The LPKS energy is high on the momentum of our state convention! In Wichita last weekend, we elected members to several new positions, including our new Chair, Tim Giblin. Communications Director Allison Ross caught up with him to ask his thoughts on libertarian issues, serving as Chair, and what the future of the party looks like.
AR: Thanks for talking today. I recognize you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you, so I appreciate you taking the time. How are you feeling?
TG: I’m still a little overwhelmed at the results. Still a little tired, still thinking about all the things we can do moving forward. But I’m excited for what we have coming!
AR: I’ll ask the standard question first – what is your history with libertarianism?
TG: I grew up in a Republican family, and what really triggered me into politics was 9/11. I was in 9th grade, and I remember my family said “[the War on Terror] is just how it needs to happen.” I graduated high school in 2005, and that’s when my friends started going off to war. They came back and I saw the damage in real time, which really made me start to think.
I wanted to be done with the war-hawking. I saw it in my friends. I was looking at the left side, especially [alma mater] KU force-feeding me the liberal agenda, and I became a bit of an Obama fan. “End engagements. Stop spying.” That sounded good. Well, it didn’t take long into his presidency to realize he was far worse. [His administration] was also war hawkish and spying on American citizens. I was asking myself, where do I belong [politically]?
Then I started listening to podcasts. Jason Stapleton, a Kansas guy, is radical in his message. I got into Thomas Sowell and basic economics. Then – Ron Paul’s Revolution. That’s really where it came to a head. As a liberty-leaning person for quite a few years, I wasn’t a fan of how the two parties operated, or of their candidates.
Finally, it was a Scott Horton podcast episode that said if you want to change the LP, you can’t do it sitting and complaining on the internet – you gotta become involved.
I met up with [Douglas County residents] Kirsten Kuhn and Patrick Wilbur in the basement of a coffee shop. “Are you in?” they asked, and I responded, “Yes – let’s go.” That was late 2019. I became Kristen’s deputy as she was District 2 Coordinator, but she didn’t want the position anymore. Covid hit and our convention went online. It’s there I became district coordinator in place of Kirsten and more involved with the inner workings [of the LP] at the state and national level, getting a short quick ride in official party business. Even though it had been since 2006-2008 when the light went off that something was wrong and I needed to find a [political] home.
AR: Tell us about who you are outside of the liberty movement.
TG: I’m fortunate enough to be able to work from home for an event rental company, so I deal with everything from sports teams in the Kansas City area to nationwide golf tournaments and music festivals. I’m a father of two – Jackson is 7 and Kallie is 4. We and my wife Kacee live in Lawrence, KS. Most of our time is spent playing outside with the kids and maybe getting some golf in every once in a while.
We have two dogs, Lynyrd Skynryd Giblin and Liberty Quinzell Giblin. And we spend a lot of time traveling to visit my parents in Florida and her family in Montana.
AR: Who are your libertarian heroes?
TG: I don’t like using the word “hero” on a pedestal, especially in libertarianism. There are so many great minds that all have their different flavors.
If I had to, I’d put Ron Paul #1. The way he was able to energize a younger generation, the ease and confidence he was able to convey, sharing his thoughts without getting too deep into the philosophy, and how the regime works. I think [his message] was bold – it was heroic in a lot of ways.
But I wouldn’t say I have a hero. Between Mises, Rothbard, Sowell, Hoppe, and even smaller names – people like Larry Sharpe running for governor out in New York, different podcasters – they’ve all made some kind of impact on me.
There’s a little too much hero-worshipping on all factions and all sides. To put someone on that pedestal is dangerous. We should always be more humble with those personalities.
AR: What’s the first thing you plan to do as LPKS Chair, or maybe your initial focus?
TG: The first thing is to get our new district coordinators trained. We need to work with the LPKS Operations Team to build a fun and relatable fundraising platform and campaign. We can push eveyrthing we want via blogs and marketing, but Ric [Koehn, LPKS Treasurer] and I need to work together to build a cohesive presentation and actual funding structure that people can relate to, so they feel like they’re seeing a good use of their money. So, fundraising and coordinator training are my two focuses.
AR: What would you say to someone who is brand new to ideas of liberty? Maybe they believe in the concepts, but aren’t sure if they want to take the extra step to get involved with the LP proper?
TG: You have to look at what’s going on around you, and come to the realization that if you want to make change then you have to be involved. It doesn’t have to be jumping with both feet into the water. It can start with city council meetings and knowing issues in your community. Then get in contact with your district coordinator or local affiliates.
AR: Ideally, how would you like the LPKS to look in another decade?
TG: I’d love to see LPKS realistically in a place where all the top-10 populated areas in KS have affiliates that are involved with local issues, and where their names are recognized. Of course the goal is to put a coordinator in every single county – and I would love that – but I don’t know how feasible that is. What is feasible is gathering a handful of people who are willing to speak at a microphone to their city commissions, and to get support writing those talking points, [confronting] their reps at a local level.
I don’t need every registered libertarian to show up. What we need is just for those affiliates to have strong influence and let them know that’s enough to send an email, write in testimony. Make [local government] fear that we are stepping up to the mic, because they know our ideas are better than theirs.
Of course candidates are going to be extremely important. Putting up 16 this year is huge, and we need to continue to find winnable races and relatable candidates.
AR: How about National?
TG: The great thing about the LP is that we are decentralized. Yes, we’re recognized by National but it’s not as important to me in KS right now. What’s important is activation in KS.
I’m planning to run for LNC Region 6 Alternate, so I’ll have my ear to National, but what’s most important will be the state. They have no say over what we do, they don’t have that power, so it doesn’t matter.
AR: There’s such a buzz within the party directly after a big convention like this. How do we sustain that energy and preserve forward momentum? Are there regular events scheduled that people can attend?
TG: We just witnessed the largest convention KS has ever held. Credit to our Operations Team and former Chair for bringing us to where we are right now. We will sustain that by immediately pushing for help and for donations, which will give the ability to build affiliates and create events across the state.
We encourage you to find your local chapter and join our monthly ExComm meetings to see the inner workings of the party. When people sit in and see the business happen, then give public comment, we can get feedback on what people want.
Things are happening, the excitement is high, people all over the state are becoming involved. We need to coordinate those efforts together as one, and that only works with effort and funding. .
AR: Anything else you want to mention?
TG: To anyone reading this, I encourage you to email me directly and I’ll point you to the correct person, your district and county person. We’ll get you the info you need to make change in your area. But the only way this works is if people like you reading this step up to make the change.
Also, donate to LPKS.org! We need funds in KS to operate our teams. The more reach we have, the more candidates we have, the more activism will occur, and that only happens when we have [the resources]. We’ve made it easy in KS to make recurring payments for as little as a few bucks a month. You’ll be shocked at the difference it makes.
The LPKS Chair serves a three-year term. Tim Giblin succeeds Rob Hodgkinson in the position.
Photo credit Tim Giblin and used with permission.