Carter Lankes and Dr. Michael Waller

I Would Go To Jail For YAF. Here’s Why.

By Carter Lankes

Let me tell you about the man who inspired me to say the words, “I would go to jail for YAF.”

Dr. Michael Waller is a legend among men who has fought for the Conservative Movement for decades. Over the past year, he’s taught me the true meaning of YAF activism: Doing WHATEVER it takes to spread the conservative message.

Some things I remember him telling us at
my first training seminar included being in the Kremlin during the collapse of the Soviet Union, infiltrating liberal protests, and overall showing the Left that conservatives are actually hardcore freedom fighters who are not to be messed with.

One could say Dr. Waller is the definition of “Hardcore YAF,” and I personally think we need to live up to the standards he sets.

First of all, he taught us that we need to stop caring about what others think and just stick to our goal of spreading conservative ideas. Sometimes students, teachers, and even school presidents fight against us. Don’t worry about their opinions of you. What’s more important: Our feelings or the preservation of our freedoms?

At the last YAF Activist Training Seminar in June, Dr. Waller told us, “Leftists used to be more hardcore back in the day.” He relayed to us a story about a time when liberals charged a stage of him and his friends with big wooden crosses, turning the event into an all-out brawl. That made me come to a key realization–  If Dr. Waller had the courage to be as bold as he was back in the day when Leftist activism was at its peak, then we should be running our campuses right now. Most of the Left is too afraid to even talk face-to-face these days.

But the best advice Dr. Waller gave us was, “Listen to the tiny voice in your head that says ‘just go for it.’” So next time you’re on the fence or worried about doing something on campus just ask yourself, “What would Waller do?”

Carter Lankes is the chairman of Young Americans for Freedom at the University of Central Florida.