The Battle of Aspen: Freak Power in the Rockies

     The Freak Power uprising of 1970. Ahh… where to begin. 1969 would probably be an ideal place to start. At this point in time I, along with many others, had become completely disillusioned with the state of American politics. It became clear to me that all politicians were the same and if I wanted to see any real change in this country, I’d have to do it myself. So in 1969 I created the Freak Power party and worked as the campaign manager to help elect Joe Edwards mayor of Aspen, Colorado.
     We ran a very radical campaign. It was drastically different from anything you’d ever expect to see from more traditional political parties… but I’ll go into more detail about that soon. Anyway, it was a close race but in the end Edwards ended up losing by just 6 votes – not counting the 5 absentee ballots, all for Edwards, which arrived too late to count – which makes me feel to this day, that there was some sort of corruption behind the whole thing.
     I had promised to run for sheriff the following year if Edwards had won… and even though he didn’t, it was so close that I decided to anyway. We ran on basically the same principles. We had run both campaigns completely out in the open. Our campaign headquarters was located at a local table in Jerome Tavern on Main Street. Anyone could see what we were doing, or even help out if they felt so inclined. There was complete transparency. We ran on a very basic set of principles which I’ve included below:

  1. Sod the streets at once. Rip up all the streets with jack hammers and use the junk asphalt (after melting) to create a huge parking lot and auto-storage lot on the outskirts of town.
  2. Change the name “Aspen” by public referendum to “Fat City.” This would prevent greedheads, land-rapers and other human jackals from capitalizing on the name “Aspen.”
  3. Drug sales must be controlled. My first act as Sheriff will be to install, on the courthouse lawn, a bastinado platform and a set of stocks—in order to punish dishonest dope dealers in a proper public fashion.
  4. Hunting and fishing should be forbidden to all non-residents, with the exception of those who can obtain the signed endorsement of a resident—who will then be legally responsible for any violation or abuse committed by the non-resident he has “signed for.”
  5. The Sheriff and his Deputies should never be armed in public. Every urban riot, shoot-out and blood-bath (involving guns) in recent memory has been set off by some trigger-happy cop in a fear frenzy.
  6. It will be the policy of the Sheriff’s office savagely to harass all those engaged in any form of land-rape. This will be done by acting, with utmost dispatch, on any and all righteous complaints.

     I think I defined the Freak Power party best in one of my campaign posters – “This is the real point: that we are not really freaks at all – not in the literal sense – but the twisted realities of the world we are trying to live in have somehow combined to make us feel like freaks. We argue, we protest, we petition – but nothing changes.” Despite this, we were still treated as freaks… so why not give the people what they want? I shaved my head (which can be seen in the picture above) and referred to my opponent, who sported a buzz cut, as “My long-haired opponent.” We actually gave those politicians quite a scare. So much so, that the Republicans and Democrats agreed to remove certain candidates from the race in order to “consolidate all Non-Thompson votes to one party.” My original thinking was that if I could drum up between 35 and 45 % of the vote, combined with the Republican Democrat split, I could win a plurality. Considering I only lost by 500 votes, this backroom deal could have damn well cost me the election. That, and the fact that I prematurely published my strategy for the campaign in Rolling Stone. That’s a mistake that I still, to this day regret. I’ll add a link to an excerpt of the article below. I would have included the whole thing but it seems that those bastards at Rolling Stone have fucked me. Read the post above this one for a full reaction to that.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-battle-of-aspen-19701001