Facepalm: Overheard Conversation at The Texas Tribune Festival in AustinSubmitted by RobHino on Sun, 09/29/2013 - 04:41
I attended The Texas Tribune Festival this weekend in Austin, Texas with WeTexans. There was about 20 of us, and we hit the mics with questions to make sure that our side was represented, as it was HEAVILY skewed to the left.
As I was walking from one forum to another, I found myself eavesdropping on a conversation a guy and a girl walking next to me were having. I didn't get very far in, as I'm a fast walker, but I heard enough to confirm, we had a big hill to climb this weekend in Austin.
The girl asked the guy, "So, what do you see yourself doing in the private sector?"
The hipster responded, "Well, I think I'd like to be a city manager. I think I'd be good at something like that."
The girl, "Yeah, you'd be good at that."
So, that hill we climbed was very steep, but I still think we accomplished a lot, and laid the groundwork for next time.
Here are the questions I asked.
Hello. My name is Rob Hinojosa. I'm representing WeTexans, an advocacy group for private property rights, personal and economic freedom, state sovereignty, and limited constitutional government.
I'm a part of the rapidly increasing libertarian youth that Mr. Pena alluded to and which Mr. Nevarez seems to like to label as "extreme." I'm under the impression that a national debt of over 16 trillion dollars is extreme. I think that starting undeclared wars overseas is extreme. I think that printing money out of thin air is extreme.
My question is, do y'all agree that the number of libertarian (philosophy) voters is increasing, and if so, is there room for us in the Republican or Democratic Parties.
Answer: Mr. Pena said yes, and the Republicans would be foolish not to embrace us. Mr. Nevarez wasn't allowed to answer the question as the moderator ended the discussion. Mr. Nevarez motioned to come talk to him afterwards. I did, but he seemed pretty busy speaking with other people who rushed the stage, so after a few minutes I left. Though I did talk to Mr. Pena, and thanked him for his answer.
I didn't get to ask this on a mic in front of the audience, but I was able to ask afterwards. Todd Staples had just made a reference to Brooks County, where I happened to grow up and coincidentally, where I'm moving next month.
Forum: How to Secure The Border
While many people would agree border checkpoints are necessary on the border, my concern is with internal checkpoints, like the one in Brooks County, Texas. These illegal checkpoints stop 100% of the people without any suspicion of criminal activity, and then they interrogate American citizens, asking us to provide information about ourselves. This is illegal, and violates the Constitution. I strongly feel that this Checkpoint in Brooks County is the reason why there is so many drug and human trafficking problems, because they're trying to go around the checkpoint. Would you consider reevaluating the necessity and illegality of internal, inland checkpoints?
Answer: Todd Staples said he could probably support pushing all those resources at internal checkpoints back to the border.
With regards to issues like transparency, privacy, NSA spying on Americans, civil liberties, ending aggressive wars, and ending the failed war on drugs, can the panel offer suggestions on how to build coalitions between the many who self-identify as Tea Party and those who identify as Progressive Democrats?
The answers where really in support of this idea of building bridges. They offered specific examples of the far left working with the far right in the Texas Legislature to pass legislation on email privacy, sponsored by one of the panelists, Jonathan Stickland, a Ron Paul Republican from the Texas House.
So overall, I think for throwing this idea together on such short notice after funding was received and being able to mobilize activists from San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and Houston to come advocate for liberty in an overly Democratic settings was a great effort and did have an effect. We engaged the crowd all weekend. This crew is simply amazing! Look for more things in the near future!
I regret not striking a conversation with the hipster. What would you have told him to break the ice and to succinctly and eloquently plant a seed of liberty?
One of my small liberty businesses! Check it out!