The nation’s political elite may have temporarily pushed Syria from the minds of many Americans, but not from those of Young Americans for Liberty at Belmont University.
Constitution Week provides the perfect opportunity to promote the founding document that remains as relevant today as at any other point in our country’s history, if not more so. To celebrate the 226th anniversary of our Founding Fathers’ vision of a nation built on the rule of law, Belmont’s YAL chapter seized upon Washington’s current jingoistic foreign policy to stand against an increasing disregard for the Constitution by America’s leaders.
In his 1796 Farewell Address, George Washington said, “Foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.” For too long, we as citizens have allowed the gluttonous hand of government to overreach its constitutional limitations. It is through our relentless desire to see this dangerous trend reversed that we constructed a display speaking out against a looming war more than nine out of ten Americans oppose. The harrowing death tolls and prolonged years spent in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq littered the trifold, with Syria and a massive question mark placed squarely in the center of them all. “How many more Americans have to DIE before we are at PEACE?” the display proclaimed.
It is a question tearing at the hearts of millions of this nation’s people and servicemen and women. The solution does not lie in the barrels of guns, rather the minds of every individual. Our mentality was that the students who saw our trifold, participated in Jenga-nomics, or were handed a pocket Constitution were more aware than they would have otherwise been. The strategic placement of our table in the campus cafeteria meant hundreds upon hundreds of people were exposed to the message of liberty and constitutionalism. We discussed the War Powers Clause as it relates to Syrian intervention, demonstrated the ideals and constitutional basis of free markets, and explained the guiding purpose of the largest pro-liberty collegiate organization in America.
We are inspired by the enthusiasm and solid number of sign-ups we received from the numerous students who stopped to speak with us. Hours of dedicated tabling by many of our more than 30 YAL members resulted in a resounding success. As President, it is amazing to witness our chapter’s growth to 500 percent of the six members we had mere months ago.
The incredible outreach we achieved with our campus-wide fair in August — 60 sign-ups and a flood of new students passionate about our cause — has allowed us to expand our horizons to unprecedented heights. With our biweekly meetings, routine presentations and discussions on the most pressing issues confronting America today, and plans for ambitious activism events and speakers, I cannot wait to see what else we will accomplish in the near future.
I am honored to be surrounded by the overwhelming dedication of these young men and women every day. We are uncompromising in our quest to see freedom capture the hearts and minds of every student at Belmont University.
We are Young Americans for Liberty.