Young America’s Foundation is grateful to Ben Shapiro for his dedication to free speech, conservative principles, and work with us, especially during his Young America’s Foundation lecture tour that began out of the aftermath of the leftist attack on free speech at Mizzou.
Ben Shapiro joined more than four dozen students and friends of Young America’s Foundation last Friday to speak at a roundtable luncheon on the state of higher education, conservatism, and the importance of bold activism.
“YAF is an incredible organization,” Shapiro began. “I am honored to work with them on campuses all over the country. What they do really can’t be overstated.”
“We’ve talked to literally thousands upon thousands of students over the past year directly in person,” noted Ben of his campus lecture tour with Young America’s Foundation.
“So the first thing that I think YAF does beautifully and better than anybody else is they provide all these resources, they make sure that young people have what they need in order to succeed on these campuses,” noted Shapiro of the activism training and resources YAF provides to student activists.
“The second thing that happens is because these things create so much buzz, because the entire Left is activated against it, a lot of people show up just out of curiosity,” he continued. “I can tell you because I receive dozens of emails a day from young leftist students or former leftist students who say–even if they’re not right wing yet, even if they’re not conservative yet–they’ll say things like ‘you opened up my mind to new ideas I hadn’t heard before’ just because YAF is on campus.”
Turning to his YAF lecture at DePaul University, where he is banned and was threatened with arrest by the Cook Country Sheriff if he set foot on campus he applauded YAF’s bold, unwavering stance, saying “YAF backed us throughout the whole thing. YAF was there every step of the way,” he continued. “We immediately took the entire student body basically and went to this small theater off campus and did the lecture anyway–it was watched by hundreds of thousands of people online completely defeating the purpose of what the Left wanted to do. We’ve had this experience at campus after campus.”
“The reason that’s important is not just because it gets all the conservative students jazzed up feeling like they’re not alone,” remarked Ben of the rallying effect of YAF’s campus lectures. “I remember when I was in college–if you were a conservative you felt alone.”
“The base of support is enormous and the ability to bring in top notch speakers, not just like me, but like Dinesh [D’Souza], and Allen West–the whole slate is really great,” said Shapiro, noting the depth of Young America’s Foundation’s campus lecture roster with more than 80 leading conservatives.
As he closed his remarks at the Foundation’s Reagan Ranch Center in downtown Santa Barbara, California, Shapiro harkened back to one of our fortieth president’s most famous lines: “Ronald Reagan is right when he said that freedom is one generation away from extinction. But the truth is that it’s also only one generation away from restoration.”
“What I think YAF is focused on and what we’ve been focused on is getting that young generation ready for the restoration because there will be battles to come. The battle is not over.”
“The fact is that young people all over the country are ready to embrace [conservatism], they’re so tired of a media that lies to them, their professors lie to them, they’re ready for something resembling truth and intellectual honesty and that’s what conservatism is here to provide. Truth is not a left wing value. If we can provide truth, there is no way for them to deny it and that’s what we’ve come to do.”