Fred Childress, Libertarian Hero and Friend



This past weekend, the liberty movement lost a great warrior and many of us lost a dear friend.  Fred Childress was killed in a motorcycle accident in Montana.  The loss is especially acute for me because I thought of Fred as a kindred spirit.

I met Fred at a Ron Paul rally in Nashville in 2007.  Before meeting Fred, I thought that I was the only libertarian in east Tennessee.  Fred and I hit it off like long lost friends, and I will never forget leaving Nashville feeling utterly elated.  Not only had I witnessed the excitement and enthusiasm of two thousand like-minded people, I had met one extraordinary individual who felt like family.  Whenever I was with Fred, not matter where we were, I always felt like I was at home.

Fred held strong convictions and opinions, and never wavered from his beliefs.  However, Fred always treated those who disagreed with him with respect and dignity, always with a smile on his face.  Fred was a true libertarian evangelist who was more interested in communication and persuasion than he was in winning an argument.  And Fred was smart enough that he would have won the argument if he had so chosen.  Despite the strong emotions that political discourse can often cause, Fred never held a grudge against anyone, even those with whom he vehemently disagreed.  The same was true on the other side—whether you like Fred's politics or not, you liked Fred.

After the conclusion of Dr. Paul's campaign, Fred formed the Tennessee Liberty Alliance to continue the momentum the campaign had generated.  Thanks to the TLA, I have had the pleasure of working with a tremendous group of people who are passionate about human liberty.  Thank you, Fred.

A motorcycle enthusiast, a couple of months ago Fred decided to take a cross-country trip to try to clear his mind from some personal challenges he was facing.  So Fred headed west across the Mojave desert to California, worked his way up the coast to Oregon to attend the 2010 BMW Motorcycle Owners Rally, and then headed back to Tennessee through Big Sky country.  The last time we talked, he was visiting friends in Malibu and was thankful that his ride across the desert had been relatively easy.

Fred died doing something he loved.  For that, I am happy.  But Fred was gone before his time and before we were ready for him to go.  Because of that, I am deeply saddened.

Fred, my brother, you will be missed.

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