Lately, our democracy has amounted to pointing fingers and name calling from the echo chambers we’ve created. But the effects of these biased bubbles pour into other aspects of life. According to a Rasmussen survey, 40 percent of voters claimed the 2016 election negatively affected a personal relationship with a friend or family member. We’ve even seen students escalate to violent protests on college campuses against classmates they disagree with.
With the power of technology, we can retreat into our echo chambers on social media platforms. We can delete, block, and report dissent away. It becomes easier and easier to control what messages and ideas we hear behind our screens. This encourages the idea that tolerance is optional. That you can cut off relationships because you disagree with the other person; furthermore, you can segregate people in groups based on said opinions.
Intolerance of differing ideas is not the way to achieve positive social change; intolerance only begets negative outcomes. We here at Young Americans for Liberty, along with our partner organizations, strive to foster a culture of tolerance and respect. Disagreement is inevitable; how one addresses disagreement and differing perspectives is the key to success. I discourage everyone to stray away from trying win belittle our philosophical opponents on social media that ultimately create opposing echo chambers and do not yield a positive result.
The message of liberty is a positive one. We are driven to action grounded in the principles of free markets, individual liberty, and limited government. Every July we host our National Convention that draws hundreds of students from multiple political, economic, and social backgrounds to engage in these ideas. Given their varying backgrounds, these students are bound to disagree with one another on the nuances of liberty. I assure you, the overall theme is siding with more freedom and less government intervention.
YAL will be hosting its 9th annual National Convention next week, July 26 – 29, at the Sheraton Reston Hotel in Reston, VA. The convention will feature Senator Rand Paul, Congressman Thomas Massie, Congressman Justin Amash, and Judge Andrew Napolitano, and many more.
The National Convention is the training ground to teach YAL activists the tactics necessary to reach the next generation with the principles of liberty.
So what’s our plan to combat big-government ideology amongst the youth of America? I can tell you this: when a socialist comes to campus to speak, you won’t see YAL members burning the campus to the ground or throwing rocks through windows. Through robust, campus activism and outreach efforts, YAL members are working hard to present the ideas of liberty in a powerful, peaceful manner to win the hearts and minds of the next generation.
Cliff Maloney, Jr., is president of
Young Americans for Liberty