Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Faith in Liberty, Hope for the Future

It has been some time since I have written a piece for this blog, but as a creative soul who often has a distracted mind when it comes to sitting down and forcing myself to write - I only write when truly inspired. One  weekend this past April came to mine, and provided inspiration for this blog post, and much more than that.

My three peers from Lindenwood University and I embarked on a journey to Washington D.C. on a Thursday through Sunday in April for a conference on Markets and Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University. I must say, before visiting our nation's capital I could never picture myself falling in love with a city - but I fell head over heels. Aside from my major of religion, and my minor of anthropology - one of my passions is history. Before the History Channel turned over to being all about aliens and conspiracy theories - and when it actually had decent documentaries about historical figures, that is all I watched. As our small group of four students including myself, and our professor (Dr. Douchant), walked around D.C. it was clear to me that I could spend weeks here exploring all of the museums, monuments, and streets. We arrived Thursday morning and toured the rest of the day as well as Friday (up until 5 p.m. when the conference started). At the conference we listened to the authors - whose works we had read in preparation for the conference - speak, and also had the chance to sit in groups with students from a few different colleges across the United States and discuss what we had read, what we had learned from reading, and what our thoughts and perspective were all this information.

The conference left me in awe. That is the best word for what I was feeling, and am still feeling after that weekend. As a millennial, a label I despise from the negative connotation that is often behind it - I often find myself discouraged with my generation's seemingly ambivalent nature when it comes to social change and intellectual topics. As I sat and listened to everyone in my group discuss the topics at hand - it was clear to me that my generation has great minds (LIBERTY minded ones), and that tyranny better watch out, because we are coming. I left D.C. with such incredible hope for the future of the liberty movement. As a Young Americans for Liberty chapter president, and now a State Chair for Missouri - I am always looking for possible people to recruit - and I suspect many students at the conference were more liberty minded than they thought, or would ever identify themselves as, unless they become familiar with the philosophy of liberty.

As I walked around the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in D.C., thinking about how I could see myself sitting for hours on those steps in the sun reading books about the philosophy of liberty, toured Koch Institute and learned about internship opportunities with liberty minded organizations, sat at a table with members of Institute for Human Studies and learned about summer seminars available for students on various liberty related topics, and as I read my free book I received at the end of the conference ("Why Liberty" edited by Tom G. Palmer) which turned out to be a collection of writings from libertarian authors  - I could only think one thing... the liberty movement is alive and well, and I have never been more passionate (and sure of something being a necessity in our society) in my entire life.

I cannot wait until my next opportunity to experience something like that weekend. And I cannot wait to spread the philosophy of liberty, even if that means exercising my right to free speech on a corner with flyers in hand. I am so excited for YALCON, our national convention for Young Americans for Liberty one week from now. Events like this give me hope for the future, and instill the passion I have for liberty.

That being said, if you have any questions about how YOU can get involved with the liberty movement in your state, on your campus, or if you'd like to learn more via book recommendations I have -  don't hesitate to contact me at mackenzie.vieth@yaliberty.org 

For Liberty,
Mackenzie Vieth

"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and have the courage to defend it." - Jaoquim Nabuco

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sibley Day Event: The Liberty Hall of Fame

This past week on Tuesday, February 16th, Lindenwood University students and faculty alike celebrated Sibley Day. Every year our campus takes a day to do activities in honor of our founder - Mary Sibley. Each year a theme for Sibley Day is picked, and the theme this year was "Like No Other". This was the perfect opportunity for my members of Young Americans for Liberty and I to talk with students about how our organization specifically makes Lindenwood and college campuses all across the United States like no other!

Since Sibley Day this year was so close to Presidents' Day, we decided to host a Liberty Hall of Fame, which included our founders - many of whom were presidents - and political thinkers and philosophers who were and are the most liberty friendly!

Yes, the posters strapped to our bodies earned us a lot of looks from students. Luckily, our Liberty Hall of Fame wall earned just as many. The quotes next to each portrait sparked a lot of conversations from students and faculty alike. Many familiar faces were on our wall - but just as many liberty friendly political satirists and thinkers were unfamiliar, and hopefully our conversations sparked some google searches that would lead to discovery later for students!
We also had our political quiz out on display, so students could take a quiz to see how liberty friendly their political leanings are - and many students were surprised to learn just how much they agreed with liberty friendly policies once they were given a change to sit down over ten questions and answer basic questions! This is always a fun aspect of our tabling experiences! Even some members of faculty took our quiz and were interested in our display! The great thing about our organization is that liberty is for everyone- students, faculty, family, and parents alike. We had some great conversations with parents about how they loved seeing a political organization on campus that was doing more than hosting debates - we are out on campus doing activism events and talking with students!
It was great to meet students who had already been following our organization on social media on Sibley Day as well. As our presence on campus grows from twelve members to many more - I hope to connect with more students who agree that liberty should be the foremost aspect of our society!
If you specifically have any questions, you can contact us at YALlindenwood@gmail.com ! You can also like our Facebook page www.facebook.com/lindenwoodyal, and follow us on instagram and twitter for updates on meetings and events!



Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Spring Recruitment Drive

At the beginning of every semester Young Americans for Liberty has a recruitment drive where we encourage students to visit us and talk to our members about YAL and why they personally joined the club. This is a great opportunity for Lindenwood students to talk to others and find out what  Young Americans for Liberty is all about, and how they can get involved with our activism on campus this semester too! Liberty is for everyone!