July 17, 2014. Alexandria, VA. (ONN) I remember when the student organization Young Americans for Liberty was a sincere, untarnished, grassroots group of organized and effective kids. Their energy, optimism and courage gave us all hope and renewed passion. Their ranks carried Presidential candidate Ron Paul in the 2012 election. But today, they’ve grown larger than most political action groups and some wonder if the organization has been co-opted by establishment powers like the Koch brothers, Glenn Beck and the RNC.
Who needs students when you’ve got Glenn Beck, the Koch brothers and the RNC. Image courtesy of Chris Roark as he single-handedly protested a visit by the Director of the NSA to his college campus.
Slowly but surely, America is coming to agree with something we’ve been saying for years - the political battle for the survival of our country is not the left versus the right. It’s the Washington-Wall Street establishment versus We The People. One of our favorite grassroots organizations, Young Americans for Liberty, doesn’t seem to share that opinion and has transformed into something that is anything but grassroots, and something we barely recognize anymore.
The old YAL
Whether it was through our old Examiner.com columns or via Whiteout Press, longtime readers know that your author has been an energetic supporter of the college campus organization Young Americans for Liberty since their beginning in 2009. We’ve promoted their campaigns, applauded their rapid growth, publicized their internship programs and watched the grassroots student liberty organization grow from a couple dozen members on a couple campuses to a 162,000-strong army of experienced political activists at over 500 schools.
But something happened between then and now. We watched, and often reminded YAL’s leaders that liberty is non-partisan. In the early days, small ‘L’ libertarians and Libertarian Party members alike were invited to participate in YAL-sponsored events. While liberty-defending independents and Constitution Party members were always snubbed, at least the Libertarian Party was quietly and grudgingly accepted within YAL’s ranks.
Transition and betrayal
The following details are by no means ‘accepted history’. But those who were a part of it, like us here at Whiteout Press, are entitled to our own opinion. And our readers, and most former Ron Paul supporters, know that the fix was in during the 2012 Republican Party Presidential Primary. Rep. Paul, with the support of regular Americans and millions of college students, was actually positioning himself to possibly beat the RNC’s anointed nominee Mitt Romney.
But Ron Paul dropped out of the election just days before the Texas primary. Texas was Paul’s home state and a victory could have propelled him to the eventual nomination and a race against President Obama. Instead, something or someone enticed Ron Paul to drop out. His son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), shocked his father’s supporters by actually turning his back on the grandfather of the liberty movement and endorsing his own father’s opponent Mitt Romney. At the time, we called it like we saw it. Ron Paul gave the nomination to Mitt Romney in 2012 in exchange for Rand Paul receiving the nomination in 2016.
With millions of Ron Paul supporters and tens of thousands of YAL members scratching their heads, wondering how the father and son managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, we all watched a secretive and often sinister game of musical chairs. Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Paul’s campaign manager Jesse Benton, and Campaign for Liberty all became indistinguishable from the Washington-Wall St establishment they had all been battling so long.
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In the promotion of Mitt Romney’s namesake documentary ‘Mitt’ released this past April, the former Republican Presidential nominee admits he’s now aware that the GOP stole the 2012 nomination for him. The party betrayed Ron Paul, his millions of supporters, the liberty movement, and democracy itself. But as we reminded readers at the time, Primary Elections are a party functions, not government functions. Don’t like rigged primaries? Don’t be a Republican or a Democrat. Read the April Whiteout Press article, ‘Romney admits GOP stole 2012 Nomination for him’ for more information.
US Sen. Rand Paul was the first to walk away from the cause, immediately endorsing Wall Street’s Mitt Romney over his libertarian father within hours of the senior Paul’s withdrawal from the race. The RNC reciprocated by welcoming the younger Paul into the GOP establishment with open arms. Within only the first few days, Sen. Paul targeted Whiteout Press’ good friend Abby Martin from RT News, leading to a confrontation with Capitol Hill police and virtually the entire Washington bureau of the entire US news industry. Read the 2012 Whiteout Press article, ‘Rand Paul uses New Friends to terrorize Indy Media’ for additional details.
Ron Paul’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, was next to betray the liberty movement. He jumped from the Paul campaign to the re-election campaign of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Rand Paul also endorsed him. In the process, Benton was publicly accused of stealing the mailing lists, donors and personal information from Ron Paul’s campaign and the membership and donor list from Campaign for Liberty. Where did he take them? Allegedly to the RNC and Mitch McConnell. Read the accusation from The Daily Paul for a reminder.
Benton has also been implicated in a bribery scandal in which an Iowa Republican State Senator resigned after admitting to taking a bribe from the Paul campaign to switch his support from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul during the all-important 2012 Iowa Caucus. Showing just how corrupt the party is, the Iowa GOP Chair was also forced to resign after he publicly, and on national TV, declared Mitt Romney the winner even though Rick Santorum actually won. Readers may remember that Whiteout Press broke that story nationwide, simply because your author pays attention and can do simple math. Read the 2012 Whiteout Press article, ‘Santorum won Iowa and didn’t say Black’ and a report from Mother Jones for more information.
The new YAL
Why do we bring up the old dirty laundry? Because they’re all the very same RNC and Wall Street establishment Republicans that Young Americans for Liberty has ingratiated themselves with since then. We watched as YAL slowly and quietly excluded independent and Libertarian Party leaders in lieu of Republican Party leaders. They walked away from America’s grassroots organizations, exchanging their blood, sweat and tears for the endless cash of a dozen Washington Super PAC’s and billionaire special interest groups.
One look at YAL’s 2014 National Convention sponsor list shows who and what the student group has become. YAL’s new friends and benefactors include the Charles Koch Institution, FreedomWorks, Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, and similar groups. A quick glimpse at YAL’s website homepage today gives additional examples.
Glenn Beck and Charles Koch
Young Americans for Liberty’s website illustrates the drastic change the national student group has made. Gone are reports from local college campuses where a half dozen liberty-loving students battle their school administrators for the right to hand out US Constitutions or to protest visits by establishment Republican neo-cons who gave America the Iraq War. They’ve been replaced by Glenn Beck editorials and Koch Foundation announcements.
Using today’s YAL website headlines as just one example, Young Americans for Liberty is asking its 150,000-plus students to:
Readers can see where we’re going with this. It’s not that we have anything against homeless immigrants, the Koch brothers or the Christian faith. It’s just that we’ve long since recognized that the battle in America isn’t the left versus the right. It’s the Establishment versus We The People. And We The People thought the students from Young Americans for Liberty were on our side.