The YAL chapter at Texas State University decided to reminisce a bit about the day that hundreds of Texas State students, and nearly 200,000 internet viewers will not soon forget. For it was on the 10th of February 2016, that countless Bobcats were introduced to the one and only Donald Tramp.
In the middle of the chaos sat our table. Due to our expedience in setting up that morning, and partially to the fact that our university had so graciously limited our “free speech” to the confines of a roughly 100’ x 40’ area. Though it was planned as a simple Recruitment Drive, we soon realized that the day was turning into much more than that.
In the spirit of free-speech, and in an effort to break the gaze of the tunnel-vision laden students, our very own Kristoffer Celera dressed up as “Donald Tramp,” a fictitious Presidential candidate running on a platform of absurdities, and sophomoric catch-phrases. His appearance speaks for itself; and yes, he is wearing shorts.
What had started as an example of fun-loving free speech, quickly turned into a viral sensation, a battle between hilarity and what some would call hate. In an effort to drown out, without censuring, some offensive slurs being hurled, Kris began his patented campaign dance-routine, and the rest was “Donald Tramp” history. Nearly 200,000 views, almost 50 sign-ups, and a packed YAL meeting later, the idea of free speech on campus is alive and well.
All in all, we experienced firsthand that free speech does not equal polite speech. It doesn’t mean friendly, or playful, sometimes it can even be disturbing, but it is an absolutely necessary function of a free society. Without the ability to express the least-popular opinion, it means nothing to be able to express the most-popular one.