An Open Letter to Sam Moore

February 22, 2014 12:28 pm

by Jason · 19 comments

Dear Rep. Sam Moore,

I know you consider yourself a principled guy and take your oaths to the U.S. and Georgia constitutions very seriously. As a libertarian who believes very much in the civil liberties protected in the Bill of Rights, I can appreciate the commitment. But the firestorm over your bill highlights one of the big problems in Georgia’s liberty movement.

Did you not think about making the overall argument against “stop-and-identify” laws from the start rather than putting yourself in a position in which you come out making yourself and the rest of the liberty movement look crazy? It’s not like the Republican establishment is going to pass up an opportunity to criticize us.

While you may think I’m being hyperbolic, it’s already happening. I’m sure that the liberty-minded folks will be hearing about this at our local Republican Party meetings. I know my local GOP chair – who is not a fan of us – will probably go out of her way to bring it up at our next meeting just to try to make us look bad.

So, thanks for making our lives a little more difficult by giving them an opportunity to further deride and marginalize us. Bang up job, bro.

Talking about liberty and the Constitution may appeal to certain constituencies, but you have to, you know, actually make arguments for public policies based on those ideals. You may not like it — hell, I don’t even like it — but liberty is not going to come tomorrow or next week. It’s a step-by-step process. We have to make arguments — it doesn’t matter that you’re right if you’re not willing to explain why you’re right – as well alliances with those who can help us along the way and take the wins as a they come.

It’s unfortunate, frankly, that there is a segment of the liberty movement in Georgia that look to you and Rep. Charles Gregory as heroes. Personally, I believe that you are a liability to our cause because you’re either unwilling or incapable of making arguments for liberty-based policies, and this is broadly speaking, not just about the irresponsible legislation you’ve introduced. As I’ve already explained, you’ve marginalized yourselves and anyone who identifies with the liberty movement in the Peach State.

I don’t believe you should resign. Much like your legislative ally, Rep. Gregory, you’ve committed political suicide. Your constituents effectively have no representation because you have made yourself irrelevant. No, I think you should stick around. I want your constituents to respond to this and the rest of your short political career at the ballot box. That’s where your fate should be determined.

In the meantime, those of us in the liberty movement who are actually interested in moving the ball forward on public policy — rather than people like yourself who are merely trying to “prove a point” — will spend time trying to clean up the damage you’ve done when we could be doing other, more productive things.

Doug Deal February 22, 2014 at 12:49 pm

To echo Jason:

The best salesman in the world still has to connect with the customer and build trust before he can close a sale. Lifestyle libertarians are not very good salesman as a rule and therefore they need even more groundwork to connect with their customers, the voters.

Now, every other person proposing an idea to promote freedom will have to overcome this embarrassment in addition to the already uphill fight to accomplish whatever they were trying to accomplish.

Success builds on success (even small victories) not on disastrous failure.

eschristian February 22, 2014 at 10:26 pm

So TRUE @Jason & @Doug!!!

mmealling February 23, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Completely agree. I’m merely suggesting the solution is to fix the problem, not sanctimoniously nail Moore and Gregory to a tree…

Doug Deal February 23, 2014 at 5:59 pm

I was not happy about the over-reaction on the House floor either. Sometimes there is no good guy.

Three Jack February 22, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Major unforced error by Moore, sad that it will have long lasting repercussions hindering an intelligent debate about the role of government in our lives.

But I agree with Jason, Moore should stay in office as a model of what not to do for the next few months until he loses the May primary.

John Konop February 22, 2014 at 3:19 pm

The real issue is when you blindly follow any idealology without weighing in pragmatism. In all due respect Jason you got what you ask for…..sadly you are right it does hurt us all who want personal liberty issues delt with ie war on drugs, no knock warrens issue for non violent suspects……

I live in Cherokee and Sam was clear about taking the views to a very extreme level….this was a special election with weather issues…..

Bill Arp February 22, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Jason why don’t you run for office…..probably because not a soul would vote for you so you have relegated you life to being a ghostwriter on a political blog. Every elected member of the general assembly has the elected right to drop any bill he pleases, and you as a blogger can say what you please. However, some of us believes that NO ONE should have the right to come in your house unannounced. I, for one, agree.

This is a pitiful attempt by house leadership to smack around a free thinking freshman….whatever happened to the days when a bill was dropped to start a discussion rather than to change the law. Mr. Moore May be new in the legislature but he also may be able to start some conversations that may open peoples eyes to changes in the law that are necessary.

