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VOL. 38


NO. 1

In This Issue: The Winning Conservative: William F. Buckley, Jr. By James Rosen

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June 15, 2017 Dear Friends,


ou may have followed the news about Ann Coulter’s planned appearance on the University of California, Berkeley campus sponsored by Young America’s Foundation.  I want you to understand exactly what happened at Berkeley. The event YAF agreed to sponsor was a traditional campus lecture at Berkeley. Coulter and YAF both expected the lecture would be in a classroom or lecture hall, as all of Coulter’s YAF-sponsored lectures had been. However, school administrators refused to assign or allow a lecture hall to be scheduled for the speech. Young America’s Foundation and the students we are working with at Berkeley filed a lawsuit in Federal Court to change these anti-conservative practices (see page four). Days before the planned appearance, it became obvious that the school was going to refuse equal protection and equal access to our event. In the meantime, Coulter started talking to the press about another approach. While Coulter would acknowledge that she had “no idea what the campus was like,” she announced she was suddenly going to unilaterally shift the event to a “dash onto Sproul Plaza with a megaphone.” [Her words.] An open-air (on Sproul Plaza) riot was never our goal. It would relegate conservatives to violent events, at best, with nothing like the venues afforded to those on the Left. The goal was and is for conservatives to have access to lecture halls and classrooms—the same access granted to those on the Left. This was never an event that we agreed to do nor encouraged Coulter to undertake. Our own assessment, confirmed by a security team we sent to Berkeley, was that an outside event would be unsafe for everyone involved. It would be a victory for the Left. Frankly, it would have been a publicity stunt and would have led to the third violent and unproductive melee at Berkeley this year. We could have protected Ann Coulter at such a “dash,” but students would not have been protected. Our students are trained to advance your ideas, not to engage in violent confrontations. Any violent confrontation would have given anti-conservative school administrators a new rationale to shut down conservative events at other campuses. We informed Coulter we would arrange an alternative event at a safe venue or, if she rejected that, even pay for her appearance if she proceeded to have her own dash across Sproul Plaza. Coulter decided, on her own, not to appear at Berkeley. Sadly, she blamed Young America’s Foundation claiming we “ordered” her not to go. Of course, we could not and did not “order” Coulter to abandon her plans. Coulter attacked us on national television for making the same choice she made on her own. Coulter also said we sided with Berkeley, despite her knowing we were suing, and still are suing, the University and its officials. The villain is the University of California, Berkeley—not Ann Coulter or Young America’s Foundation. Over the years, YAF has worked with some of the most effective advocates for our ideas. The only reason many students have heard from the likes of William F. Buckley, Walter Williams, Michelle Malkin, Dinesh D’Souza, Ben Shapiro, and, yes, Ann Coulter, along with many others, is that YAF provided the training, resources, and backbone to get these speakers on campuses in the face of great opposition.  That has not changed now and will never change.  We will seek a safe and fair environment for students participating in our programs. That is not always in our control. But, we will not find new recruits for our ideas if we knowingly send unprepared students into violent confrontations just to get our name in the news. If you have any questions about the events at Berkeley, please contact me at rrobinson@yaf.org or 800-USA-1776. Thank you. Sincerely,

Ron Robinson President

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L I BERTAS Summer 2017

Volume 38

Number 1

Special Feature: Young Americans for Freedom Campus Leaders 24

Kara Bell, University of Wisconsin – Madison By Lauren McCue, YAF Alumna


Mark Kahanding, California State University, Los Angeles By Patrick X. Coyle, Vice President


Mark Seeberg, Marquette University By Andres Taborda, Program Officer for Campus Recruitment


YAF Sues UC Berkeley for Violating First Amendment By Kimberly Begg, Vice President & General Counsel


D’Souza, Cain, Loesch, and Starnes Inspire 400 at Dallas Freedom Conference By Amy Lutz, Program Officer


The Winning Conservative: William F. Buckley, Jr. By James Rosen, Chief Washington Correspondent, Fox News


The Dirty Dozen: America’s Most Bizarre and Politically Correct College Courses By Emily Jashinsky, YAF Alumna and Commentary Writer, Washington Examiner


YAF Launches New Initiative: Censorship Exposed! By Mark Trammell, Associate General Counsel

On the Cover: VOL. 38


In This Issue: The Winning Conservative: Jr. William F. Buckley, By James Rosen

Young Americans Special Feature: Leaders for Freedom Campus

NO. 1

Also in This Issue: William F. Buckley, Jr. addresses a Young Americans for Freedom gathering during YAF’s early years.

5 Darkhorse Marines Visit Rancho del Cielo 6 Scott, Duffy, and Folsom Headline Rawhide Circle Retreat 8 Congressional Leaders Inspired at Rancho del Cielo 8 Secretary Zinke Speaks at the Reagan Ranch Center 9 New Reagan Artifacts Unveiled at the Reagan Ranch

Center 35 Join YAF Supporters for European River Cruise Libertas, the Latin word for liberty, is a publication of Young America’s Foundation which highlights the programs, events, students, staff, and supporters of the Foundation. You may contact Libertas and Young America’s Foundation by writing to: Young America’s Foundation, National Headquarters, 11480 Commerce Park Drive, Sixth Floor, Reston, Virginia 20191; calling 800-USA-1776; or visiting yaf.org. Editor: Jessica Jensen; Publisher: Ron Robinson; Publication Design: Jonathan Briggs; Assistant Editors: Jolie Ballantyne, Kimberly Begg, Amy Brooker, Spencer Brown, Cheri Cerame, Caroline Corazza, Patrick Coyle, Clare Hinshaw, Nicole Hoplin, Haley Jones, Katrina Lautenschlager, Amy Lutz, Chris Miranda, Colin Monaghan, Emma Morris, Grant Strobl, Ashley Weaver; Washington, D.C. event photographers: David Keith and Bob Updegrove; California event photographer: Jacqueline Pilar. This document and all herein contents, images, stories, graphics, and design, fall unto copyright © 2005 to 2017 Young America’s Foundation, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Any use of Libertas’ content without the written permission of Young America’s Foundation is prohibited.

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Young America’s Foundation Board Of Directors Ron Robinson President of the Board Ronald Pearson Vice President of the Board Frank Donatelli Secretary and Treasurer of the Board T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr. Wynton C. Hall Peter Schweizer James B. Taylor Thomas L. Phillips Director Emeritus

Reagan Ranch Board Of Governors Frank Donatelli Chairman Edwin Meese Co-Chairman Robert F. Agostinelli Governor George Allen Reagan Ranch Presidential Scholar John Barletta Dr. Suzanne Becker Lisa M. Buestrin Robert Cummins George & Becky Norton Dunlop Richard Gaby & Barbara Van Andel-Gaby Robert Giuffra, Jr. Timothy S. Goeglein Michael W. Grebe Ambassador Patricia L. Herbold Eric & Nicole Hoplin Harold Knapheide Mark Larson Rebekah Mercer Al Moore Dennis & Nancy Moore Doug & Pat Perry Thomas L. Phillips Rear Admiral JJ Quinn Richard & Jane Schwartz Lee Shannon Craig Shirley Owen & Bernadette Casey Smith Barbara S. Waddell Tonette Walker Jay Webber

National Journalism Center Board Of Governors T. Kenneth Cribb Jr. Chairman Chris Bedford Terry Eastland Emily Jashinsky Rich Lowry Alex Marlow The Honorable Alex Mooney Katie Pavlich Ronald Pearson Tom Winter Thomas L. Phillips Chairman Emeritus

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YAF Sues the University of California, Berkeley for Violating the First Amendment By Kimberly Begg, Vice President & General Counsel

ON MONDAY, APRIL 24, 2017, YOUNG AMERICA’S FOUNDATION (YAF) fulfilled its promise to file a lawsuit in federal court against the University of California, Berkeley for the University’s unconstitutional suppression of free speech on campus. YAF warned officials at the state university that if administrators did not stop violating the rights of conservative students, YAF would be left with no choice but to seek legal action in order to restore students’ rights. Young America’s Foundation, in coordination with students on campus, invited Ann Coulter to speak to students at Berkeley on the topic of immigration. The lecture was planned for April 27, 2017. The students did everything right. But over the course of six weeks, school administrators imposed unconstitutionally burdensome limitations on the event, refusing to assign a room or lecture hall. Administrators used a vague and unwritten “high-profile speaker policy” to discourage students from attending, informing our students of the following restrictions on speech: 1. Advertising in advance would be prohibited (so fewer students would know when and where the speech would be). 2. The venue would be in a remote location (that would not be easily accessible for most students). 3. The time of the speech would be before 3:00 p.m. (when most students would be in class). This was unacceptable. It was also unconstitutional. In recent weeks, administrators had used this unwritten policy to impose unconstitutionally burdensome limitations on events featuring two conservative speakers for YAF—Coulter and David Horowitz. During the same time period, administrators permitted events featuring Vicente Fox Quesada—former President of Mexico—and Maria Echaveste—former advisor and White House deputy chief of staff to President Clinton—to proceed without interference. This discrepancy is alarming. Students at Berkeley have the right to hear diverse viewpoints. Young America’s Foundation hired Harmeet Dhillon, a nationally-respected First Amendment attorney, to represent YAF in our lawsuit against Berkeley. 4 Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Summer 2017

