After a month of planning and excitement, Hillsdale Young Americans for Liberty was honored to host Austin Petersen as our first visiting speaker since the chapter was started last year. The growing libertarian population on campus had been buzzing about Austin Petersen since his run for president earlier this year, and the conservative majority on campus was ready to hear more.
A crowd of 110 people joined us in our Phillips Auditorium for the largest attendance Austin Petersen has had on his solo speaking tour so far. Speaking about the election and why Trump succeeded, he explained how libertarians can learn from this election in terms of messaging and nominating candidates. He said libertarians need to present a strong, principled leader who can speak to the problems people actually care about. Trump supporters feel their way of life is under attack and libertarians need to show how our ideas and policies would protect them even while allowing things they may not always agree with.
He also spoke on free trade, freedom of religion and association, immigration, and the ideas of “social justice warriors”. Libertarians and conservatives in the audience both asked tough questions for the second half of the talk, pressing him on his policy beliefs and potential for the liberty movement to succeed. Much of this came on young people spreading the message to prepare the ideas to succeed in the long term. Afterward, five raffle winners were able to go out to dinner with him to talk more about politics, ideas, and what they can do to help the movement.
It was a great event, and we at Hillsdale YAL are proud to continue Hillsdale’s motto of “Pursuing Truth and Defending Liberty”. We have been one of the fastest growing groups on campus, and we hope to continue to spread the ideas of the liberty movement here at Hillsdale College. We couldn’t have done this without the help of Hillsdale’s Student Federation, the national Young Americans for Liberty organization, our chapter’s executive board, and everyone who came to the speech.Published in