The Hamilton County 4-H Fair concluded last night with a barbeque beef sandwhich and the tearing down of the Libertarian booth. This was an excellent outreach event for all involved as we signed up some new members, had others sign up for our email newsletter, registered folks to vote, and showed that having libertarian inclinations is downright normal.
More than 100 visitors took the Advocates' Quiz, and of those, about 55% placed either solidly libertarian or on the borderline between libertarian and conservative, centrist, or liberal. This was surprising to many in this county, where so many self-identify as conservative and/or Republican. Highlights:
A woman took the Quiz and placed solidly in the authoritarian area of the chart. She asked what that meant, and volunteer Michael Jarrell cautiously explained, "well, that's where Hitler is". She was horrified! She wanted to take the Quiz again. Michael gave her some literature so she could study at home.
Gubernatorial candidate Kenn Gividen distributed his materials, including a brochure with his picture on it. He asked passersby to tell him who that was on the brochure. Best answer: Donald Trump. There was a terrific buzz around the LP booth as Kenn and US Senate candidate Al Barger worked the crowd. Al let people know that he is running against incumbent Evan Bayh, and touted his challenge of a cage match with Bayh, eliciting near continuous belly laughs. Read Al's report.
Talking with the Republicans and Democrats, who had booths under the same tent. I have heard horror stories of disrespect coming from other libertarians, who had their booths ransacked or damaged while unattended at county fairs, or faced constant harassment. We had nothing but a pleasant experience in every way, and I personally had very pleasant exchanges with volunteers and candidates from both parties. There was one incident that made me laugh out loud, though. When I was setting up the booth, I had to make several trips from my car to the booth to get all the materials in. The first trip was solely dedicated to a table, which I set up and then left for more stuff. When I came back, there was now one item upon the table- a pencil from the Republican Party. I found it hilarious in its' understated position on the table.
Big thanks to those Libertarian Party members and candidates who staffed the booth: Michael Jarrell (3 days!), Mark Schreiber (2 days!), Kenn Gividen (from Columbus), Al Barger (from Franklin County), Rex & Susan Bell (from Hagerstown!), Rob Beck, David Irish, Wayne Kirk, and Rob Place.