Melinda
Pillsbury-Foster

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Libertarianism - The Experience

    From the time I heard Toni Nathan on a local Radio Show, the name of the host evades me now, I decided I was a Libertarian.  I had never heard the term before that day in 1993.  I called information and called the phone number provided, that of Shirley Gottlieb.  We chatted briefly and I then contacted the contact local to West Los Angeles, where I was then living with my husband, Ron and our first daughter, Dawn.  
     The reason I was sure this was my ideological home was the mention of Ayn Rand.  I had read Atlas Shrugged for the first time when I was 12, picking it off our family's bookcase in an idle moment.  It was a good thing it was summer and early in the morning because I read past lunch and had it prying out of my hands only long enough to gobble down a very abbreviated dinner with the book sitting, place saved, on my lap  
        It would be a number of years, around 15, before I had decided Ayn Rand's philosophy was at variance with her values and decided, after reading through her entire ouvre, she was not going to be part of my future.  But it was a valuable experience.  Digging through the ideas and researching the source for her ideas was illuminating.  Interesting, worthwhile, but not to be repeated.  Unfortunately, most of the people I knew at that point had not shared my transition in thinking.  Eventually, I took Rand's bodice-rippers off the Libertarian reading list for my area.  Instead, I substituted books by Robert Heinlein, who conveyed values without the imperative to view him as a godhead.  
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       Eventually, I realized one of the attractions of Rand was the resonance of the story told in the Fountainhead.  I had first heard the synopsis of Howard Roark's battle with the banal from Jmes Dean, who shared with me his desire to remake the Movie.  I was then six and he did not tell me the name of the Movie he was going to remake.  Due to unforseen events, his early death, he could not give me more information.  I have always thought he was at some point in the same process I myself experienced.  And I am really sorry he did not live long enough to tangle with Ayn.  Jimmy would have won that one. 
        If he had lived Hollywood would have been very different.   
        But I still enjoy an occasional venture into a Heinlein suspension of disbelief.   


And it is Jimmy who I recall when considering the lessons which have been the most valuable to me throughout my life.  

This said, now we move on to the Traumas, Travails & Triumphs of My Years as a Libertarian. 













Those Years