|William E. "Bill" Morris|
Founder of the LPD
Bill was the founder of the Libertarian Party of Delaware in 1975, and stayed actively engaged in what he considered an ongoing battle for freedom until just a few months before his death.
Those of us who knew Bill will remember him first and foremost as a gentleman and a gentle man. I cannot recall him ever speaking an intemperate word about another human being, though he could be merciless in arguing against what he considered stupid positions, laws, or policies.
Here's what I specifically recall about Bill from knowing him during the last decade of his life:
(1) When Bill ran for US Senate in 2004 he shared a debate stage in Dover with Tom Carper and whichever sacrificial Republican (some guy named Bill Roth) was up that year. Carper, who never takes chances, ignored Bill through most of the debate, but then turned in the last few seconds and asked him how he felt about being the representative of a party that wanted to take all restrictions off of pornography. Never missing a beat, Bill told him that he guessed he felt the same way that Carper did about representing a party born to support the institution of slavery.
(2) Bill was the person who got the Libertarian Party of Delaware to sponsor some DELDOT miles of clean-up along the highway. Bill believed it not only gave the party some exposure, but that Libertarians couldn't be activists for a voluntary society without volunteering for society when the chance came up.
(3) Bill's passion during the last few years was arguing climate change. Trained as a chemical engineer and having worked at Exxon and DuPont in petrochemicals, Bill felt that most of the research he was seeing was garbage, not based on sound science. He would travel anywhere his health allowed at the drop of a hat to talk or debate about climate change. (Again, however: the gentleman. He would mock an opponent's position, but he would never stoop to mocking an opponent.)
I'm sure that others, like Tom or Brad, have more memories of Bill, and I hope they will share them in the comments section.
At the 2012 State Convention of the Libertarian Party of Delaware, William E. Morris was honored with an award for the founding of the LPD and over 35 years of faithful advocacy for the cause of liberty.
I will miss Bill deeply; at the last New Castle County LPD meeting he was able to attend (earlier this year), I suspect that he finally felt that the years were catching up to him. He took me out to his car after the meeting, gave me several books, and told me to keep getting more people involved.
"We can't ever quit," Bill said.
And he never did.