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In a letter to Berkeley’s interim vice chancellor, Dhillon wrote, “UC Berkeley may not censor speech its administrators plainly disfavor, simply because a potential mob shares the administrators’ distastes…Surely a public institution of higher learning should be a crucible of challenging ideas and thought, not a kindergarten where wards of the state are fed a steady diet of pasteurized pablum.” Immigration is a topic of great interest to students at Berkeley. The reason students invited Ann Coulter to speak was to provide balance to the campus-wide discussion on immigration following Ms. Echaveste’s presentation. Berkeley’s “high-profile speaker policy” is nothing more than pretext for censoring conservative ideas on campus. This unconstitutional policy gives Berkeley administrators unfettered discretion over who is allowed to speak and what viewpoints students are allowed to hear. “It is unfortunate that the very school that is considered the ‘birthplace of the Free Speech Movement’ is now leading the charge to censor thoughts, ideas, and debate. The University of California, Berkeley’s selectively applied approach to ‘free speech’ is unacceptable,” said Ron Robinson, president of Young America’s Foundation. The Constitution demands more of a state school administrators and officials. You can read more about the situation at Berkeley and follow updates on the Foundation’s lawsuit on our website: www.yaf.org/the-truth-about-berkeley/.

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“Darkhorse” Marines Visit Rancho del Cielo THE 3RD BATTALION, 5TH MARINES, nicknamed the Darkhorse battalion, visited Rancho del Cielo for a full Reagan Ranch experience. Before the tour launched, the group heard from Lt. Col. Allen West, who had spoken at the Wendy P. McCaw Reagan Ranch Roundtable luncheon the day prior. Lt. Col. West spoke to the attendees about the importance of the battle for freedom and thanked the Marines for their dedication to the cause. Following Lt. Col. West’s remarks, the group of 50 Marines and spouses arrived at Rancho del Cielo for an exclusive tour of President Reagan’s beloved ranch. The Santa Barbara Navy League helped organize the day’s events. During the morning, the group walked in the footsteps of President Reagan by touring several buildings on the Ranch property, including the ranch house, tack barn, Secret Service Command Post, and helipad. Following the tour, the group enjoyed a barbeque luncheon on the ranch lawn next to Lake Lucky. Retired Secret Service agent and Reagan Ranch Board of Governors member John Barletta regaled the group with

The “Darkhorse” Marines and family members enjoy an afternoon at Rancho del Cielo.

stories of his time serving President Reagan and also took part in an engaging question and answer session with the Marines and their guests. Young America’s Foundation is proud to have the opportunity to give back to our brave military members as they fight for our freedom. We keep the Darkhorse Marines and their families in our thoughts and prayers as they prepare to deploy overseas.

Young America’s Foundation welcomes members of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, to the Reagan Ranch. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Summer 2017

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Scott, Duffy, and Folsom Headline Rawhide Circle Retreat in Charleston MORE THAN 80 SUPPORTERS, ALUMNI, AND GUESTS GATHERED IN CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, for Young America’s Foundation’s annual Rawhide Circle retreat. The group spent four days touring the historic city and hearing from top leaders, Senator Tim Scott speaks to Rawhide Circle attendees during the closing dinner banquet in the historic Old Exchange and Provost building in Charleston. including Senator Tim Scott, Congressman Sean Duffy, Rachel Campos-Duffy, and Dr. Burt Following his remarks, the Duffys, who frequently speak Folsom. to our student audiences and have sent their own children Special guests participating in the retreat included to the Foundation’s programs, discussed the importance Attorney General Edwin Meese and his wife, Ursula; longtime of YAF’s work. Congressman Duffy also took questions Bradley Foundation President Michael Grebe; Wisconsin’s from the audience during a spirited discussion on health First Lady Tonette Walker; Foundation Vice President of care, tax reform, and other key issues facing the House of the Board of Directors Ron Pearson; Reagan Ranch Board Representatives. of Governors Chairman Frank Donatelli; Ambassador After the briefing, participants explored Charleston via Patricia Herbold; and Heritage Foundation Ronald Reagan horse drawn carriages and guided tours. Stops included the Distinguished Fellow Becky Norton Dunlop, among others. Heyward-Washington House, where George Washington The program began with remarks from Foundation stayed during his tour of the South as President, as well as the President Ron Robinson, who shared the impact that the Nathaniel Russell House. Foundation has made on campuses across the country during The Foundation’s longest serving faculty member, Dr. Burt the past year. Folsom, headlined the opening banquet with an engaging history lesson modeled after his presentations to YAF student audiences. The next morning, Rawhide Circle participants enjoyed a ferry ride to Fort Sumter followed by an outdoor low country lunch at the Charleston Maritime Center. That evening, attendees explored the historic Old Exchange and Provost building before gathering in the grand hall for a dinner featuring Senator Tim Scott. Senator Scott discussed the importance of ensuring our students receive a quality education. The Senator also spoke about the individuals who shaped his life and the importance of hard work and individual responsibility. “My life was changed by someone quite possibly just like you,” Senator Scott told the audience. The weekend concluded with an optional day trip to Chicora Wood Plantation outside of Georgetown, South Carolina. Rawhide Circle supporters Jamie and Marcia Constance have owned the property since the 1980s and made it their life’s work to restore the property to its former glory. The Constances welcomed the Rawhide Circle retreat participants to their plantation for a memorable lunch and a Congressman Sean Duffy and Rachel Campos-Duffy speak to Rawhide Circle attendees during a special briefing at the Belmond Charleston Place Hotel. private tour of their home. 6

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Foundation supporters enjoy a morning at Fort Sumter where many participated in the daily flag raising ceremony at the national monument.

Rawhide Circle retreat participants learn about Charleston’s history during a carriage tour of the historic city.

Supporter Don Lee helps raise the American flag at Fort Sumter.

Rawhide Circle attendees enjoy a private tour of Chicora Wood Plantation hosted by fellow Foundation supporters, Jamie and Marcia Constance. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Summer 2017

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Congressional Leaders Inspired at Rancho del Cielo YOUNG AMERICA’S FOUNDATION WAS HONORED TO HOST A SPECIAL GROUP, coordinated by chairman of the Reagan Ranch

Board of Governors Frank Donatelli, for an exclusive tour of Ronald Reagan’s Western White House. Honored guests included several members of the United States House of Representatives and their wives: Congressman and Mrs. Erik Paulsen, Congressman and Mrs. Kevin Brady, and Congressman and Mrs. John Shimkus. In addition to the tour, the guests also enjoyed hearing from retired Secret Service agent and Reagan Ranch Board of Governors member John Barletta, who regaled them with stories of his time protecting President Reagan and encouraged them to stay steadfast in their defense of conservative principles. Following the tour, Congressman Brady reflected on his experience in the San Antonio Express-News: This past weekend I toured former President Ronald Reagan’s ranch in the mountains near Santa Barbara, California.

(From left) Congressman John Shimkus, Congressman Kevin Brady, John Barletta, and Congressman Erik Paulsen spend the day at Rancho del Cielo.

Beautifully preserved for future generations by the Young America’s Foundation, this modest cabin that President Reagan so loved served as the “Western White House” for his two terms in office. It was the setting for numerous historic visits, including the signing of Reagan’s historic budget and tax cuts in 1981. As chairman of the tax-writing House Ways & Means Committee, I continue to be inspired by President Reagan’s 1985 national address to the American people as he challenged them to join him in boldly reforming the broken, complex tax code.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke Speaks at the Reagan Ranch Center THE REAGAN RANCH CENTER HOSTED SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR RYAN ZINKE FOR A TOWNHALL STYLE EVENT. Zinke, who recently served as Congressman-at-large for the state of Montana, spoke before a crowd of local stakeholders and supporters of Young America’s Foundation. “I was surprised by the scope of Interior,” said Secretary Zinke, speaking of his new position. “I think it covers the greatest of our majesties.” Earlier in the day, Secretary Zinke visited the Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara. He discussed the troubles facing local fishermen and those who make a living from the natural resources in the Santa Barbara area. Of course, the Secretary was not met without resistance from the leftists in the Santa Barbara community. Many gathered outside the doors of the Reagan Ranch Center to voice their opposition to Zinke and the Trump administration. Inside, Zinke fielded questions from local students and supporters. 8

Secretary Zinke addresses local Santa Barbara residents following his visit to the Channel Islands.

