Young Americans for Liberty flourish at Pima Community College

young-american-2Young Americans For Liberty or YAL is a national organization promoting libertarian ideas at college campuses all over the nation.

Their national website describes them, ”Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) is the largest, most active, and fastest-growing pro-liberty organization on America’s college campuses. With nearly 500 chapters and 125,000 student activists nationwide, YAL seeks to identify, educate, train, and mobilize young people committed to winning on principle.”

To a lot of people these groups and activist are just seen as pot smoking, idealistic, naïve kids, but their focus on principle and personal responsibility is a fresh perspective from the default liberal drones plaguing most campuses.

I had a chance to sit down with Jonathan Soto the President of the YAL PCC chapter for a chat.

ADI: Hey Jonathan, why don’t you tell me about Young Americans for Liberty and what the organization is about?

Jonathan Soto: Young Americans for Liberty is part of a growing movement in this country, it’s a YAL movement. It was started after the Ron Paul campaign in 2008. In fact students for Ron Paul is what grew for Young Americans for Liberty. We have a little over 500 chapters nation wide and we focus on socializing young people to stand on principle and that’s what we mainly do as Young Americans for Liberty.

What got you interested in this organization?

I was a huge fan of Ron Paul when I was in high school. In fact I campaigned for him and that’s what really drew me into him. After his campaign was over and they started this organization that’s what really drew me into it.

What do you think attracts young students to this message?

I think it is multiple factors. I think the most important one would be honesty. Because they don’t like what is going on. They don’t like the warfarism and welfarism that is having negative impact in society to a certain extent. That is what I think draws them to ask certain questions and then draws them to this point; to the point of liberty of self-responsibility and free markets and so forth.

On the flip side why do you think so many young people today are more often liberal democrats? Which is the antithesis of that message in some ways.

To be honest with you I don’t know, but personally I believe that there is really a misconception of the message. It is easier to say we can give free education. We can give out social programs than to talk to someone about self-responsibility and free markets and so forth. Because normally for example in some parts people are not as educated as much when it comes to free markets as when it comes to government intervention. I can speak for my generation when I say we grew up hearing that their needs to be government intervention in the economy. But when you really analyze free market economics it tells you a whole different story.

What kind of events does the YAL PCC do?

We do mostly activism on campus. That focuses on principles and issues. We’ve done a freedom of speech wall, we did our national debt wall, and the next event will be a civil liberties graveyard. We are doing a charity in December and then a second amendment activism project in January. So mostly focuses on the principles of liberty. But if there is something, a current event lets say Obamacare then we might do something related around the philosophy of liberty that has to do with Obamacare or choosing healthcare.

Can you tell me more about your next event?

It’s a civil liberties graveyard. We are trying to educate students about the loss of civil liberties that we have experienced over the last ten to fifteen years; for example, Habeas corpus that has been denied to people who have been labeled as terrorist. They toss them into Guantanamo Bay. They don’t have a trial and they don’t have a lawyer. In certain states you can’t drink raw milk. It is illegal to do that. Many people consider your right not to choose a healthcare to a certain extent under Obamacare as a civil liberties issue. We haven’t decided which civil liberties we are going to focus on, but that’s what it mainly revolves around.

Which PCC campuses can students find you on?

We have been asked to grow district wide at Pima. But we don’t have the capacity to do that at the moment. We are only focused on west campus.

With Ron Paul no longer in office who are some active politicians who YAL PCC support?

One of them would be Justin Amash, who some people call him Ron Paul Jr. for some reason. If you look at his record he is a strict constitutionalist. He votes no on anything that is not authorized by the constitution. That is someone we look up to. Other figures in the liberty movement would be a Rand Paul who is the son of Ron Paul. Although he speaks differently than him he obviously has the same message. Those pretty much and Ted Cruz to a certain extent we also look up to, but not as much as Justin Amash and Thomas Massie and Ron Paul.

What is the main message you want to convey to other students at Pima that may be interested in YAL?

Liberty is a beautiful message. It’s a message that brings people together. Ultimately it solves. It can be the solution to most of the political problems we are experiencing in this country, because when people come together and they accept to help people. People help people and not government and its better when government is not in the economy. It is better when we talk things through than going to war. Things like that it brings people together.

Great. Thanks, Jonathan Soto!

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