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  • AmattsBy Matts Wilcoxen, YAF Chapter Chairman at Principia Upper School

    On Facebook, they call themselves the “Anti-(Conservative) Crusaders”, the “Americans against Fox News and (Conservative) Lies”, “the 99%”, even “People Against Glenn Beck, the Tea Party, and Hate Speech”. They set up tents in public places, defecate on police cars, and denounce the “1%”. They scream obscenities and threaten the “fascists” who dare disagree with them. You guessed it, they’re progressive student activists.

    At my school, these students have begun to regularly vandalize a YAF display featuring Ronald Reagan and free market ideas. Whether they are defacing a Reagan poster, stealing signs, ripping apart flags, or stapling their propaganda over Margaret Thatcher quotes, the message is the same: in a “progressive” society there is no room for dissenting ideas.reaganprinposter

    The actions of these self-proclaimed champions of tolerance, equality, and respect prove again and again just how intolerant they truly are. Apparently, the Left’s perceived love of free speech and tolerance is extended only to other leftists. All others are labeled bigots, fascists, and idiots.  The question must be begged, who are the true bigots?

    On my campus, there is a distinct and visible difference between liberal and conservative student activists: no one has, and no one will, vandalize liberal posters, personally attack leftist activists, or decry opposing beliefs as “hate speech.”

    The reason for this difference? Conservatives on my campus, and on every campus, hold an authentic respect for the rights of others to express their opinions. Conservatives have proven, through their actions, that they are the true ‘drum majors’ of free speech and tolerance.

    In the end, it has been, and continues to be, the conservative activists who have proven loyal to the principle of tolerance that allows for the free, open, and fearless discourse that maintains our nation. On our campus, it is the YAF members who remain the staunchest defenders of free speech and respectful dialogue.

    Conservative activists have a responsibility to remain steadfast in their defense of free speech, let the Left’s charade of tolerance be destroyed by its own hypocrisy. Through our actions, we continue to prove that we are the ones truly protecting the rights of all students, not the Left.

    Mattson Wilcoxen is the chairman of the Young Americans for Freedom chapter at Principia Upper School. To start a YAF chapter at your school or college, fill out this form: *Apply for YAF Chapter*

    • Readers' Comments

    • Nicely expressed, Matts. You've captured things perfectly, and done so without rancor. Perhaps this could be reprinted in your school's student newspaper.
      Posted by Blair Lindsay on 01/16/2012
    • Very well written and observed. I have seen this action before and nothing you have said is dishonest.
      Posted by Thomas on 01/16/2012
    • Well done, hopefully Reagan's poster will go unmolested from here on.
      Posted by Ben on 01/16/2012
    • Helen: I certainly don't have any stnrog feelings about your personal political views. It's a free country. But I do think that a lot of people aren't very honest with themselves when it comes to politics. Self-deception is a corrosive force in politics. Certainly the United States does not have nearly as much self-deception as, say, Egypt, and I will also grant that liberals are just as amenable to self-deception as conservatives. But conservatives, or more precisely quasi-conservative Republicans, run the federal government at the moment. So I see rather more to fear from Republican ideology and propaganda at the moment than from Democratic ideology and propaganda. Two-party control would probably be best it isn't pretty, but it would be better than what we have now.Certainly one way to fool yourself is to believe that you are an independent thinker, but then to reflexively distrust and oppose liberals and Democrats and vote Republican every time. I think that if you call yourself an independent, you honestly want to be an independent thinker. Most people do. But wanting to think independently is a lot easier than actually doing it.I think that two acts of independent thinking would be very useful for those who vote Republican these days. First, that the very reasonable slogan of "limited government" has been abused by the Bush Administration. They have used it for one overriding purpose, to replace upper-bracket taxes by government borrowing. Except for that one sea change, they have done more to break the limits on government than to impose them. Second, that the war in Iraq is an absolute betrayal of libertarian ideals, not only as a short-term expedient, but in the long term as well. It is the complete opposite of getting Islamic radicals to leave us alone.
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