The audience also learned about the important work Young America’s Foundation is doing on high school and college campuses across the country. Attendees left the event hopeful that Zinke will work to protect the Santa Barbara area’s natural resources while also looking out for small businessmen and women who seek to use and harvest those resources responsibly.

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New Reagan Artifacts Unveiled at the Reagan Ranch Center IN SEPTEMBER 2016, THE PRIVATE COLLECTION OF PRESIDENT AND MRS. RONALD REAGAN was offered through Christie’s Auctions, New York. The sale included the contents of the Reagans’ Bel Air home, representing 702 lots of furniture, decorative arts, books, memorabilia, jewelry, fine arts, drawings, and prints, several of which had been displayed or used at Rancho del Cielo. Young America’s Foundation successfully acquired several key items, which will help educate students and other Reagan Ranch Center visitors on the importance of President Reagan’s lasting accomplishments as well as the President’s ranch home and its unique place in American history. They include historic items and artwork which were once kept at the Ranch, such as:

• • •

A collection of Asian wicker baskets, used by the Reagans at Rancho del Cielo, is displayed at the Reagan Ranch Center.

Artwork original to the Reagan Ranch, including pieces by Joe Grandee and Olaf Wieghorst, can be viewed in the Center’s third floor gallery.

The Reagan family’s Thanksgiving turkey platter, which was used by the family during the holiday at Rancho del Cielo. An engraved leather frame created by Sam Sisco, whose family created several other items on display at Rancho del Cielo. Western artwork by Joe Grandee and Olaf Wieghorst.

Letters and historic artifacts, including the Reagans’ Thanksgiving platter, are preserved at the Reagan Ranch Center.

Shortly after acquiring the Thanksgiving platter and turkey-form casters, Young America’s Foundation returned the special set to Rancho del Cielo, where it was displayed through the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday.

Young America’s Foundation hopes to incorporate several of these items into new Reagan Ranch Center exhibits focused on the President’s support of free enterprise and the free exercise of religion. To that end, we acquired a set of the President’s books on theology as well as two of his Bibles. The Foundation also acquired an 1805 three-volume set of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, which the President referenced frequently in his writing and speeches. Earlier this year, Young America’s Foundation unveiled select items to the public through an ongoing display at the Reagan Ranch Center. Visitors to the education galleries now have an opportunity to see these Presidential artifacts, never before shared with the public, and gain better insight into the life of Ronald Reagan and his Ranch. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Summer 2017

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Foundation student activists Clare McKinney from Saint Mary’s College and Viraktep Ath from the University of California, Riverside meet with businessman Herman Cain following his remarks in Dallas.


Students from around the country enjoy the Foundation’s weekend-long program in Dallas, Texas.

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Bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza enlightens more than 400 attendees at Young America’s Foundation’s Dallas Freedom Conference.

D’Souza, Cain, Loesch, and Starnes Inspire More Than 400 Attendees at Dallas Freedom Conference By Amy Lutz, Program Officer


Talk radio host Dana Loesch speaks with students following her speech on the importance of protecting the Second Amendment.

ore than 400 participants from around the country gathered in Dallas, Texas, for Young America’s Foundation’s Dallas Freedom Conference. The students represented 134 schools, 31 states, and the District of Columbia. Conference Director Jolie Ballantyne opened the conference, saying, “The media will tell you young people are flocking to the Left. But, here at YAF, we know that’s not true.” Businessman Herman Cain spoke to students and supporters during the opening banquet. Looking over the crowd, Cain said, “I’m so proud of the inspiration you bring to me and other conservatives.” He encouraged the students to be bold activists and vocal supporters of their shared values. “Freedom is not free. You have to constantly fight to protect it,” said Cain. True The Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht opened the second day of the conference, speaking about her organization’s efforts to curb voter fraud. Engelbrecht encouraged students to pursue civic engagement in their local communities. Attorney David Hacker spoke to students about their legal rights on campus. “What happens on campus, doesn’t stay on campus,” said Hacker, (Continued on page 12) Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Summer 2017

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Students from 134 schools travel to Dallas for the Foundation’s regional conference featuring some of the Conservative Movement’s top leaders and tacticians.

Fox News’s Todd Starnes encourages the young audience to be bold in their efforts to advance freedom on their campuses.

(Continued from page 11) discussing pervasive government overreach. He encouraged students to fight for their freedoms and to “not be afraid to share your ideas with people who disagree with you on campus.” Victoria Arnold Smither of Texas Right to Life followed with the best arguments pro-life students can use to further their cause. “Being pro-life is pro-women,” said Smither, encouraging the men and women to defend the rights of the unborn. 12

Lindsay Gatsios from the University of Akron (right) and Jade Fuller from Allan Hancock College (left) participate in a question and answer session with a speaker during the weekend-long program.

After lunch, the students enjoyed learning from filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza, who was traveling the country as part of the Foundation’s D’Souza Unchained Lecture Series. During his remarks, D’Souza discussed the true nature of conservatism. “It’s not so much that young people reject conservatism,” D’Souza explained, “It’s that they don’t know what it is.” He encouraged students to be brave in their battles on campus, noting, “In today’s campus environment, you can’t be honest if you don’t have courage.” Fox News’s Todd Starnes encouraged students with a

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Foundation alumna Kirstinia Jurovich (right) enjoys the opening dinner banquet with like-minded friends at the Dallas Freedom Conference.

Freedom Conference attendees strengthen their understanding of conservative ideas and network with peers.

humorous, but impactful, take on the challenges of fighting for freedom in the coming year. “We are freedom’s last line of defense,” stated Starnes. “Let the flame of freedom shine bright for all to see.” Author and radio host Dana Loesch wrapped up the conference with a bold defense of the Second Amendment. “No one should have to sit here and plead and beg for their right to self defense,” stated Loesch, encouraging students to be courageous in their fights for their constitutionally protected rights.

Following the conference, students returned to their schools, excited to share their newfound knowledge and activism strategies with their peers. Andrew Smith of The George Washington University quoted William F. Buckley, Jr., stating that he was “ready to stand athwart history yelling stop,” when he returned to campus, planning to fight against the progressive onslaught around him. Tiffany Hoss from the University of Southern California said that she’s “never been more sure that our future is so bright,” after attending the Dallas Freedom Conference. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Summer 2017

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The Winning Conservative: William F. Buckley, Jr. By James Rosen, Chief Washington Correspondent, Fox News


s soon as I answered my iPhone on that busy Wednesday afternoon last fall, I could tell I was on speakerphone and that several people, at the other end of the line, had crowded together to participate in the call. The ringleader, his grin discernible over the phone, was Campbell Wharton of Crown Forum, publisher of my most recent book. A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century (ATKL), a collection of eulogies by the late William F. Buckley, Jr. (WFB) that I had conceived and edited, had debuted a few weeks earlier, and Campbell, an ebullient Australian, had good news: “You’ve returned Bill Buckley to the New York Times bestseller list!” While I was proud of the book—it had been a labor of love, curated by a longtime Buckley fan who owed his start in journalism to him—I was thunderstruck that it had become a bestseller. After all, even though various friends and colleagues at Fox News and elsewhere had allowed me to promote A Torch Kept Lit on their programs, generously providing the visibility needed to propel sales, it was still, at bottom, a book of eulogies by a dead writer with a penchant for polysyllabic formulations…not the easiest sales pitch to make in the flush of fall publishing promotion. Maybe no 14

one is ever quite prepared for his first appearance on the New York Times list. For WFB, of course, it had been a regular occurrence. “Most of the books I’ve written have been on the bestseller list,” he told C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb in 1993; elsewhere Bill boasted of having maintained “a small apartment” on the Times list. Not knowing what else to say to the assembled servants of the Crown, I acquainted my callers with the story of how Pat Buckley, WFB’s wife for 57 years, had framed the Times list that included, for the first time, two Buckleys on it at once: Pat’s famous husband and their novelist son, Christopher. Appropriate sentiments were exchanged, the call ended, and I reveled quietly in my success. Two hours later I received another call: from Jack Fowler, then the publisher of National Review, the magazine Buckley had founded in 1955, and a boundlessly kind soul whose permission, along with Christopher’s, had been necessary for ATKL to progress from concept to reality. Jack seemed unaware of the book’s milestone; in fact he was calling with bad news: A longtime National Review editor—someone who had edited my first published article, way back in 1992, and a longtime colleague and biographer of Bill’s— was suffering from esophageal cancer. Jack was calling from

