Today I witnessed up close a possible future for Arizona and America and I am very fearful.
The 150,000 - 200,000 people marching several miles in Phoenix from the State Fairgrounds to the State Capitol building was a spectacular site and I was very impressed with their courtesy and enthusiasm. A great effort was made by individuals, groups of friends and whole families to be orderly and polite. Not a spec of trash was seen more than 12 inches from full trash cans and it was neatly bagged. For 5 hours I saw police stay out of the way and not interfere in any way with a sea of people of all ages dressed primarily in white. The whole day I saw 3 or 4 Mexican flags compared to the thousands carrying American flags. Only a few hundred t-shirts stated that they were part of a group but most showed their solidarity by simple white shirts of various styles. And never did I fear any of these good people,… but I did fear for them.
Four of us took the time to pass out as many cards to the crowd as possible over 5 hours and were able to distribute 18,000 little pieces of hope to people that need to understand the message given them. The cards directed them to the FreedomsPhoenix.com web site where they find a large banner ad directing them in Spanish to “A message from the Representative of the Governor of Sonora”, Ricardo Valenzuela is the Representative of Gobernador Eduardo Bours and has a staffed office on the first floor of the Arizona State Capitol building. This message also includes the Spanish and English versions of the International Society for Individual Liberty’s “Philosophy of Liberty” animation. As the 10’s of thousands of people passed us we were mobbed as people were eager to find out what that message might be. We would be approached and asked for more to share with friends and family and often we were encouraged to provide small stacks so that they could be passed back into the crowd. As experienced activists this was a first for us and we couldn’t be happier about the response. We know how powerful the animation is and Ricardo is such an intelligent and educated man (a Masters degree in Economics from George Mason University is but a small part of his bio) that we knew these people seeking freedom were in good hands.
Arizona’s Governor Janet Napolitano made public statements admonishing Gobernador Bours for appointing as his Representative to Arizona a ‘conservative’ to which Mr. Valenzuela corrected the record by publicly declaring himself a libertarian.
The only thing I know about Gobernador Bours is that he is a politician and therefore suspect on all counts. But Ricardo speaks well of him and his efforts to reform Sonora’s economy. But I do know Ricardo Valenzuela and I have friends whose judgment’s I trust that have also known him far longer than I that are very impressed with his dedication to freedom over a long period of time. Ricardo’s journey is an interesting and tragic one of a young man born to a family of wealth that suffered greatly at the hands of a socialist government bent on the redistribution of wealth that would send an entire nation into economic collapse. The result was his migrating to the United States as a grown man to settle in Tucson where his education and resources helped him to gain U.S. citizenship. But millions of others were not as fortunate and he has spent the rest of his life trying to help. Those of us in the freedom community here in the United States know of Ricardo and have had many opportunities to hear him speak all over the Western Hemisphere on the issues of freedom and economic reform in Latin America, and sadly, how we in the United States are heading in the same direction.
The State of Sonora, Mexico shares a border with the United States that extends from part of California, all of Arizona and part of New Mexico. At least 600+ miles of the Gulf of California is Sonora’s Western boundary and this includes the popular Arizona vacation spot of Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) and Guaymas that is expanding into a deep water port that will soon rival Los Angeles after the completion of a coastal highway that is sure to follow the evitable economic development of a state exploding with potential. New ideas based on the philosophy of liberty may produce economic and employment opportunities our children and grandchildren will seek. Don’t think so? How many people do you know that travel regularly to Mexico for a weekend or even own vacation homes there?
Today I asked Democratic legislator Steve Galardo why there isn’t any effort to work with Ricardo or even talk to him for the past 5 months he has been in the same building as Arizona’s Governor, and he simply stated, “Why would we care about what happens in Sonora”. This statement was all the more amazing since just moments before he was on stage addressing 10’s of thousands that were either from Sonora or had ties to there.
The Libertarian candidate for Governor of Arizona was put on the list to speak towards the end of the event as an attempt to demonstrate that this event was not a ‘partisan’ event. Candidate Barry Hess was then refused at the base of the stairs to the stage after complaints by the “progressive” legislator Kyrsten Sinema. The message to the crowd was to be clear that this was a call for “Social Justice” and there was to be one version of it,… loosely defined of course.
Fear has driven these people to the streets and I am supportive of their efforts to make it clear that they do not want their lives destroyed by government policies,… again. They see that they are valuable assets to America and I agree. But they are also organized and manipulated to serve the agenda of those that would enthusiastically repeat the mistakes that forced their immigration here. Where will Americans seek a better life when our economy is plundered into oblivion?
The men that reached out to accept the cards we offered were not all the hands of laborers, but there were enough for me to notice that a large number of men knew what hard daily work meant. I could see multi-generational families resting together on the grass with the elderly that chose to make the effort. Grandmothers and fathers were well respected while they insured the protection of the small children. If you can imagine people humble, happy and self confident then you will get a glimpse of the impact these people had on me. But why am I so concerned for them?
We did our best to provide ‘The Injection of the libertarian infection into the bone marrow of Arizona Hispanic politics, for which there will be no cure’ to as many human beings as we could with our small group of dedicated freedom activists. And the effect for the individuals that learn the real definition of freedom in their 1st language will be life changing. How many minds do we need to free for an afternoon of effort to be worthwhile? Is it ten thousand,… or one. That’s for each of us to decide. But what can we do for the millions of people that left a failed collectivist economy only to be used as a propaganda tool and voting block by those that are hell bent on accomplishing the exact same scenario here at home in the United States of America? I have many ideas but first we must recognize the real threat. The enemy isn’t these very fine human beings I had the pleasure of fellowshipping with today. We all share the same enemy and the first job is to help as many as possible to learn how to tell who the bad guys are.
You can help by encouraging your Spanish speaking friends and family to view “La Filosofia de la Libertad” so they are armed with the information they need to help us avoid the mistakes that caused their having to leave their homes in search of a better life.
And for a man like Ricardo Valenzuela to risk his comfortable life here in America to help others learn from past mistakes is a trait of a man that cares. Others that would benefit from ignorance and deception are certain to be thought far less of by future generations,… to say the least.