Jason, if you are such a political scholar you would know it would be much more appropriate to call mr. Moore or at least meet him before you throw out an open letter on a blog to him. That is weak. He is an elected official, call him or go see him, hell….run against him, but don’t sent some stupid open letter to him when you don’t even have to guts to shake his hand….

John Konop February 22, 2014 at 4:23 pm

In all due respect, Moore did not deal with the situation like a rational adult. It is time for a mirror check…..sad part had he done it right we could of gotten rational reform….instead he has done way more harm bottom line….

Jason February 22, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Bill, I think you need a hug.

saltycracker February 22, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Prefer my libertarians to protect individuals in a society with filters/restrictions to best protect us from physical or material threat. Too often “I know my rights” translates to enfringe on another. The challenge for our Reps is to best understand where to draw the restrictions line in a free society,

An understanding of behavior and enforcement is lost on those that would think it ok to allow a pedophile to hang around a school or to deny a cop to ask a loiterer to ID themselves. Unless they prefer we live by the law of the jungle or in a police state.

mmealling February 22, 2014 at 9:28 pm

I live in Kennesaw and happily voted for Charles Gregory. He has done exactly what I hoped he would do. Which means I’ll vote for him again.

So what was Sam supposed to do? Work within the system? Kow tow to leadership? Between the anti-Uber and anti-Tesla laws written by Republicans I’m fairly sure that will only get you a continuation of the system.

I ran the Gwinnett County Libertarian Party for a couple of years, campaigned for Harry Brown, and walked neighborhoods for signatures. I gave up on that because it was ineffectual. But that doesn’t mean I’m willing to accept the system as its currently run.

Instead of lambasting Sam for trying, I would much rather see people stand up and tell the Good Ole Boy Network that it can go pound sand. How about a bill forbidding anyone related to an auto dealer from holding office? Or creating a new tax for office holders in a county where the mayor, sheriff, representatives, and auto dealers are all related?

Because so far the only people I see doing anything are Charles and now Sam…

State before Party February 22, 2014 at 10:39 pm

I will be up front and say that I agree with the Open Letter. However, I am asking this question not merely as a rhetorical ploy; I truly want to know the answer. I want to consider a different perspective and lack the information to be able to do so.

What has Rep. Gregory accomplished since he has been elected?

mmealling February 23, 2014 at 1:06 am

He has tried.

State before Party February 23, 2014 at 12:44 pm

So no one else there is trying to do what they believe is best for the residents of this state? I’m no Pollyanna, but I don’t believe that only two of the legislators there are there to try to make the state a better place.

saltycracker February 23, 2014 at 8:34 am

We must also work with the world we live in and understand the unintended consequences for the pure in their ideals.

I live in Cherokee and have property in a Florida city with a high number of homeless and loiterers. Most are down on their luck, some are insane or criminals or angry and aggressive. Increasing taxes to provide expanded shelter or asylums isn’t in the tax plan. In my opinion we should legalize marijuana, reduce enforcement budgets and work with private or public agencies to build shelters and health clinics including rehab and asylums. Lots of money there if the edu-cracy doesn’t grab it or the good old boys can’t pass it to their buddies.

Meanwhile back at the ranch a few weeks ago we were cornered by a few aggressive and threatening loiterers. The fortunate resolution by a passing cop was he yelled at at one by name checked the others and they moved on. Hauling them to jail would have been a waste of taxpayer $$ but the police knowing who they are is a deterrent…..not a fix.

I would think, in the absence of police, it might have escalated, retreat debatable, and the Darwin (Moore) approach in the bills have allowed us to drop the vagrants where they stood. That might be good as it would thin the herd and resolve a lot of our issues but maybe not neighborly.

My point is that reasonable solutions are available, while holding to less government principles, if we can get past extreme positions by purists, survivalists, good old boys and the bleeding hearts.

Raleigh February 23, 2014 at 9:47 am

“We must also work with the world we live in and understand the unintended consequences for the pure in their ideals.”

That’s precious. Remember that next time a legislator pulls their get out of jail free card when GSP pulls them over for speeding. What might help is a law that requires a study of “unintended consequences” to be published 180 days before any law can take effect with the right to stop said law with a petition until the next legislative session.

For more unintended consequences look up a Dateline report on Louisiana Law Enforcement abuse of drug forfeiture laws.

saltycracker February 23, 2014 at 10:09 am

Acceptance was nowhere in my remarks – back to remedial comprehension for you two.

Raleigh February 23, 2014 at 12:09 pm

I don’t believe I claimed you accepted it anywhere in my remarks. Your were saying something about remedial comprehension?

Harry February 23, 2014 at 9:49 am

Saltycrack, I didn’t see you at church this am.

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