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T H E W I N N I N G C O N S E R V AT I V E : W I L L I A M F. B U C K L E Y, J R .

her apartment, which he described to me as equivalent, in its manifestations of hoarding, to what one sees on reality shows about people who suffer from the disorder. He was trying to dispose of the lady’s effects and had come across something that prompted him to call me, a VHS tape labeled: JAMES ROSEN INTERVIEW FOR OUR FILES 11/6/00 Did I want it? Jack wanted to know. I had a feeling I knew exactly what was on the cassette: the two television news stories, totaling 15 minutes in length, that had aired on consecutive nights on Fox News that longago November, featuring highlights from an hour-long oncamera interview I had conducted with Buckley to mark his 75th birthday. I had had the two stories dubbed down to a VHS tape—still in circulation at the turn of the century—so that WFB could see how they had turned out and retain them for his files. I had no need of the tape; Fox News was still in possession not only of videos of the program on which the segments had aired (Special Report with Brit Hume) but also the complete raw footage of the interview itself, which had been conducted at WFB’s East 73rd Street maisonette on October 26 of that year. But good reporters are themselves

hoarders, or at least diligent packrats, and I found myself replying to Jack: Sure; send it along. Two days later a small padded envelope bearing a National Review mailing label arrived on my desk at the Fox News Washington bureau. I opened it up, and sure enough, there was your standard-issue Maxell VHS tape, labeled as advertised. I then took a step Jack Fowler, quite naturally, had not thought to take. I removed the unmarked black cassette from its blue and white cover, and out tumbled something else entirely: a powder-blue index card, roughly three by five inches, with the National Review address and telephone number stamped at top, along with the words: Wm. F. Buckley Jr., Editor-at-Large Below that, in the barely-legible red ballpoint chickenscratch that was one of his hallmarks, Buckley had written: For James Rosen Please return I hope I didn’t screw up! B Good God, it was a communication from the grave—or the heavens! In literal terms, it was a note WFB had scrawled,

William F. Buckley, Jr. addresses students at the University of Missouri as part of the Foundation’s Henry Salvatori Distinguished Lecture Series in 1993. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Summer 2017

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T H E W I N N I N G C O N S E R V AT I V E : W I L L I A M F. B U C K L E Y, J R .

most likely to the NR editor amongst whose effects it had been discovered, signaling that the great man had watched the segments sent to him and instructing that the VHS tape be returned to me. Instead, the cassette, along with Bill’s note, had been squirreled away in some chaotic hoarding scene in Manhattan for sixteen years…And now both were reaching my hands at this precise moment: not one year earlier, when I had started work on A Torch Kept Lit, nor six weeks earlier, nor six weeks hence, but at virtually the instant the editors at Crown had called to rejoice that I had “returned” Bill Buckley to the Times bestseller list… For James Rosen Please return A return, indeed! Was this WFB gently reaching out from the Great Beyond, thanking me for enabling him to revisit

his “little apartment” on the Times list and stewarding his memory and legacy, as a conservative thinker and genius literary stylist, to appreciative new audiences? How many times had Bill Buckley written out the words “James Rosen” in his life? Probably on two occasions: when we first met, at the NR offices in September 1991, when I’d asked him to sign a couple of his books for me; and again in this instance, unknown to me for a generation after its occurrence, suddenly sprung on me by— By what, exactly? Crazy coincidence? WFB would have been the first to cite divine intervention. He was a devout Catholic, of the “defiantly pre-Vatican II” strain, as Christopher has recalled, and faith was inseparable from all of WFB’s multifaceted and winning pursuits: writing, lecturing, TV hosting, debating, sailing, skiing, harpsichord playing, founding the modern conservative movement. In our interview in October 2000, I had reminded Bill of the famous TIME magazine cover of April 8, 1966, which featured the words “Is God Dead?” placed in bloodred against a black backdrop. Had the intervening decades, I asked, settled that question? “Well, all attempts—and they have been diligent and long-lasting—to bury God have failed,” WFB replied. “The notion that God is moribund, it seems to me, is challenged as a matter of faith by the Gospel, where Christ said [Matthew 16:18] that the gates of hell would not prevail against him; we believe that’s correct. Plus, also, we’ve seen and evaluated any number of efforts, empirically and philosophically, to deny His existence, and they haven’t succeeded. I suppose one way of saying it is: How many intelligent people believe in God? The answer is: an awful lot.” * * *

Buckley addresses the 1973 Young Americans for Freedom convention in Washington, D.C.


Therein resides the chief reason, among many, why William F. Buckley, Jr., who died at 82 in February 2008, nearly a decade ago, remains relevant today—not just to conservatives but to activists of all stripes, and indeed to all Americans. At a promotional event for ATKL, held at Microsoft’s Washington offices last November, I was asked how WFB managed to juggle so much and accomplish so much. My answer boiled down to: faith and family. The certitude that informed Buckley’s activism, made him so entertaining a polemicist to read and watch, was rooted in the divinity, and security, he found in Catholicism. “He had imbibed his catechism at the knee of a deeply devout New Orleans Catholic lady,” Christopher wrote in his memoir Losing Mum and Pup (2009), “who instilled in him what Chesterton and Waugh called the nurserystory aspect of Christianity.” Accordingly WFB felt no conflict between his religious beliefs and his authorship

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T H E W I N N I N G C O N S E R V AT I V E : W I L L I A M F. B U C K L E Y, J R .

of the narratives woven in 60 books, 5,600 columns, and a thousand Firing Line episodes. At the same time Christopher reported that his famous and peripatetic Dad, known for delivering 70 lectures a year, fees typically donated to National Review, “elaborately subcontracted” out to others the fatherly duties associated with raising his son. The principal inheritor, and executor, of these duties was Patricia Taylor Buckley, who captained the ship of the Buckleys’ lives across 57 years of marriage while her husband forged a career, built a movement, ensconced himself on the Times bestseller list, and sailed the world. He simply couldn’t have done it all without Pat. Yet the central presence of faith and family in Bill’s life hardly inoculated him from despair; indeed as a writer and romantic, TV host and stage performer, WFB may have been unusually susceptible to it. “Industry is the enemy of melancholy,” he liked to say—and here was another secret of Bill’s success: He kept busy, kept moving, kept challenging himself. A clumsy user of the Olivetti Lettera 32 typewriter, he migrated, in his fifties, to the word processor and then the computer. Having conquered the Atlantic, he trained his sextant on the Pacific. After two decades of political writing, he turned to spy novels and made bestsellers of those, too. Writing about Buckley in 1979, Kurt Vonnegut marveled at the “uniformly first rate” caliber of his canon of writings, which the legendary novelist considered examples of

Foundation President Ron Robinson meets with Buckley.

William F. Buckley, Jr. addresses one of the many campuses he visited as part of the Foundation’s campus lecture program. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Summer 2017

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“unbridled happiness…shrewd comedies and celebrations of the English language.” “He is a superb sailor and skier as well— and multilingual, and a musician, and an airplane pilot, and a family man, and polite and amusing to strangers. He is, like the Yale-educated hero of his novel Saving the Queen [1976], startlingly good-looking…. So whenever I see Mr. Buckley, I think this, and word of honor, without an atom of irony: ‘There is a man who has won the decathlon of human existence.’” George Will put it slightly differently: Buckley, he wrote in a blurb for A Torch Kept Lit, “was both an ideological warrior and a bon vivant with a talent for friendship. He understood that a well-lived life should be simultaneously serious and fun...” Today’s conservatives wondering how to attract adherents to their cause—most especially those at Young Americans for Freedom, a group midwifed at the Buckley estate—would be well advised, just as liberal activists would be, to study WFB’s brilliant use of rhetoric and to emulate today, to the extent possible, his deftness in balancing the

appetites and conceits of the different strains of the movement that existed in his own time. Most important, young activists looking to channel WFB’s spirit, and accomplish Big Things as he did—there cannot be a “new” Bill Buckley, any more than there can be another Beatles—must take inspiration, above all else, from his zest for life and his fusion of profound religious faith with the conviction that anything one undertakes can be approached with good humor and gentility. “WILLIAM BUCKLEY: CONSERVATISM CAN BE FUN,” read the headline on the November 3, 1967, cover of TIME, decked out with David Levine’s marvelous pen-and-ink caricature of WFB, pen in mouth. Simultaneously serious and fun: That’s how Bill Buckley built a movement, and sustained it, over decades’ time. When he told us he would sooner be governed by the first 2,000 people in the Boston telephone directory than by the faculty of Harvard University; or when, countering assertions of moral equivalence between the KGB and the CIA, he pointed out that men who push old ladies into the way of an onrushing bus and men who push old ladies out of the way of an onrushing bus should not be grouped together as men who push old ladies around, Buckley was flashing his forensic ingenuity but also his preference, as a polemicist, for wit above simplicity. He could more easily have told us that intellectuals make bad governors, or that the sins of American spies are more forgivable than those of their Soviet counterparts—but no one would have remembered it.

