of free staters who pose as members of their parties. Doing our best impression of Jeff Foxworth, here are some things voters should look out for:

If your state rep candidate accepts campaign contributions in Bitcoin, odds increase that he or she might be a free stater.

If your candidate posts pictures on Facebook of himself attending Porc-fest, odds increase that he or she might be a free stater.

If your candidate moved to New Hampshire fewer than five years ago, odds increase that he or she might be a free stater.

If your candidate was endorsed by a group calling itself the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, odds increase that he or she might be a free stater.

If your candidate still has a Ron Paul Revolution bumper sticker on his or her car, odds increase that he or she might be a free stater.

If, after doing your research, you still want to vote for such candidates, go ahead.

But let’s not elect anyone by uninformed accident.

Guest editorial by Fergus Cullen

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