By Nick James
In my time with the Clemson University Young Americans for Freedom Chapter I have had the distinct privilege of participating in many large scale conservative activism projects. Despite the general right-leaning bias found at Clemson, I am more in love than ever with promoting conservative ideals to the students and faculty on campus. Most people view our club’s job as “too easy” and say that we don’t understand what the battle is like on an extremely liberal campus. To the second claim, I concur, but on the first I beg to differ.
The challenge of conservative activism on a relatively conservative campus is getting people’s attention. Handing out fliers promoting capitalism near the library won’t cut it here; everyone who walks by would just nod their head and keep on their way. Everything my YAF chapter does must be big, we have to find unique ways to get everyone’s (both conservatives and liberals) attention. Our 9/11: Never Forget Project memorial was shown to over 85,000 football spectators on the Jumbotron in Memorial Stadium and was liked and shared nearly 2,000 times on Facebook within the 24 hours after we erected it. I’ve come to believe that sometimes activism isn’t so much about converting the Left as it is about reminding the conservatives why they are right. In today’s busy world, sometimes it takes nearly 3,000 flags to do that…or maybe just 14 numbers.
In our most recent project we built a giant “debt clock” out of wood stakes and large pieces of foam board to help students visualize the country’s national debt. The display was then attached to a walkway in the most traveled area of campus. This project took place at the end of October and was meant to remind all members of campus about the incredible peril our country is in. When I came back by the sign the next morning, someone had written “Thanks Obama” on one of the panels. I believe that without attention grabbing displays like the one my chapter created, many conservatives would let the daily struggle of life drown out the bigger struggle taking place in our country.
I know that my club is successful in reminding campus conservatives why they are fighting the good fight. My chapter may have a harder task than those on predominately liberal campuses. These activists have the seemingly easy task of showing the Left the flaws in their arguments and presenting them with logically sound ones. To these activists I would like to remind you that the facts are on your side, all you have to do is get the Left to listen. I know that with the shadow that has been cast over the upcoming four years I will be doing my best to remind all students on my campus of the ideals this great country was founded on; the ideals that helped us rise to our current position of power; the same principles that, when abandoned, lead us to our demise. The time to remind everyone why they are proud to be an American is now.
Nick James is the chairman of the Clemson Young Americans for Freedom chapter.