Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Columnist Wants To Live Free

Column Notes: This is a column I wrote after the visit from Motorhome Diaries. I received a nice comment on the paper's website from someone who said it sounds like we agree on a lot of things. I don't know if he lives in this area but I sure hope so.

Boy did I have a strange week. It all started when I read about a rally in Jeffersonville for people who actually want more government control over everyone’s lives.

I read quotes from Jeffersonville Mayor Tom Galligan, who naturally took the opportunity to speak in front of this group. He told them “Government helps create jobs.” I thought maybe I should direct the mayor to publications that could help him learn more about basic economics, but then I realized he’d never get it. After all, from his perspective he’s exactly right: government does help create jobs — for him.

He also offered the audience this profound quote, “Government does a lot of things and they do a lot of things well.” Wow. I don’t know about you but I’m kind of looking for more specific, detailed information to explain a given position.

The week got slightly better when I heard a bus was coming to town with people who didn’t agree with the mayor and his little audience of big-government believers. I say slightly because it appears this group still believes that it’s possible to use government to reform something government helped mess up in the first place.

I almost went downtown to visit anyway, because I figured I could throw myself under the bus to relieve the frustration, but before hump day was over, something wonderful happened. The Motorhome Diaries RV came rolling into my Southern Indiana driveway.

Here’s a bit of information about this project from their Web site — www.motorhomediaries.com:

“The Motorhome Diaries is the story of two friends who took to the road in April 2009 to search for freedom in America. Along the way Jason and Pete meet individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds and viewpoints at college campuses, homes, businesses and organizations that are united by one thing: increasing individual freedom and responsibility and decreasing the scope of government.

“Their story takes place in a 30-foot used motorhome, affectionately dubbed MARV. Driving from the urban jungles to picturesque small towns and everywhere in-between, they connect with those who reject government violence in favor of a voluntary society. Through the stories of the individuals they interview they explore the historic shift in power from individuals to the government and the growing movement of those who are fighting back to reclaim their liberties.

“They consider their project to be a near-real time documentary since they will post quickly edited videos online so their trip can be viewed on MotorhomeDiaries.com. There, you can read their frequently posted blog and tweets. Videos, photos and media will be posted rapid fire.”

I knew immediately that I had to meet these guys, so when I found out their bright yellow RV was heading this way, I invited them to stop by my home for a visit and to take a break.

At the time of their visit, another traveler named Adam was with them and I really enjoyed meeting all three young men. I learned a lot from our discussions that night and the next morning. I shared some of my experiences with them and was fascinated at the stories they’ve collected the past several months.

So, my week ended with me thinking that I had two choices. One is to continue to let long-time politicians tell me how I need people like them to take care of me and run my life. And the other is to join up with these guys and all the others out there “who advocate a voluntary society-one where government violence is replaced by freedom and peace.” I know which one I choose. How about you?

SIGLINE: Sellersburg resident Debbie Harbeson is considering a new career as political speechwriter because she can write a lot of things well about lots of different things.


  1. I enjoyed your interview with the MHD guys. It cheers me up considerably to see another suburbanite with views so close to mine. Your blog is going on my favorites bar. I'll also being steering my wife to this site. She hasn't really bought the whole libertarian notion, but she coming around. It is good to see people in the movement that "look" like us. Thanks.

  2. Ed, I'm glad to know there are others out here in suburbia with me too!

    And by all means see if your wife will stop by, I'd love to discuss these ideas with her.

  3. Debbie! Thanks for the heads-up about your new blog. I don't suppose you really needed anything else to do, but your readers, me among them, will cheerfully benefit.

    And I'll go back and change my link to point here.

  4. Hey, I found your blog through the Motorhome Diaries Facebook page and will add it and mention it in my blog :)