Simultaneously serious and

fun: That’s how

Bill Buckley built

a movement, and sustained it, over decades’ time.

* * * A last quality of WFB’s that warrants emulation, exceedingly relevant in today’s harshly polarized political climate, is his gift for what he called “trans-ideological” friendships. Among the most tender eulogies collected in A Torch Kept Lit are those Buckley wrote for friends who were liberals: among them Allard Lowenstein, the one-term Manhattan congressman who had encouraged Eugene McCarthy to challenge President Johnson in the primaries of 1968 (and who was assassinated in 1980); and John Kenneth Galbraith, President Kennedy’s ambassador to India, a frequent debating partner and skiing companion of Buckley’s in Gstaad, Switzerland. Space constraints mandated the exclusion from ATKL of a number of eulogies Buckley wrote of surpassing value; one of them was for the Reverend William Sloane Coffin (1924-2006), the ordained Presbyterian minister, integration advocate, and antiwar/antinuclear activist. Though he graduated from Yale a year ahead of Buckley, the two did 18

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Buckley speaks with students at Wabash College following his remarks in 1993.

James Rosen interviews William F. Buckley, Jr. for a special Fox News segment commemorating Buckley’s 75th birthday.

Rosen addresses Young America’s Foundation’s students, supporters, and friends at our national headquarters in 2016.

not meet until years later, and they struck up a lively— often hilarious—rapport. Almost 15 years after Rev. Coffin debuted on Firing Line, he returned, in December 1980, to debate the merits of nuclear disarmament with the Soviet Union. “We have no choice but to trust, and they [the Soviets] have no choice but to trust,” Coffin argued. “I have a choice,” Buckley countered impishly. “I elect not to trust. Put me down for not trusting.” “Sweet William,” Coffin wrote to Bill in June 2003, enclosing the text of an address delivered at Yale the week before. “The enclosed speech to the Class of ’68, you will be sorry to hear, was received with tumultuous applause. Don’t worry, however, you, alas, represent the ruling view…. Affectionately as always, Bill.” “I am not surprised your

speech was greeted by tumultuous applause,” replied Buckley. “That is what demagogy is designed to do, dear William.” The winning conservative, then—and was there ever one more successful than Bill Buckley, credited by no less a figure than Ronald Reagan with converting the 40th President from liberalism?—will be the one who engages regularly, even fondly, with liberals. To do so, for the committed ideological warrior, is to heed the maxims of Sun Tzu (“know thy enemy”), and, more fundamentally, to exhibit a certain humility before God, the very quality that led even the most practiced of television performers, watching himself on a VHS playback, to think: I hope I didn’t screw up! ————————————————————————— James Rosen is chief Washington correspondent of Fox News. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Summer 2017

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The Dirty Dozen: America’s Most Bizarre and Politically Correct College Courses By Emily Jashinsky, Young America’s Foundation alumna and commentary writer, Washington Examiner


s student debt soars—averaging $37,000 for today’s graduates—college students are studying transgender Latina immigration, ecofeminism, gender and food politics, and more. Young America’s Foundation’s Dirty Dozen list highlights the most bizarre and concerning instances of leftist activism supplanting traditional scholarship in our nation’s colleges and universities. The list is extracted from the Foundation’s popular Comedy & Tragedy survey listing troubling courses offered by the nation’s top schools. Young America’s Foundation frequently produces reports on course offerings at top colleges in order to give the public a glimpse into the increasingly radical world of academia. As the cost of tuition has gone up, the quality of education has gone down. America’s famed Ivy League institutions have long stood as powerful examples of our nation’s proud tradition of leadership in academia. They were intellectual springboards for many of our country’s Founding Fathers and greatest thinkers. Today, they still tower above international competition as the most prestigious institutions of higher education worldwide. But what they’re teaching America’s best and brightest young minds has devolved into satire. It’s no secret that America’s colleges and universities have operated as bastions of radical liberal thought and activism for at least the last half-century. Despite increased public pressure for intellectual balance, however, higher education is only devolving further into ideological monopoly. 20

No longer are our nation’s professors teaching students material that is simply biased. They’re also teaching students nonsensical material focusing on topics increasingly beneath the dignity of the degrees they’re working to earn. Classes with little relevance and comically bizarre titles such as “Transgender Cultural Production,” “Hand to Mouth: Writing, Eating, and the Construction of Gender,” and “Friends with Benefits?” can be found among the course listings at these elite schools. Not only are these classes featuring comparatively trivial matters, they’re also promotional vehicles for radical leftist teachings. Based on the course descriptions alone, we know that many of the classes advocate liberal narratives about racism, sexism, homophobia, American exceptionalism, and more. Universities are eager to offer courses focused on these topics, but it’s far more difficult to find many classes that provide an unbiased perspective on traditional conservative philosophy or leading thinkers such as Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek. The sad truth is that many of America’s greatest minds are spending four formative years and tens of thousands of dollars sitting in classes such as “Ecofeminism,” and “Queering God,” which clearly do little to equip them to face the real and complex problems our country desperately needs them to solve. Similarly, these courses do little to improve students’ job prospects post-graduation. The Dirty Dozen list featured here includes course descriptions exactly as they appear on each school’s website. Comedy & Tragedy can be read in full on Young America’s Foundation’s website, yaf.org.

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University of Arkansas


Yale University

ARCH 1013: Diversity and Design

WGSS 324b: Transgender Cultural Production

Explores the reciprocal relationship between diversity and design in America, investigating how race, gender, religion, ability, age, class, and location affect and are affected by the design of media, products, architecture, and cities/regions. Positive and negative effects of diversity and design are discussed.

Introduction to Trans-Studies, with focus on transfeminist cultural production in the United States and Canada. Exploration of key theoretical texts; activist histories and archives; and wide range of expressive cultures, including film and video, performance, spoken word, memoir, blogging, and other new media.


University of Florida

AFA 4352: Black Hair Politics Provides a comprehensive interdisciplinary examination of the history, sociology, psychology, and economics of Black hair. Students will explore the textures, styles, and meanings of Black hair as they relate to identity and power in society.


University of Florida

WST 3663: Gender and Food Politics Survey of the gendered history of food and foodways from the early 17th century to the modern period; may be taught with a service learning component.


University of South Carolina

PHIL 535: Ecofeminism An exploration of the connections between oppression of women and oppression of nature.


Dartmouth College

WGSS 53.02: Hand to Mouth: Writing, Eating, and the Construction of Gender Our perceptions of food are often limited to familiarity with its preparation and consumption, but do we consider food as an extension of the self or as a marker of class, gender, and sexuality? This course will look at food as an intersection of production, consumption, and signification, and at how different cultural traditions regulate gender by infusing food with socially determined codes. Readings include Margaret Atwood, Isak Dinesen, Marguerite Duras, Laura Esquival, among others.


Williams College

AMST 440: Racial Capitalism This class will interrogate the ways in which capitalist economies have “always and everywhere” relied upon forms of racist domination and exclusion. Although the United States (Continued on page 22) Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Summer 2017

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(Continued from page 21) will be in the foreground, the subject requires an international perspective by its very nature. We will consider the ways in which the violent expropriation of land from the indigenous peoples of the Americas, paired with chattel slavery and other coercive forms of labor, made possible the rise of a capitalist world economy centered in Europe during the early modern period. We will then explore ways racial divisions have undermined the potential for unified movements of poor and working people to challenge the prerogatives of wealthy citizens and served to excuse imperial violence waged in the name of securing resources and “opening markets.” Ideas about gender and sexuality always undergird racial imaginaries, so we will study, for instance, the ways rhetoric about “welfare queens” has impacted public assistance programs, and claims about the embodiment of Asian women play into the international division of labor. We will also be attentive to the means—from interracial unionism to national liberation struggles—by which subjects of racial capitalism have resisted its dehumanizing effects. This is a reading intensive course that will challenge students to synthesize historical knowledge with concepts drawn from scholars working in the traditions of Marxist, decolonial, and materialist feminist thought, including: Angela Davis, Cedric Robinson, Anibal Quijano, Chandra Mohanty, David Roediger, Stuart Hall, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, and Silvia Federici.


