At about nine p.m. on November 6, I joined many Americans in heaving a massive sigh of relief. Election season was officially over. I was ready to move on to discussing a topic other than politics: Virginia Woolf novels, Doctor Who episodes, the weather, anything.
But this weekend I had the incredible opportunity to be a part of the 2012 Students For Liberty Colorado Regional Conference hosted by University of Denver’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter. I joined nearly 100 other students and adults in a full day of thought provoking speakers, networking opportunities, and stimulating political discussion. The entire event was free of charge, from my awesome new t-shirt to the drinks during the after-event social.
Despite being the first year such a conference has been hosted in our fine state, thanks to the hard work of a lot of people it was a tremendous success. I learned so much about our Constitution and human rights, discovered internship opportunities and got to hear tremendous panels and speakers.
Each of the speakers explored a different idea in relation to liberty. Trevor Burrus discussed the impact of zones of autonomy; Michael Huemer talked immigration rights; Robert McNamara spoke on libertarian litigation and the Institute for Justice; Alexandre Padilla argued for economic education; Craig Biddle described Objectivism; and Jon Caldara called citizens to take action.
But despite each representing a different liberty-related issue, all of the speakers had similar messages which I would like to share with you.
No one person should have too much power over any other life.
Entrepreneurship and innovation need to be embraced, not discouraged.
The absolute best thing you can ever do is educate yourself. Do your absolute best to open your mind and explore problems and solutions.
Learn about your Constitution, learn about your rights. Learn about the roles these should play and the roles they actually do play.
While they may be a huge factor in what happens with our country, don’t fix political success and failures with the person in charge.
The key to change is making information available at a low cost — both in the form of time and money.
It’s alright to shake things up if it pushes the ball in the right direction.
Be an idealist. If something is worth fighting for, fight for it. Don’t be discouraged by what other people are and aren’t doing.
Ideas matter. They have power.
Individuals matter. They too have power.
Embrace camaraderie. An idea may start with one person, but no one person can push that idea forward on their own.
That last idea is something I tend to avoid. I identify as terribly introverted, and don’t tend to do a good job of connecting with strangers. But after this weekend I realized that I need to get over my inhibitions and start getting involved in the ongoing dialogue being held in a community of like-minded people.
With this motivation, on Monday night I attended the weekly meeting of CSU’s Young Americans for Liberty. The people in attendance were engaging and open to discussion, and I was blessed to come on a day when guest Tisha Casida was speaking, a small business owner who recently ran for Congress as an independent on a pro-liberty platform and the obstacles she has had to overcome with both.
I look forward to next week’s meeting, even when it means stepping outside of my comfort zone.
Even with the presidential election being over, I encourage all my readers to also get connected and network with people who have similar political dispositions.
Libertarian, Republican, Democratic… it doesn’t matter to me. You have power as an individual, and have even more power as a group. Don’t ignore political affairs because even if you don’t take an interest in politics, politics will take an interest in you.
You might as well be a step ahead in the game and get educated and organized.
I hope to never force a political agenda on anyone, but I really encourage everyone to research the speakers I listed (including Casida) and become better informed on the topics these experts advocate for. Then start a dialogue with those around you on what you have learned.
Get inspired and do something about it.