Laughing for Liberty at William Jewell College

William Jewell College Young Americans for Liberty hosted an event titled Laughing for Liberty: The Role of Comedy in Politics. We invited comedians Lou Perez and Jeremy McLellan to come shed light on this topic and give hilarious performances. Lou is the head writer for We the Internet TV, co-host of the podcast Unsafe Space, and part of the YouTube duo Greg and Lou; Jeremy McLellan is a prominent comedian in the libertarian community, and he’s had notable performances at events such as Muslimfest and the International Students For Liberty Conference. After getting the opportunity to see Lou and Jeremy perform at YAL events, such as the Chicago Spring Summit and the 2016 National Young Americans for Liberty Conference, we thought that bringing these two comics to William Jewell would be a a perfect chance to host a different kind of political event. Most activities sponsored by political groups on campus center around promoting or critiquing specific ideologies; Laughing for Liberty gave us the opportunity to make fun of everybody in a super laid-back setting. All too often, political arguments polarize people to the point where it becomes hard for them to find a reason to socialize with others with whom they disagree—this is especially true with the political environment that still lingers from the presidential election. Having two libertarian comedians come to campus and entertain people with drastically different beliefs—libertarians, conservatives, and socialists sitting with each other in the audience—is a perfect way to bring people together. 

We put this event together in part to create a sense of camaraderie, yes, but also to spread the word about YAL. Other politically affiliated organizations on campus come out of the shadows during election seasons but fade back once the elections have passed; YAL is not like that. Discourse on these ideas isn’t just important when it comes time to vote—laws are passed and Supreme Court decisions are made year-round, and discussions over policies are always happening. While there were unofficial meetings and events organized last fall, we have only just been officially recognized by our school as of this spring, yet we have put on two very successful events and have a great chapter of about 10 active students, and our events have pulled in up to over 60 people (with interest only growing at this point, and hearing immensely positive feedback from event attendees). Given this fact and the small overall student population (William Jewell has just under 1,000 students in attendance), we are extremely excited and optimistic for the future of our chapter. Laughing for Liberty was a success and we’re ready to show more of what liberty is all about!

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