For Will Buchanan, if liberty is worth fighting for, it’s sure worth a long walk.
He’s rotating between his fourth, fifth, and sixth pairs of shoes on a cross-county trek that began April 14 in Cannon Beach, Oregon and will, if his daily schedule holds, conclude by late November or early December in New Hampshire – all in the name of liberty.
He and his wife, Brooke, who’s accompanying him in a Country Camper motor home, are moving to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project, an agreement among 20,000 self-described “pro-liberty activists” to move to New Hampshire, where they will try to establish a state in which the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty, and property, according to the project’s website.
If successful, the project would result in reductions in taxation and regulation, reforms at all levels of government, an expansion of individual rights, and a restoration of constitutional federalism that demonstrates the benefits of liberty to the rest of the nation and the world.
With a motto “Live Free or Die” and a population of only about 1.5 million, New Hampshire was the apt choice for project participants who voted in October, 2003 from among a list of 10 states for their destination.
“With its existing distaste for big government and a welcoming attitude for the Free State Project’s goals, New Hampshire is an attractive destination. Migrating FSP participants will find a state consistently rated the safest and most livable in the United States,” the FSP website says.
Mr. Buchanan, a native of Indiana, passed through Wood and Sandusky counties recenlty along U.S. 20.
The walk, he said, is a way of promoting the Free State Project and increasing awareness about liberty’s precarious status in the U.S.
“We were looking for something to do to help out the liberty movement,” he said.
He’s been posting videos of his journey that include his philosophy of the role of government and related topics as he encounters situations and people along the way – the Amish way of life, police questioning him in Whiting, Indiana, free markets, and more. The videos may be viewed at walkforliberty.com.
As he crosses state lines he announces he’s walked into another “political delineation.”
“It’s just my little way of trying to open people’s eyes to things they don’t often think about,” he said. “It just seems an arbitrary political division like a line in the sand. I just picked that term to get people to think about it.”
He wears a Ron Paul button and said several people he’s met have said they would have voted for him if Paul was in the race for president.
“He impresses me quite a bit. A lot of young people liked his message,” he said of the libertarian-minded Republican congressman from Texas. “Friends in college really got me on the patch of becoming more liberty oriented. Then I learned about the Free State Project and that really clicked with me.”
Mr. Buchanan attended Duke University and worked as a computer programmer for 11 years for a company in New York while living in Boston and telecommuting.
More recently he and his wife lived in Hawaii where she grew up.
The couple decided to move to New Hampshire about a year ago, he said.
“When we lived in Boston we visited there quite a bit,” he said.
Boston’s a great city but I didn’t like the taxes.”