Kansas is a conservative’s paradise. The heart of the Bible belt, where Republicans are aplenty and Democrats are afraid to be vocal. A state that passes fresh tax cuts right at the end of recession making FDR roll in his grave and Reagan applaud. In a state this conservative it would seem easier than not to grow a Young Americans for Liberty chapter. However, that is not what I have run into while attending Benedictine College.
Benedictine College is a Catholic, liberal arts, residential college of roughly 1,800 students. We have a political science department that can fit in one VERY small room and there is not much political activism outside of the pro-life movement. With so few people interested in participating it is difficult to find anyone willing to join a cause they haven’t heard much about, such as YAL.
To top it all off, when students are willing to participate, they are staunchly Republican, and have no interest in the liberty movement. It is difficult to discuss the national debt with someone who only knows libertarianism in the negative way it has been portrayed by others. So it is very much an uphill battle, and a lonely one at that, but there are so many reasons I keep fighting for liberty on this campus.
Because I am representative of a group that is not very well known, I am often asked about the organizations principles and what YAL endorses. Every time I table for YAL I can talk about liberty and share the ideals to people that may not have heard them. Often, I find most people agree with the liberty movement they just did not realize it. We handed out information on YAL and our Incarceration Nation project about mandatory minimums. It was fun having conversations with students about what liberty means.
The difficulty is getting those people to participate in something they haven’t known for a long time. Being able to talk to people every day about why liberty is important is a huge blessing. Engaging in debates with my fellow conservatives is always a highlight to my day. Liberty is coming to Kansas; it is just a little slower arriving at Benedictine. I love this campus, and maybe liberty isn’t here yet, but I am, and that’s a start.Published in