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Author Topic: What I Learned in Delaware  (Read 4006 times)


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What I Learned in Delaware
« on: March 11, 2003, 05:52:17 pm »

I learned much less from my excursion to Delaware than I did from the Vermont trip.  I had to drive up to the convention, speak, and then drive back.  But I do have a few observations.

The convention was in Smyrna, a small town located between Wilmington and Dover.  Smyrna itself was a rather nice little town.  Because Delaware is so flat, the towns are laid out in straight rows.  The driving times in Delaware are ridiculously small.  After we crossed the border from Maryland into Delaware, it was about 15 minutes until we arrived in Smyrna.

This part of Delaware could not in any way be described as "urban."  In fact, it reminded me of rural South Carolina, in its flatness, its two-lane highways, and its back-to-back farms. There was even some kudzu-like vine that took over abandoned barns and telephone poles.  Delaware does not have a lot of open space (at least the area that I was in).  Because there isn't much forest cover, one farmhouse is within eyeshot of the next.  However, the part that I was in - even though in most states it could be considered the suburban area of either Wilmington or Delaware - was definitely not densely populated.

Delaware seems to be racially diverse, even in a small town like Smyrna.  There doesn't seem to be much "de facto" segregation in housing and neighborhoods, though admittedly I didn't have much opportunity to research this, and I imagine Wilmington is another story.

I talked to the Libertarians at the convention about which parts of the state were best.  Unsurprisingly, central Wilmington is a total loss.  The north Wilmington suburbs are where the Libertarian Party does best, although the representatives from this area are yuppie control-freak Republicans.  (They're the ones who pushed the smoking ban through.)  Apparently Democrats are actually more libertarian than Republicans in Delaware, in general.  The next "Dupont heir" (his last name is actually something different, can't recall it now) is a Democrat state senator but is reportedly somewhat libertarian (he opposes the smoking ban, for example).

Sussex County (the most rural part of the state, in the south) is reportedly the most conservative, but the Libertarian Party is scarcely organized there.  It seems to be politically quiescent.  Reportedly Howard Phillips (of the Constitution Party) got four-fifths of his Delaware votes in Sussex County.

The Libertarian Party is pushing one serious city council candidacy this year, and in fact the candidate (John Reda) signed up for the FSP at the convention.  He previously ran for mayor in his town (I was told that it was the fourth-largest town in Delaware, but I don't know the name), and lost by just 37 votes.  Thus, he does have a real shot at winning this year.

The media coverage we've gotten in Delaware has so far been fairly unfavorable, although it did gain us a lot of members from the state.  Reactions I've gotten from non-libertarian Delawareans through email have also been unfavorable.  I still think the political culture would give us an uphill climb there.  If we could only cede Wilmington to New Jersey, we could have a real chance there.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2003, 05:55:30 pm by JasonPSorens »
"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism


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Re:What I Learned in Delaware
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2003, 12:21:53 am »

If we could only cede Wilmington to New Jersey, we could have a real chance there.

From what I've seen, we'd probably be better off trying to trade it to Maryland for a large chunk of the Delmarva peninsula. ;)
« Last Edit: July 25, 2003, 01:49:34 pm by Alex »
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