What happens when you take someone from LI, someone from Turning Point USA, two YAL State Chairs, and a huge beach ball? A terrible set up for a joke with no punch line, but a great intro to a blog post. After 2 months of planning, S&T finally got their free speech ball event rolling.
As I said above, we were fortunate to have Bill Dowhy from the Leadership Institute, Nathan Williamson from Turning Point USA, Jaret Scharnhorst and Mackenzie Vieth (two of Missouri's YAL State Chairs), and a small group of YAL activists from our chapter. Our ball was up and running around noon, and we began grabbing a bunch of students excited about writing whatever they want on the ball. We failed to have any issues for the first few hours, then we moved from what the (unofficial) "free speech zone" was.
Even after that, we didn't have any issues. Police were flagged and came up to our free speech ball, but simply laughed and handed us cards that told us our first amendment rights. Not a common thing to see, but great that our campus police believe in our constitutional rights.
One student came up to us asking why we had such hateful comments on a ball that "made it hard for students to get through the day". I was quite honored that my "you're not gender-fluid, you're delusional" comment was brought up. Another student asked what kind of stuff YAL did, and asked about the UN's "30 Human Rights", where we explained our opposition to Universal Health Care and our firm belief in negative rights backed by the constitution.
After getting over 100 sign-ups (and having difficulty convincing any of them to join), we ended the day with some great chinese food (shout-out to Lucky House in Rolla, MO) and a discussion of the liberty movement overall. Where it is, where it is going, and what we need to do to make it grow. With Nathan from TPUSA there, it became clear that we need to stop arguing over minarchism vs anarcho-capitalism and jump on a bus together and make a beeline to liberty. Young Americans for Liberty, Students for Liberty, Americans for Prosperity, Turning Point USA, and many more: we all care about liberty, and we're stronger together, fighting for the natural rights and limited government that our Founding Fathers spoke of.
Finally a shout-out to Thomas Jefferson, as it would have been his birthday yesterday. Without the Declaration of Independence, America wouldn't be here, and without him, the Liberty Movement wouldn't be either.