Young America's Foundation

Join Our Email List

  • New Guard Inner
  • Don't Just Speak . . . Defeat

    2/25/2010 1:03:57 PM Posted by Roger Custer

    Guest Blog by David French

    Look, I love speech.  I’m a free speech attorney and work every day to preserve the marketplace of ideas on campus, but I also like to see students speak for a purpose.  I like to see speech and activism that generate results.French

    It will always be important to raise your voice to address the great issues of our time, to counter the impression that “young people” are all marching in lockstep with the Left.  So young activists can and should address great issues of war and peace, macroeconomics, health care, and social policy.  But should “speaking out” be your primary goal?  After all, you’re hopefully beginning a lifetime of responsible advocacy, training for the time when you just might have a chance to have a real impact on those national issues.  So why not learn how to create change right now?

    Why not challenge speech codes on your campus?

    Why not challenge unlawful and biased student fee policies?

    Why not fight for the freedom to speak in all the public spaces on campus rather than be confined to tiny and arbitrary speech zones?

    What does it mean to get results, to defeat the opposition?  Policy changes are obviously measurable, but so are – if you really hit a home run – justifiable personnel changes (such as employees being fired for breaking the law) or even acts of Congress.

    The bottom line?  Have a concrete goal for your advocacy.  Argue about Israel and Gaza, yes, but don’t have your eyes so set on the horizon that you forget about the abuses right in front of your face.  Then pursue your goal relentlessly, ethically, and reasonably.  Don’t let yourself be deterred, and don’t be afraid to take your case to the courts (if appropriate) or to the public.  Be prepared to endure scorn.  And don’t be afraid to fail.  Along with the thrill of victory sometimes comes the agony of defeat.

    If you just “speak out,” then you may never change the culture – on campus or elsewhere.  But if you actually defeat the left, then you not only create a concrete change in your community, you also begin to discredit the very ideology that spawned the bad policies.

    And that’s what we’ll discuss tomorrow.

    • Readers' Comments

    • Watching this process ufnold has been amazing. For the past 20 years or so, the Republicans have managed to create their own private branch of macroeconomic theory that rhymes with mainstream economics but adds in completely crazy ideas that make no sense on their own or together. Among them:1) Cutting taxes pays for itself in increased revenue. Try to find an actual Republican economist who believes this. Even Bush II's economics advisers don't buy into that. Despite what their own experts say, this is gospel among Republican politicians.2) The only way to cut the size of government to cut taxes and draw down revenue. I can almost agree with this, except for the fact that it makes no sense in light of (1).3) There's the complete rewriting of history in claiming that the New Deal made the depression worse. Most commonly used is the selection of one outlier data point in an overall downward unemployment trend. Shame.4) The claim that government spending can't jumpstart a stalled economy suffering from insufficient aggregate demand. Evidence: The New Deal didn't do it, World War II did. How they classify war production as anything other than government spending is beyond me.Most interesting in all of this has been watching Greg Mankiw, who was always a fine economist, twist himself in knots trying to say sensible things while not disagreeing with the insanity that the Republicans are spewing during the stimulus debate. It's like watching Star Wars Episode III ufnold, only with fewer explosions and more internal conflict.
      Posted by Alysha on 09/18/2012
    • JCRjBd <a href="">vbeoqrdalhon</a>
      Posted by puqtfzl on 09/19/2012
    • wID8na , [url=]bnspqmxycbwb[/url], [link=]jusbybrxcmqe[/link],
      Posted by bmwgopzriss on 09/19/2012
    • ngNKKW <a href="">cvjkosgokiav</a>
      Posted by fqjumhno on 09/21/2012
    • d5dm5c , [url=]fqryagsqncqn[/url], [link=]jsflwylcyeka[/link],
      Posted by yhzffi on 09/22/2012
    • Am not surprise at all at this deolevpment. Letters like this are bound to be missing under a PDP-led govt because it is never in their favor. I recommend the reprint of many copies this time around and not only to Gudluck alone but also to all well meaning Nigerians to prevent their ojorooooo.
      Posted by Luis on 11/19/2012
    • p4EXqY <a href="">gkxamnwujsdd</a>
      Posted by vyzrwkxyp on 11/19/2012
    • 3uJNrj , [url=]pfjjcfmcmiia[/url], [link=]bbiopgwqjneh[/link],
      Posted by nxgyuoqgpvw on 11/20/2012
    • kErUiU <a href="">jzanhozkqlto</a>
      Posted by igvktpex on 11/21/2012
    • mEpv1w , [url=]myfdemceedqe[/url], [link=]uneatktdysbn[/link],
      Posted by pauxdyksrrx on 11/21/2012
    • Hi florence, i read your this post from alex chow's blog, which i once chcnaed upon through goethe's (and have goethe's blog returned when i was searching for 文化起義 in google).actually i have a question about reporter to ask. i'm interested in working as a reporter, but i am not graduated from journalism, nor was i from subjects of humanities, languages, social science/work. i'd very much want to work in newspaper company regardless of the low pay that i heard of. In your experience, do you know any reporter who have similar background as me (who started with something else for a few years, and not graduated from the aforementioned faculties)?i blog in instead. I hope you will not mind if i didn't post my link our here....yet.- mfy.
      Posted by King on 05/19/2014
    • z7lIf9
      Posted by 7241 on 04/20/2015
    • 55nqG2
      Posted by 614417 on 04/30/2015
    • bqnGbf
      Posted by 17898 on 08/08/2015
    • Pf63xY
      Posted by 148542 on 10/21/2015
    Leave a comment
Copyright 2015 Young America's Foundation | 11480 Commerce Park Dr., Suite 600, Reston, VA 20191-1556 | Ph. 1.800.USA.1776 | Fax 703.318.9122 | |