Freedom First founder comes to Blackfoot

G. Vance Smith, founder of the Freedom First Society
Catie Clark

The founder of the conservative Freedom First Society (FFS), G. Vance Smith, will give a presentation in Blackfoot entitled "Organize for Victory," at 7 p.m. at 385 S. Stout Avenue. He has also co-authored a book by the same name outlining FFS's principles and goals.
"This is an important time to build and strengthen our chapter," wrote Kerma Hill, the president of the Blackfoot branch of the organization in a press release. "Please come and bring guests — patriotic folks who would be willing to meet with Vance."
"Vance Smith is someone who has been involved with freedom issues for a long time," said Julianne Young, who is a candidate running for Idaho House Seat B. "He has a lot of wisdom and a lot of experience." Young has written literature for FFS and is frequent editorial contributor for the Morning News.
FFS was founded by Smith in 2007. At the time, Smith had resigned from his executive positions in the John Birch Society (JBS). He was the CEO of the JBS from 1991 to 2005 and its president from 2004 to 2005, which makes his leadership at that organization the second-longest in its history. Only the founder of the JBS, Robert Welch, led the group for longer.
Internal disputes during 2005 in the management of the JBS resulted in the resignation of several of its executives, including Smith. Smith got together with another former JBS manager, Tom Gow, to found the FFS.
According to their website, their inspiration comes from Robert Welch himself and his vision for the country: "Freedom First Society is particularly guided by the insights and experience of Robert Welch, as reflected in his writings and speeches."
FFS believes that the United States and its freedoms are threatened by internationalists pushing globalism. They feel that globalism threatens the independent nations of the world and that there is a hidden conspiracy to subvert democratic governments. From the banner on the home page of the FFS website: "We seek to expose the conspiracy targeting our freedom and reestablish limited government under the constitution."
FFS distinguishes itself from similar by a strong focus on mobilizing grass root efforts to support its principles and agenda: "experience has shown that roughly 1,000 informed, organized activists in a congressional district can enlighten sufficient public opinion to change the political climate in favor of constitutional government and overcome the influence of establishment insiders … What America needs is for a relatively small group of concerned Americans to inform themselves and organize to change the political climate in a core of congressional districts."
FFS supports a minimalist government, a strict adherence to the Constitution and traditional family values. They do not support entitlement programs, the United Nations, international trade agreements like NAFTA, intrusive government regulations, and anything that does not measure up to their interpretation of the Constitution.