August 8, 2013. Arlington. Liberty is booming on campuses across America these days. And nothing illustrates that more than Young Americans for Liberty’s record-setting National Convention last week. The student group has been opening up campus affiliates at colleges and university’s at an incredible rate. And it all made for an impressive event featuring a number of Congressmen, Senators and even one political rock star.
Ron Paul poses with YAL members at their 2013 National Convention last week. Image courtesy of Young Americans for Liberty.
The YAL National Convention was held July 31 to August 3rd in Arlington, Virginia. With hundreds of campus organizations and over 125,000 student members, it must have been difficult to narrow down the invitation list to this year’s event. When the opening day’s festivities kicked off, the convention included the top 300 YAL student leaders representing 200 colleges in 46 states.
US Senators open up
YAL Executive Director Jeff Frazee described the first night’s excitement which included the participation of three US Senators. “We've kicked off our 5th Annual YAL National Convention and let me tell you, it’s already been a Convention to remember!” Frazee exclaimed, “Wednesday night, more than 300 students from 200 colleges representing 46 states arrived just outside of Washington, D.C., eager to learn from the leaders of the liberty movement. After a cocktail reception, Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee joined me on stage for an in-depth, exciting Q & A!”
Describing some of the topics the liberty students and GOP Senators touched upon, Frazee went on to list them off, along with a description of the crowd’s reaction. “The Senators received BIG applause for their support of auditing the Fed, ending foreign aid, stopping the NSA and TSA's invasion of our privacy, and defunding Obamacare,” he recalled, “Here are some quotes about the future of our movement which I thought were great.”
Here are some of the more memorable quotes the YAL Executive Director included:
"This fight's worth fighting. We can win it. Because we're right...If we remain true to [our] principles, we'll prosper as a society." – Sen. Mike Lee
"There is a new paradigm coming out in Washington, and it's one that has the entrenched politicians in both parties very, very nervous. And that paradigm is that grassroots activists getting engaged in massive numbers can win public policy battles." – Sen. Ted Cruz
"It's important to be right, and I think we are right, but it's not enough. It's about what you say, but it's also about how you say it...The passion that young people have, that's the kind of passion we need to proclaim our message — and when we do, I think we'll win again." – Sen. Rand Paul
Other National Convention highlights
In addition to the rare question and answer session with three sitting US Senators, there were other memorable happenings over the four-day event outside the nation’s capitol. Showing that the US House of Representatives wasn’t left out, Congressmen Ted Yoho and Walter Jones were also on hand to speak to the student leaders. And the following afternoon, US Representatives Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, Raul Labrador, and Mick Mulvaney participated in a roundtable discussion.
Rep. Justin Amash has solidified his status as a rising star in the nation’s liberty movement. The first-term Michigan Republican was the sponsor of the just-defeated ‘Amash Amendment’. The brief legislative add-on to an NSA funding Bill would have forced the US government to stop spying on ALL Americans and only spy on those they had typical, legal cause to. Surprising even its supporters, the Amendment almost passed. In the end, an alliance by the establishment leadership of both parties defeated the measure 217-205.
Read the Whiteout Press article, ‘List of Reps who voted for NSA spying on all Americans’ for further details and a roll call list of how each Congressman voted.
Ron Paul – Rock Star
Probably the most exciting and memorable portion of the 2013 YAL National Convention was the presence of the grandfather of America’s modern-day liberty movement – Retired Texas Congressman Ron Paul. For decades, Rep. Paul was the lone voice in Congress on behalf of such forgotten causes as freedom, liberty and Constitutional rights. He almost single-handedly kept the ember of liberty alive, enabling it to burst into the three-alarm fire that passionate students like YAL have made it today.
Who will ever forget the 2012 Republican Primary, where even elite establishment candidates like billionaire Mitt Romney were admittedly in awe of Dr. Paul’s following of millions of impassioned campaign volunteers who always managed to outnumber the opposing campaigns’ volunteers 100-1. And who could forget fellow GOP Presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry when he thanked Ron Paul live on national TV during one of the debates for educating the Texas Governor on what the Federal Reserve really is.
Thanks to honorable people like Ron Paul, and the fired-up kids from YAL, we’ve all had that jaw-dropping, eye-opening moment when someone explained to each of us what the FED really is. It was priceless to see a sitting Governor reach that instant of enlightenment live on TV. For that reason, and a thousand more, Ron Paul took on the presence of a rock star at this year’s YAL Convention.
The students lined up for what must have seemed like an eternity as the kindly old white-haired Dr. Paul stood and took individual pictures with each and every student who wanted one. It’s a rare scene these days for so many young people to want to stand in line so long just to have their picture taken with a politician. But that’s testament to the profound impact Ron Paul has had on so many people over his political career.
Young Americans for Liberty bills itself as, “The largest, most active, and fastest-growing pro-liberty organization on America's college campuses. With more than 380 chapters and 125,000 student activists nationwide, YAL seeks to identify, educate, train, and mobilize young people committed to ‘winning on principle’.”
Visit Young Americans for Liberty for more information on the campus student organization.
Click here to view the album of Ron Paul photos.
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