Swarthmore College

RELG 032: Queering God: Feminist and Queer Theology The God of the Bible and later Jewish and Christian literature is distinctively masculine, definitely male. Or is He? If we can point out places in traditional writings where God is nurturing, forgiving, and loving, does that mean that God is feminine, or female? This course examines feminist and queer writings about God, explores the tensions between feminist and queer theology, and seeks to stretch the limits of gendering—and sexing—the divine. Key themes include: gender; embodiment; masculinity; liberation; sexuality; feminism; and queer theory.


University of Missouri

SOCIOL 3330: Environmental Justice Environmental justice refers to the ways in which the “cost and benefits” of modern industrial society are distributed among social groups. This course is concerned with justice, not as an abstract concept, and inequality not in terms of numbers in a bank account. Social justice or inequality are lived, embodied experiences. An individual’s likelihood of experiencing environmental harm is related to intersecting 22

gender, race and class formations, among other things. Justice or inequality is not only embodied, it also happens in places—national and regional differences matter. In this course we will look at some of the extensive literature documenting the ways in which communities of color and poor communities are subject to disproportionate environmental risks. In addition, we will focus on gender as an important category in understanding environmental inequality.

10 Middlebury College GSFS 0413: White People White people are often invisible when it comes to having a race. In this course we will begin by considering the formation of whiteness in post Civil War America. We will read histories of whiteness, such as Grace Elizabeth Hale’s Making Whiteness, as well as consider important milestones in whiteness, from the films Birth of a Nation and Gone With The Wind to the blog “What White People Like.” Finally we will use essays, blogs, photographs, and videos to make white people at Middlebury visible by documenting how they represent themselves through language, dress, and rituals.

11 Bowdoin College GWS 2305 c-ESD: Transgender Latina Immigration: Politics of Belonging and Labor in the United States What happens to feminist theory and practice when the lives of transgender Latina immigrants in the U.S. are explored? How does this academic practice shape the way the power of immigration policy, biological determinism, and nativism are analyzed? Drawing from transgender studies, women of color feminisms, and sociology of labor migration, uses an interdisciplinary approach to critically examine the lives of transgender Latina immigrants in the U.S. Considers social difference along the lines of class, race, gender identity, and immigration status illuminating the various ways in which social and material borders have been constructed around gender and geographical terrains. Focuses on the current social conditions of transgender Latinas in the U.S. and brings to the surface the implications of socially constructed categories of gender and citizenship in the country.

12 University of Mississippi G St 326: Saints and Sexuality A survey of holy figures within Christianity and Islam with an emphasis on gender and the body.

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FREEDOM... ...is never more than one generation away from extinction. —PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN

The Left controls our schools, but the future belongs to young people. Young America’s Foundation is the largest, most effective youth outreach organization in the Conservative Movement. We recruit and inspire America’s most promising young leaders to spread a love for freedom on their campuses. By reaching increasing numbers of impressionable young people, we will eliminate the Left’s advantage at our schools. You can make a gift through your estate that will change lives, control what young people learn about America and freedom, and define your legacy on your terms. Please contact Kimberly Begg, Esq., vice president and general counsel, at 800-USA-1776 or kbegg@yaf.org to request a free, noobligation copy of Young America’s Foundation’s popular Investing in the Future estate planning guide and workbook. Supplies are limited and will be sent on a first-come, first-served basis. BO WorEstate NU kb Plan S: ook ni

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to Strengthen the

t h e

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Guide Estate Planning ent Conservative Movem

Campus lectures, activism initiatives, Young Americans for Freedom chapters

National conferences, Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise programs, National Journalism Center internships

www.yaf.org 800-USA-1776

The Reagan Ranch Center 217 State Street, Santa Barbara, California 93101 National Headquarters 11480 Commerce Park Drive, Sixth Floor, Reston, Virginia 20191

Reagan Ranch & Reagan Ranch Center conferences, seminars, and internships

© Copyright 2016 Young America’s Foundation

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Special Feature: Young Americans for Freedom Campus Leaders

Kara Bell University of Wisconsin – Madison By Lauren McCue, YAF Alumna


he University I became inspired to have a of Wisconsin career within the Conservative in Madison Movement,” Bell noted. “I has always joined the Young Americans been a bit strange,” wrote for Freedom chapter at the Washington Times Opinion University of Wisconsin – Editor David Keene, reflecting Madison, and later became on the school’s long history as the chair. Although the a bastion of radical liberalism. organization receives its It is also a history Keene weekly dose of criticism from experienced first-hand, as left-wing student groups, founder and chairman of and other students routinely Young Americans for Freedom challenge me, I no longer feel at the University of Wisconsin uncomfortable defending my in the 1960s. beliefs. Because of YAF, I feel Today, the University of confident and willing to engage Wisconsin YAF’s chairwoman, in impactful, intellectually sophomore Kara Bell, would stimulating discussion.” University of Wisconsin YAF Chairwoman Kara Bell introduces herself probably agree with Mr. Keene’s during the 2017 Young Americans for Freedom alumni luncheon near Prior to assuming the role Washington, D.C. assessment. Bell, who first of chairwoman, Bell served became involved as a member as the chapter’s recruitment of the group’s leadership board in 2015, leads the most active officer, growing the club from a small group of students to the conservative group on the 30,000-student campus, infamous largest and most influential conservative group on campus. for its long history of liberal activism and leftist protests. Bell has also successfully organized many Foundation activism As Keene noted in his December 2016 Washington initiatives, including the 9/11: Never Forget Project, Freedom Times editorial, “The left today works overtime to keep Week, and the GPA Redistribution Project. In addition, she individuals and groups that might express even mainstream worked with Young America’s Foundation to bring prominent mid-American views off our campuses. Wisconsin leftists, conservative speakers, including Dinesh D’Souza, Ben Shapiro, always a step ahead of others, were early to conclude that the John McAdams, and Robert Spencer, to the University of proper way to deal with dissent was to ban it or to attack the Wisconsin. dissenters. Madison radicals were early believers in denying Of course, Bell’s successful conservative activism has speakers they didn’t like a campus forum.” not gone unopposed by the Left. Her YAF chapter’s fliers And they continue to do so today. However, thanks to advertising the D’Souza lecture were repeatedly ripped down Kara Bell’s determined leadership and her fellow activists’ and defaced, but this did not stop Bell and her fellow YAF perseverance, conservatives at the University of Wisconsin are chapter members from diligently promoting the event. The actively advancing their ideas despite continued attacks by young conservatives quickly adopted a most fitting counterleftist students and administrators. strategy: “When one leftist tears down a flier, a YAF activist is Kara Bell credits Young America’s Foundation’s programs not far behind ready to post ten more.” with making her passionate about conservative ideas. “After The effectiveness of Kara’s leadership is summed up by attending the 2015 National Conservative Student Conference, fellow University of Wisconsin YAF activist Ellen Schutt: “Kara 24

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Special Feature: Young Americans for Freedom Campus Leaders has been fearless in pursuing a positive, conservative voice on campus and hasn’t backed down no matter how much push back and negativity we face from crazy protestors, campus staff, and students.” Bell consistently uses leftist adversity as an opportunity to lead her chapter, responding with bold action. In late 2016, University of Wisconsin YAF hosted conservative author and Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro as part of the Wendy P. McCaw Freedom Lecture Series. Shapiro spoke on “microaggressions,” “safe spaces,” political correctness, and free speech on college campuses. Even though the University of Wisconsin has welcomed a myriad of leftists—including Katie Couric, Laverne Cox, Bernie Sanders, and John Waters—in recent years, campus liberals were determined to stop the Shapiro event from happening. Instead of respectfully listening to an opposing viewpoint, or simply not attending the voluntary lecture, they launched into protests in an effort to disrupt the lecture. Bell (left) introduces Ben Shapiro to a capacity audience (below) at the University of Wisconsin.

