Last week Young Americans for Liberty of St.Mary’s College of Maryland gathered together under cover of rain to host the hottest activism event of the semester. We all gathered around the campus center patio in order to attract the most people possible. While we were setting up, some friends of mine began to walk past from finishing their classes. I yelled over to them to check out the table and grab some sweet Liberty merch, and talk to me about how they feel about US soldiers fighting overseas. To my surprise, the group seemed to be split, but not along the general lines of Republican or Democrat but rather the issue itself. They began to frame the issue to me, stating that having US soldiers play peace keeper is only harming the US foreign policy, while the other side indicated that the US abroad can be seen as a humanitarian issue. I began to think about what these two sides were really saying, what kinds of beliefs they held as individuals, and how there could be a peaceful compromise to the issue.
As the discussion progressed however, I began to notice the two sides begin to get heated in the debate. Whenever someone brings up the fact that US troops should be supported, there is always a divide on how to best support them. Does this mean giving them more money, newer equipment, reducing deployment time, or just bringing them home all together. The ideas and suggestions that came next were something to laugh at, as neither side could easily make and defend their case. I finally decided to step in and asked them about individual choice to serve in the military, what the government’s role in other countries should be, and to see where US troops are stationed. Nobody present really questioned the individual’s right to serve their country. They didn’t think about why the US has much of a right to be present in other countries to fight the war on terror or help to establish US bases in other countries. Or question just how many countries the US troops are currently stationed in (including parts of Africa which they were surprised to find out).
This is the reason we are out there. This is why we set up, even in the cold wind and rain, to talk with people about recent events. It is this kind of dialogue that helps to bring people together in discussion about what is right, what is wrong, and that gray area in between. That is how we #MakeLibertyWin.Published in