YAL at New Mexico State University wanted to offer people a choice between personal freedom and personal enslavement. Unfortunately we couldn’t find any young dictators, so we had to make our own.
Meet Young Americans for Tyranny.
The chapter set up a “Tyranny table” next to the YAL table. Our Tyranny table was full of all sorts of pro-government props and handouts.
We employed special effects to make people uncomfortable.
We even asked people to join our club in order to stop the dangerous spread of freedom in America.
The ploy was simple — a member of the fake organization (dressed to look like a federal agent) would ask students if they would sign up for Young Americans for Tyranny, the new group on campus. We would then explain our “position”: We’re for less freedoms and bigger government. We’re for the police state, the nanny state, and the surveillance state. Our literature included the Communist Manifesto and 1984.
A person would usually only tolerate so much of the joke before we had to clarify, “We actually like freedom! Please don’t hate us!” and invite them to check out our YAL table.
We also used the contrast for a few other effects:
- The tyranny representatives were dressed in black suits and used black and white materials while the liberty representatives were dressed in their normal clothing with colorful materials. The message? Freedom is down to earth and accessible.
- A poster featuring Ron Paul, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Thomas Jefferson, and Gary Johnson. One copy was at the YAL table with the title “Champions of Liberty,” and another copy was placed at the Tyranny table not 4 feet away with the title “Enemies of the State.”
We ended up getting almost 20 sign-ups that day. It’s not always easy to reach liberty-minded people, especially considering their understandable distrust of politics and politicians. Big and in-your-face events, however, can help a group avoid being known as a bunch of boring political science majors who sit around talking about how much they hate the government that day.
After a very successful fall semester, YAL at NMSU hopes to make 2014 our best year yet!