Campus security refused to remove the agitators, but this did not stop Bell and her YAF chapter from proceeding with the event. As a result of their perseverance, hundreds of students heard Ben Shapiro articulately explain and defend conservative ideas, and more than 407,000 have viewed the program online. However, just days after the successful lecture, a group of campus liberals called “UW Student Coalition for Progress” authored a petition asking the University of Wisconsin to officially denounce the YAF chapter. The petition received only 200 signatures (less than 1% of the school’s student body), coming up short of the 500-signature goal. Even the university stated that the petition was invalid, reaffirming YAF’s status as a student organization in good standing. In the wake of the failed petition, the New York Post endorsed the efforts of the University of Wisconsin YAF chapter under Kara’s leadership, describing YAF as a “Reaganite bunch” that is “spreading love of free markets and other conservative ideas.” The Post also criticized Madison’s campus leftists, noting, “Sadly, the kids who need re-education—or, rather, a basic education in the fundamentals of civilized discourse—are the ones in the Student Coalition for Progress.” Indeed, Kara Bell has worked tirelessly to ensure conservatives have a voice at the University of Wisconsin, exemplifying the mission of Young Americans for Freedom. And with each speaker she hosts and each activism initiative she organizes, Kara Bell is making the University of Wisconsin a little less “strange” and a little more free.

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Special Feature: Young Americans for Freedom Campus Leaders

Mark Kahanding California State University, Los Angeles By Patrick X. Coyle, Vice President


ark Kahanding, a sophomore at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) is a fearless fighter for freedom in one of the most hostile environments: his college campus. He has proven that conservatives do not need to moderate our message in order to reach broad audiences. At a school where 92% of students are racial minorities, Kahanding is breaking down leftist barriers which have barred conservative voices from this campus for decades.

Americans. Kahanding notes, “Shapiro’s book showed me that the Left was full of horrible people that I thought were tolerant, but they were just hypocrites.” This inspired Kahanding to invite Ben Shapiro (for his club’s first event) to speak on “When Diversity Becomes a Problem.” The YAF chapter did not fall victim to the Left’s intimidation tactics, which included sociology professor Robert Weide challenging conservative students to a wrestling match, and Black Lives Matter founder professor Melina Abdullah mobilizing the Black Lives Matter movement against YAF and Ben Shapiro. Instead of backing down, Kahanding and his chapter plastered their campus with event fliers, making sure everyone knew about Shapiro’s lecture. The day of the event, Kahanding and his club stood strong despite violent protests. Leftists formed a human chain around the entire auditorium in an organized effort to prevent anyone from hearing Shapiro speak. Kahanding and his fellow YAF members persevered, determined to ensure students who wanted to hear conservative ideas had the opportunity to do so. Using a police escort, the YAF chapter “smuggled” students, three at a time, through the auditorium’s back door. Fox Business covered the lecture and protests throughout the day, and Fox News, the Daily Caller, College Fix, and many other

Mark Kahanding, chairman of the Young Americans for Freedom chapter at California State University, Los Angeles, shares his activism advice and experiences with students attending the Foundation’s 2016 Fall College Retreat in Reston, Virginia.

As a freshman, Kahanding started his Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter. He quickly garnered support on campus. Today, his chapter now has more than 100 active members. However, before leading his peers to a conservative conversion, this young leader made a conservative transformation of his own. Formerly a self-proclaimed Maoist, Kahanding admits he once embraced socialist ideologies. This was until he read Ben Shapiro’s book, Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences 26

Kahanding participates in a YAF activism training seminar at the Foundation’s national headquarters in June 2016.

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Special Feature: Young Americans for Freedom Campus Leaders

Christina Hoff Sommers addresses a packed lecture hall at CSULA—one of several successful campus lectures organized by Kahanding and his fellow YAF activists during the 2016-2017 school year.

A Breitbart reporter interviews Kahanding during his YAF chapter’s lecture featuring Ben Shapiro—an event initially cancelled by the school’s president and heavily protested by campus leftists.

outlets also featured the events at CSULA. Young America’s Foundation also live-streamed Shapiro’s remarks, which have since been viewed more than one million times online. Kahanding’s fellow members also filmed a meeting where CSULA President William Covino told Marxist faculty members and students that he would never invite speakers, such as Ben Shapiro, to campus. Young America’s Foundation worked with Kahanding to expose the president’s statements. In May 2016—with the legal assistance of Alliance Defending Freedom, Young America’s Foundation, Ben Shapiro—Mark Kahanding, and another CSULA student sued University President Covino, various administrators, and two professors for violating the conservative students’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. YAF won this important legal fight, and the campus is now changing its policies to be more inclusive of all speech. Free speech prevailed at CSULA because Mark Kahanding and his YAF chapter bravely took these necessary steps to hold the school accountable. And Kahanding’s conservative activism did not end there; it

continued to flourish. Because Kahanding brought conservative ideas to his hostile campus, others who shared common values joined his YAF chapter. Remarkably, several new members had protested Shapiro’s lecture but, through hearing and learning about conservative ideas, they realized they agreed with the values for which YAF advocates: limited government, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values. Kahanding has since organized additional activism initiatives including Young America’s Foundation’s 9/11: Never Forget Project, No More Che Day, Freedom Week, and the Funeral for Halloween. He also created a Blue Lives Matter activism initiative after leftist students met with administrators to try to ban the police from campus. Kahanding has led his YAF chapter in hosting three prominent conservative women to speak at CSULA. Christina Hoff Sommers addressed what is wrong with the modern day feminist movement, and Star Parker spread the prolife message to minority students. His chapter welcomed television personality Rachel Campos-Duffy, who reflected on how conservative values are Latino values. Kahanding also invited Senator Rick Santorum to speak on religious liberty. In his 1975 speech to CPAC, Ronald Reagan said that conservatives should be “raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors.” Mark Kahanding has embodied this throughout his time as an activist at CSULA, and he continues to inspire other conservative students to be bold and unapologetic in their defense of freedom. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Summer 2017

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Special Feature: Young Americans for Freedom Campus Leaders

Mark Seeberg Marquette University By Andres Taborda, Program Officer for Campus Recruitment


ighting for conservative ideas can be an uphill battle—even on a Catholic campus. At Marquette University in Milwaukee, Mark Seeberg, chairman of the campus Young Americans for Freedom chapter, has experienced hostility towards conservatives but has not been deterred from making sure students hear a conservative message. Seeberg first discovered Young America’s Foundation while in high school when he noticed the Foundation’s logo on

It did not take long for Seeberg to become the leader of Marquette YAF and make a difference on campus. “I was tired of seeing Marquette become more and more liberal,” he said. Incidents, including his theology professor devoting an entire class to vent and complain about Donald Trump as well as rhetoric from leftist campus groups, were enough for Seeberg to know that he needed to take advantage of Young America’s Foundation’s campus lecture program. Seeing his friends fall for traditional leftist ideas, Seeberg sought someone who could attract a large audience, articulately explain and defend conservatism, and dismantle the myths of the Left. The club decided to host Ben Shapiro, conservative commentator and bestselling author. However, it was not long before campus leftists enacted roadblocks to disrupt the Shapiro lecture. A program assistant working for the “office of diversity” at Marquette took to social media to implore students upset with Shapiro’s pending appearance to reserve seats but then not show up. Marquette administrators encouraged this concerted effort to take away

Mark Seeberg, chairman of Marquette YAF, introduces himself to students and staff at the YAF Activism Training seminar at the Foundation’s national headquarters.

internet streams of campus lectures and conferences. “I saw the YAF logo and backdrops in videos of my favorite speakers as they toured campuses across the country,” noted Seeberg. Seeberg instantly associated Young America’s Foundation with conservatism. Upon arriving at Marquette, Seeberg tested the waters with several conservative groups on campus. Invited to a YAF meeting by a friend, Seeberg noted, “At the first meeting, I immediately knew YAF was fundamentally different from other groups due to its focus on activism and ability to bring top conservative speakers to campuses.” 28

Seeberg meets with Foundation alumnus and New York Times bestselling author Peter Schweizer following a luncheon for students and supporters in Reston, Virginia.

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Special Feature: Young Americans for Freedom Campus Leaders seats from students interested in hearing conservative ideas, but Seeberg did not stand down. Using YAF’s bold activism tactics and with support from Young America’s Foundation’s staff, Seeberg exposed the administration’s scheme, which was widely shared through digital media. National Review, Heat Street, the Daily Wire, and other outlets also featured the story. In the end, Seeberg, the YAF chapter, and conservative ideas prevailed on campus as Shapiro spoke to a packed room of 300 students with an overflow room streaming the lecture to 200 individuals. In addition, more than 310,000 viewers have watched the Marquette lecture online.

