I used to think [the Libertarian Party was] just a bunch of crazy, gun toting, out-of-touch intellectuals. After meeting them, I now know how wrong I was. - Howard Kupferman

The following was posted on May 30, 2008 on a blog at http://lhtblogger.blogspot.com. It's the story of a long-time Democrat who found a home in the LP.

Are Libertarians Really So Crazy?

By: Howard Kupferman

Once again, (Long Hill Township) LHT is a one party town. The Democrats can’t field a candidate for the race for township committee, allowing Nan Harrington to limp over the finish line.

Once upon a time, I was a Democrat (born and raised, although my cousins were Republicans, including a US Congressman representing the “silk stocking” district of Manhattan and a New York State Appellate Court Judge). I was opposed to the alliance between the democrats and republicans a couple of years ago which yielded Chris Collins. As Mr. Collins learned very quickly, there was no alliance! Kudos to Mayor Vituriera for pulling the wool over the eyes of the democrats.

At that time, Mr. Collins suggested that if I disagreed with the party’s decision, that there was room for a third party in town. Truer words have never been spoken. Now that the Democratic Party has imploded under the tutelage of party president Sue Collins (Chris’s wife) there is a giant political advantage for all those disenchanted democrats. The “old guard” of the LHT Republican Party might want some change as well.

Enter the Libertarian Party. I used to think they were just a bunch of crazy, gun toting, out-of-touch intellectuals. After meeting them, I now know how wrong I was. Allow me to tell the story.

Two summers ago, the Echoes Sentinel published a story about the day the school board called the police to remove me from a school board meeting. (I left prior to the police arriving. The police took no action because I did nothing illegal. Still, they showed up at my house at 9:30 at night and scared the hell out of my wife and kid.) While at an art show in Westfield, I received a call on my cell phone from a Libertarian who congratulated me for my courage and commitment to better government. He was the only person who supported my efforts and wasn’t even from LHT! In that the Democrats had already asked me, in not so many words, to leave the party, I joined the Libertarians.

At their regional convention in Malvern, PA, I had the opportunity to have lunch with one of their presidential candidates. He was a businessman from Seattle and had a lot on the ball, although little political savvy. I was incredibly impressed by his grasp of the issues, his solutions to the country’s woes, and his knowledge of economics.

What are they all about? We would never have been in Iraq; they would pare down the military and keep it as a defense force, not an occupying force; they would remove our military from foreign countries, like Japan and Germany, where they are completely unnecessary. If you had any idea what it is costing us in taxes to keep these troops all over the world, you would have a heart attack!

They believe that the IRS should be abolished, as well as virtually all of the federal agencies, saving billions of dollars and eliminating the need for income taxes to fund all these government workers. (Income taxes are nothing more than a way to take dollars from the middle class and provide subsidies. So much for Keynesian economics.)

These are only some of the solutions. It is a certainty that they would tackle the ever increasing property tax burden from which LHT taxpayers suffer. Increasing taxes is not the answer. Did we really need a new town hall, library and an expensive school construction program funded by taxpayers? And why sell the old library, when it could have been used to house the student "bubble" that has almost passed through our school system? (another question you might ask the school board members that they will not answer.) Do you have any idea how much taxes have increased as a result of only these three projects?

Maybe Chris Collins hit the nail on the head.