Tread over here

Casey Aplanalp

Photo By Tom Gascoyne

On a bright, blue, breezy morning, Casey Aplanalp had his table holding Libertarian Party position statements, stickers and buttons set up on the east sidewalk of Wall Street, just outside the Saturday Farmers’ Market in downtown Chico. A large, bright yellow “Don’t Tread On Me” flag was draped off the front of the table. A man with a red beard and crumpled hat was engaged in conversation with Aplanalp when the News & Review approached. The man excused himself, but not before promising, “We’ll take this conversation up later.”

What are you doing out here today?

Just trying to represent the Libertarian Party and giving away some free paper.

The Libertarian Party has long existed, at least a small faction has, in Chico. Did you know Jessica Strock [high-profile local Libertarian who died last year]?

Matter of fact I know [Strock’s partner] Mike Scram, but I didn’t know Jessica. If I can explain really briefly, back in February we finally had [party] elections so Butte County is a live status now. We’ve never had live status here before.

How many Libertarians do you estimate there are in Butte County?

There are about 840, give or take.

What is the basic philosophy, boiled down as much as you can, of the Libertarian Party?

The philosophy is basically you own your own body, which means you can do what ever you want with your own body and whatever you produce with your own hands is yours. You have a right to self-defense and it’s basically a live-and-let-live philosophy. Don’t hurt anybody else, repeal victimless crime laws, less government, more freedom.

What kind of reaction do you get from people?

Pretty positive for the most part. Nobody comes up negative. Most have a curiosity. The flag is a little bit of a gimmick to draw people over. It is older than the U.S.A flag. But yeah, we’re offering little stickers and buttons about our philosophy.