“The advice I would give to anyone wanting to get involved with YAF is to take advantage of all the resources YAF offers when dealing with your school’s administration,” said Seeberg. “Depending on your campus, administrators can be either helpful or obstructive, and Young America’s Foundation is always willing to assist if your chapter is being targeted unfairly.” Following the successful Shapiro lecture, Seeberg’s chapter continues to grow at Marquette. One activism event at a time, Seeberg and his fellow YAF members continue to carry the torch of freedom, changing the campus culture for the better.

(Right) Ben Shapiro addresses an overflow room at Marquette University—the result of the school’s refusal to secure a larger venue for Shapiro’s YAF-sponsored lecture.

More than 300 students attend Shapiro’s lecture, organized by Seeberg and his fellow Marquette YAF activists. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Summer 2017

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YAF Exposes Faculty Support for Desecration of 9/11 Memorial Posters

Launches New Initiative: Censorship Exposed! By Mark Trammell, Associate General Counsel

“I wish you the best and support you fully in what you did…If you tell students that they are number one, then they will run the place. They are not number one. They are guests, subsidized by the state, and lucky to spend time with faculty like you.”

As part of Young America’s Foundation’s newest initiative to protect embattled conservative students and advance free speech, the Foundation sent Saddleback College a public records request for documents regarding the college’s handling of the situation. The results were astounding.

School Policy Did Not Require Lovett to Remove the Posters Lovett claimed that school policy required her to remove the posters because YAF student activists did not have

(Emphasis added.)



eftist professors rushed to support Margot Lovett, the Saddleback College professor who made national headlines last fall when she tore down and destroyed Young America’s Foundation posters memorializing the lives lost in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America. Saddleback College is a public community college located in Orange County, California. The posters were part of Young America’s Foundation’s annual 9/11: Never Forget Project and were intended to pay tribute to the innocent victims of 9/11. Thousands of students nationwide participate in this project, which includes placing 2,977 flags in the ground—one for every person murdered by radical jihadists on September 11, 2001. The story went viral, with more than 192,000 views on YouTube, after Young America’s Foundation shared video footage of Lovett tearing down and destroying the 9/11 memorial posters. TheBlaze, Breitbart, Fox News, Townhall, Yahoo, Newsmax, the Daily Wire, and the Daily Caller also featured the story. In an interview with Brit Hume on Fox News, Bill O’Reilly spoke on the subject, saying, “This is reminiscent to me of what the German universities were doing in the 1930s and the Soviet Union’s universities before that.” While Americans expressed outrage over the desecration of the 9/11 memorial, the faculty at Saddleback College applauded it in emails that Young America’s Foundation presumes were never intended to be shared with the public. 30

Captured on camera by the school’s YAF activists, Margot Lovett, a professor at Saddleback College, tears down and destroys Young America’s Foundation’s posters memorializing the lives lost on September 11, 2001.

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permission from the student government to display them. She stated, “You’re allowed to put posters up, but you need to get permission from student government to do that, otherwise I have to take them down.” In our public records request, Young America’s Foundation demanded that Saddleback College produce the school policy that Lovett referenced. The school’s answer to the request revealed that no such policy exists. The Foundation also confirmed that school policy did not require Lovett to destroy the posters.

Saddleback’s Faculty Applauded Lovett’s Actions Young America’s Foundation’s public records request uncovered a series of emails between Lovett and other faculty members. In an email dated September 11, 2016, three days after the story went viral, Lovett wrote, “The college administration has been extremely supportive, which I very much appreciate. I have received phone calls from President Burnett, VPSS Juan Avalos, and VPI Kathy Werle.” Positing faculty against students, Howard Gensler, an economics instructor at Saddleback College (quoted on page 30), voiced his support of Lovett’s actions by describing students as “subsidized guests” of the college who are lucky to spend time with her. In the same email, Gensler also unequivocally offered his “full support” of Lovett’s actions. Fellow history instructor, Jedrek Mularski, in an email to Lovett, told her that she gets “a badge of honor” for her actions. He then advocated that “the college release a statement that you [Lovett] were required to enforce Brit Hume features the events at Saddleback College during Fox News’s On the Record. campus policy.” Again, Young America’s Foundation discovered that no such campus community. An English professor from Saddleback’s sister policy exists. Mularski also suggested that the college have one school, Irvine Valley College, wrote Lovett to express her of its “conservative administrators contact the group [YAF] to support, noting, “Just now discovered, uh, recent events try to convince them to take down the article/video.” regarding the YAFers 9/11 posters and ensuing (all too Mularski also criticized Saddleback College’s predictable) right-wing media coverage…I admire your spirit administration for not removing the 2,977 flags that YAF and your actions.” (Emphasis added.) students placed in the ground to personally honor each Even a professor from North Carolina’s Elon University victim of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He wrote, “And so I guess wrote to Lovett, saying, “I watched the video they recorded those flags on the lawn were from the YAF. It sounds like the of you and read the one-sided hate-filled comments in the College said no to their installation, but then chickened out on thread…You don’t need me to tell you that your comments to actually removing it once YAF set it up.” the group were polite and reasonable, but I thought you might Mularski summed up his thoughts on the situation by appreciate a friendly supportive message nonetheless.” exclaiming, “This crap is infuriating on so many levels.” In an email from the South Orange County Community Support for Lovett extended beyond the Saddleback Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Summer 2017

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YAF activists at Saddleback College post flyers promoting free speech near their campus recruitment table.

College District, an executive director, wrote, “Saddleback called to notify us that they are dealing with a PR issue over some 9-11 propaganda that was posted without permission in a non-designated area on campus.” (Emphasis added.) September 11 memorial posters are “9-11 propaganda?” Students need permission to memorialize those murdered on 9/11? Only certain areas of a public school are designated for free speech? According to the leftists at Saddleback College, yes, yes, and yes! 32

Young America’s Foundation Fights Back by Launching New Program, Censorship Exposed! To fight back against this and the numerous other attacks on free speech, Young America’s Foundation has launched a new project designed to expose First Amendment abuses in America’s schools. The unfair and discriminatory treatment of conservative students on college campuses is now routine. And as we learned from Saddleback College, this censorship of conservative ideas is celebrated by faculty and administrators.

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Young America’s Foundation is proud to announce our newest project, “Censorship Exposed! – Uncovering First Amendment Abuses in America’s Schools.” Through Censorship Exposed! YAF is aggressively sending public records requests to public colleges and universities. These requests are very similar to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) but instead cite state law as controlling authority. Public colleges and universities are required, by law, to provide certain public records to requesters. States define “public record” differently, but as a general rule, emails, school policies, curricula, invoices, receipts, reports, and salaries are all considered public record. As a matter of public policy, they are made available upon request. The support that we saw among the Saddleback faculty for the censoring of YAF activists’ patriotic message is just the beginning. Leftist faculty and administrators across

the country continue to repress ideas that challenge leftist ideologies. By creating “safe spaces”—areas on campus where only liberal perspectives are welcomed—by banning conservative guest speakers from speaking on campus, and by charging conservative student organizations exorbitant “security fees” for hosting a conservative speaker, leftist administrators at public schools attempt to censor conservative viewpoints. And these are just a few of the tactics that conservative students consistently face. Young America’s Foundation is leading the charge to expose First Amendment abuses and hold faculty and administrators accountable. YAF currently has numerous public record requests pending at public universities all across the country. These requests have put leftist administrators and professors on notice. They will not get away with stifling free speech and bullying conservative students.

Young Americans for Freedom leaders at Saddleback College promote conservative ideas with informative literature, posters, books, and buttons while recruiting new students to their chapter. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | Summer 2017

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Young Americans for Freedom

where leaders are forged For more information visit our website yaf.org or call 1-800-USA-1776

A Project of

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A M E R I C A ’ S

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Young America’s Foundation | Libertas magazine | www.yaf.org


Summer 2017 Volume 38 • Number 1

National Headquarters 11480 Commerce Park Drive Sixth Floor Reston, Virginia 20191 800-USA-1776 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED


s student debt soars, today’s colleges and universities are offering an increasing number of bizarre and left-wing courses—including those listed above and featured in this issue of Libertas. The nation’s top schools have transplanted traditional courses in math, science, literature, and history with a strange and disturbing array classes advocating liberal narratives about racism, sexism, the free market, American exceptionalism, environmentalism, feminism, and more. (Illustration by Joel Aaron Carlson.)

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Profile for Young America's Foundation

Libertas (Issue 38.1 - Summer 2017)  

The official publication of Young America's Foundation.

Libertas (Issue 38.1 - Summer 2017)  

The official publication of Young America's Foundation.