JACK CASEY

Author of The Royal Green series

By the time I was of voting age in Austin, Texas, I was a pro War-on-Terror hawkish Republican with an ‘ends justify the means’ authoritarian nightmare of a worldview.

Voting for the first time in the 2010 ‘Tea Party’ wave of Republicans to unironically support ‘small government’ helped expose me to some real limited government talk, including Ron Paul who kept saying things that contradicted a lot of my core beliefs, but I wasn’t ready yet and voted Romney in 2012.

It was only later through storytelling, both being exposed to more fiction with themes of liberty (Atlas Shrugged, of course, being one, but honestly even Game of Thrones had a libertarianizing effect on me, as did many others), and especially in writing books of my own where I explored my own beliefs and wrestled with them, that I emerged out the other side a Libertarian. 

That soul searching process helped transform my values, and the information and research soon fell into place to prove the hard truths I had been unwilling to hear before about the War on Terror and many other subjects. 

My ‘patriotic’ hawkish ways were broken, and I had a better war, one of peace and true liberty, to fight for. I was your classic ‘guy on villain’s team has change of heart and turns to the side of the heroes’ character. 

The Red/Blue, Left/Right, two-party system illusion was over for me. My hair began to truly flow Libertarian gold. I had stopped voting by 2014 but started voting Libertarian in 2016, joining the party soon after (reading articles from smart places like Cato, Reason Magazine, FEE, etc., and closely following smart people like Larry Sharpe and Justin Amash). 

For the last year or so I now consider myself in the ‘anarchist’ or ‘ancap’ or ‘voluntary society’ camp (in large part thanks to Spike Cohen and other radical candidates in the 2020 Libertarian primary process), but with much love and respect for the limited government minarchists of the movement and party. 

I see the minarchist wing as being more immediately viable and persuasive to the average voter and an important stepping stone to getting us to where I would like to see us.

Anyone looking to reduce government rather than expand it is an ally to me. I want to grow our tent and welcome as many liberty-minded people as we can to the party, regardless of where they are at on every particular issue.

I spent a lot of 2020 on social media staying up all night trying to win people from the Left and Right to the cause, often through humor and memes, or waxing dark and poetic, usually ending with me crying into my whiskey (sometimes a Seabreeze or other cocktail) or else slamming a fist on my keyboard in frustration, but sometimes making a real breakthrough. 

I’ve spent some time since reflecting on what I got right and wrong promoting the Libertarian ticket and ideas, working on my persuasion abilities, and I’m looking to find where I can best apply my skills going forward.

What I learned however with my own experiences over the years was that sometimes people aren’t ready to hear something through conversation and debate on politics (we’ve all been ‘that guy’ at parties), but rather through storytelling, seeing the ideas and values expressed through characters they become emotionally attached to. 

I didn’t set out to write Libertarian fiction when I wrote my first books, but I could see the eyes of Liberty herself staring back at me through the pages by the time I finished them.

I want to write stories and characters that inspire others the way I was inspired through books/movies/graphic novels/video games that captured that spirit of love and rebellion against unjust authoritarian systems and powers. 

The more our ideas can influence the culture, the sooner we will start winning electorally and help turn this ship around and away from the looming rocks.

Or at least prepare a lifeboat. I’m still relatively new at being an advocate and have a lot more to learn. I am improving my craft and educating myself further, but every day that I can promote Libertarian voices and contribute my own either directly or through stories, I want to help the torch burn just a little bit brighter.

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