Eighteen months after the plug was pulled on Ron Paul’s campaign, the Liberty Movement is in disarray. Without the unifying focus of a national campaign, the high level of activism ignited by Paul’s candidacy is gone. Scattered efforts to supply this vision have yet to gel into an effective political force. What follows is a simple, yet powerful, plan of action.
Simply put, the activists in each State need to set a goal to transform their own States into Free States.
This is in line with New Hampshire’s Free State Project, without the need to pick up and move there. With the seeds planted by the Paul campaigns, we have thousands of activists and millions of supporters who can “bloom where we’re planted.” We have family, friends, jobs where we now live. We can start today! (By all means, if you want to move to beautiful New Hampshire, do it!)
The original concept was called the Gold State Initiative. For my own state, Oklahoma, I have distilled these ideas into a vision I call “OK 2.0.” Please feel free to recommend improvements, or to take any, or all, of these ideas and put them to work in your own State. What I’d like to see is a friendly, cooperative competition to see who can transform their own state in to a Free State first. Your comments below are appreciated.
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OK 2.0 is a plan to fundamentally transform Oklahoma governments to help the State become an economic, cultural and spiritual oasis. History and theory teach us that humans will reach their highest potential in a condition of Liberty. Real freedom has two fundamental requirements: that individuals live self-responsibly and treat other people according the the Golden Rule. Non-aggression is the legal axiom of such a political-economic system, giving individuals maximum choice while not violating others’ rights to similarly pursue their own interests. Such a system enables and rewards human creativity and initiative, leading to an abundant, fulfilled life. This was the intent of America’s Founders.
With this vision, we can view Oklahoma government much like a real estate developer sees a decrepit, dysfunctional, tear-down building in a marvelous location. Incremental reform is not enough. Rather, we need a rapid, fundamental restructuring based on the principles of Liberty. The current system is unsustainable. The ongoing, accelerating collapse of the national government, is unstoppable. The States need to reassert their independence, according to the Tenth Amendment, and work for their own economic recovery. The transformation of Oklahoma could spark a national renaissance.
Our task is five-fold:
1. Create a Plan to make Oklahoma the most free State in the nation. OK 2.0 is a bold, easy to understand vision to make Oklahoma a free State. Develop an ever-refining, comprehensive Plan to achieve this goal. Utilize decades of theoretical and historical research by numerous free market think tanks. Enlist the talents of Oklahoma’s best and brightest citizens. We will define what are, and are not, responsibilities of a government funded with tax dollars. Work to efficiently achieve those aims, returning other functions to the private sector.
2. Derive a political Platform from the Plan, and recruit candidates to the Platform. Publicize the Plan and the Platform statewide. Use it to recruit qualified candidates for every political office — state, legislative, county, municipal and schools. Provide political services to help candidates easily learn and execute the basics of getting elected. Be non-exclusive of party affiliation. Rather, based on adherence to principle, encourage candidates to run in the party affiliation that best suits their situation. As a blend of think tank and political operation, OK 2.0 can achieve the goals many want for a third party, without the many obstacles. Use existing party apparatus for expanding Liberty.
3. Develop and execute a strategic marketing plan to shift the political debate toward our objectives. Rapid, fundamental change depends on shifting the way we view government and what is possible. People sense our system is broken. Yet, they have no confidence in Congress or State governments to solve the problem. Our Big Vision is simple to understand, yet bold enough to excite the imagination with a People-serving, Liberty-based government. We will motivate, and empower, a critical mass of awakening people to manifest a better future. OK 2.0 should generate great interest.
4. Restore the Precincts as vital centers of community life. Living in freedom works best when people know their neighbors, living in community of voluntary association. We’ve lost that sense of community in today’s era of mass urbanization and technological solitude. We will implement basic community organizing that goes beyond politics. People need help with gardening, security, benevolence, education and other important areas. Restoring the Precincts as vital areas of political and community assembly is basic to the plan. Ten activists in each precinct could have a major impact on local politicians and community preparedness.
5. Share what we learn with other States. We can leverage our investment in Oklahoma by challenging the other States to follow our lead. A wiki-type database for policy issues and political action will allow us to share what we are learning with others, while we can learn from their efforts. Decentralized action, implemented by activists across the States, can cause rapid change.
Initial Steps to Plan Implementation
Begin Plan and Platform development. Identify the “low-hanging fruit” issues that offer the greatest savings and improved outcomes. Open up plan development to interns and college students doing directed research. Encourage input.
Start the marketing and recruitment campaign. At the appropriate time, announce the project, its vision and scope. Invite public participation. Start recruiting and equipping candidates as early as possible. Develop a statewide speakers bureau to take the ideas to Main Streets statewide.
Begin Precinct development. Provide vision and tools for activists to revive and energize their precincts. The effort is non-partisan.
Publicize the project nationally. Challenge activists in other states to a friendly competition to see which States can become most free in the shortest amount of time. Set up a forum and database to share and discuss what works and what doesn’t. Seek maximum leverage of everyone’s efforts.
Staffing. The ideal situation would be to have an effective paid staff to advance and coordinate the efforts of volunteers. A Research Director and a Political Director would develop the Platform, recruit and empower the candidates. Marketing could easily be a full time position. The most likely source of funds would be farsighted entrepreneurs who understand the Crisis and want to give their children and grandchildren a chance to live in Liberty. However, an all volunteer effort can work. Each situation is different.
This Plan will Work! This Plan offers a realistic way to restore Liberty to America. It is of highest importance that we commit to the goal of making our states Free States, with just as much fervor as we committed to Ron Paul. Once that commitment is made, then our creative energies are loosed in pursuit of this noble goal. When we worked in our States for Dr. Paul, we experienced the excitement of working together to advance Liberty. Transforming our precincts and electing our Liberty Platform candidates to office offers that same possibility, with a high degree of success.
If you want a way to focus the efforts of the movement in your State, I know of no other plan as comprehensive, and simple, as this one. If you do, please let me know, so I can join your efforts. Either way, it’s show time, folks. Time to get going!
Porter H Davis
The Oklahoma Grassroots campaign is the inspiration of long-time political activist and blogger, Porter H. Davis. After earning his MBA in Organizational Behavior, Davis became a participant in Oklahoma's political arena. From serving as an early State Chairman of the Libertarian party, to winning election as the Republican State Representative to House District 85, to founding a state-level public policy think tank, he is steeped in political tradition and practice. He's made three trips to the Republican National Convention as a Delegate. Porter's search for solutions to our many problems has convinced him that the missing link to restoring limited, accountable government is strong, local precinct organizations focused around the town meeting. Further, that vision goes beyond politics to become a strong, cross-party, support structure for local communities. The Precinct Leader