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Fed up with big government? The Free State Project may be for you. The nonprofit group wants 20,000 libertarians and other anti-government activists to pack up and relocate to a single state, which would give them enough clout to take control of the state’s government. Since a Yale student named Jason Sorens first broached the idea two years ago, some 3,600 “liberty-oriented people” have pledged to join the movement. Once the number reaches 5,000, the group will vote to settle in one of 10 “target” states: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North or South Dakota, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, or Delaware. By voting as a bloc in a sparsely populated state, the Free Staters hope to elect officials who will slash taxes, eliminate state services, relax gun controls, legalize drugs and prostitution, and privatize utilities.

Elizabeth McKinstry, the group’s vice president, acknowledges that libertarians are just plain tired of trying to persuade others to support them. “Which makes more sense,” she asks, “trying to change 90 percent of the people’s minds, or finding your brothers in arms and working with them?” Officials in the targeted states, however, aren’t exactly lobbying to win the Free State vote. “We have a neighbor to the east they could consider,” suggests Jason Gibbs, press secretary to Governor Jim Douglas of Vermont. Lucky for him, New Hampshire seems to be emerging as a favorite among Free Staters. In June, boosters organized an “Escape to New Hampshire Getaway Week” to entice libertarians to move to the Granite State. The opponents of state government spent a day relaxing at Franconia Notch State Park — where the unspoiled landscape has been carefully preserved by the state of New Hampshire.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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