8:03 PM And that concludes Day 1 of #YALcon14! See you bright and early tomorrow morning, activists. For those at home, keep an eye on our live feed—we’ll be streaming select portions of the training tomorrow (and updating here at the YAL blog, too.)
8:00 PM Jones: “Get off the internet and get in the streets.” Amash: More people agree with your principles than you know. Speak with confidence.
7:35 PM Conversation turns to NSA spying—why the disconnect between citizens and the establishment GOP? Amash: “When we destroy our Constitution and undermine liberty, it makes our country more dangerous.” Massie says reps who opposed Amash’s anti-NSA amendment were slaughtered in townhalls in their home districts.
7:26 PM Rep. Sanford recounts the organic development of the liberty movement and how different Congress is now since the lonely days when only Ron Paul supported liberty on the Hill. Amash echoes, says the House Liberty Caucus has grown massively, is not monolithic but is fighting for liberty and building its membership.
7:21 PM BIG applause from college students for Walter Jones’ support for ending the war in Afghanistan, bringing the troops home.
7:20 PM Warmongers have hijacked MY party, says Rep. Labrador. Massie thinks 2014 elections will bring another half dozen members to the House Liberty Caucus
7:13 PM “I learned what true government was, quite frankly, from my friend Ron Paul,” says Rep. Walter Jones at #YALcon14. Rep. Raul Labrador explained that he wondered if he was in the wrong party because of foreign policy disagreements, but decided warmongers have hijacked HIS party.
7:05 PM And the panel is here! Featuring Rep. Thomas Massie, Rep. Walter Jones, Rep. Raul Labrador, Rep. Thomas McClintock, Rep. Tim Huelskamp, Rep. Justin Amash, and Rep. Mark Sanford. All are members of the House Liberty Caucus. First question: How did you develop a pro-liberty mentality? Amash: “I was born this way.”
7:00 PM Pundit Jack Hunter takes the stage as we wait for the House of Reps panel to begin. “A GOP whose entire identity is keeping marijuana illegal is not going to get the Millennial vote,” he says.
6:56 PM Sen. Paul finishes his speech: “Going to war’s the last resort, not the first resort…this message is doing so well.” He adds that the public is a decade ahead of DC on fiscal conservatism, privacy, and war as a last, not first, resort.
6:54 PM Paul: “You’ve been hoodwinked. They’ve been trying to teach you that there’s only a Democratic way or a Republican way.”
6:51 PM Uniting economic and personal liberty is a new idea in politics, and we can work w/ left-right coalitions, says Sen. Paul. For example, he is working with Democratic Sen. Cory Booker on sentencing reform. The fundamental point of libertarianism/limited government, Paul says, is “We don’t believe we know better than others how to spend your money, what to do with your privacy…We frankly think that it’s none of the government’s damn business.”
6:43 PM Senator Rand Paul has taken the stage: “How about the ‘leave me the hell alone’ coalition?” He’s discussing the merits of free markets—”Capitalism is inclusive…[and] punishes people who discriminate”—and why it’s a good idea to allow people to make their own decisions about medical marijuana.
6:30 PM Frazee’s list of upcoming speakers for #YALcon14—Glenn Greenwald, Dr. Thomas Woods, Rep. Thomas Massie, Lawrence Reed, and, of course, Ron Paul—brings HUGE applause.
6:23 PM Here we go! Standing ovation for YAL’s executive director, Jeff Frazee.
6:13 PM Needless to say, we’re excited.
5:57 PM But before we begin, PIZZA. So. Much. Pizza.
5:44 PM Attendees are starting to grab front row seats to see tonight’s speakers.
5:28 PM Just 45 minutes until YAL’s 6th Annual National Convention officially begins! We’re here at the Spectrum Theater just outside of Washington, DC, doing final setup for tonight’s kickoff event with Senator Rand Paul, plus a panel discussion featuring Rep. Thomas Massie, Rep. Walter Jones, Rep. Raul Labrador, Rep. Thomas McClintock, Rep. Tim Huelskamp, Rep. Justin Amash, and Rep. Mark Sanford.
Tune in to the livestream at the top of this post to watch this and other key events throughout the convention! We’ll also keep this post updated with highlights of #YALcon14—or you can follow YAL on Facebook and Twitter for convention news.