Justin Raimondo: A Generation of WarSubmitted by legalizeliberty on Wed, 03/20/2013 - 14:19
Young Americans for Liberty says: "We’ve grown up with war. Now let’s end it!"
by Justin Raimondo, March 20, 2013
The youthful Left was once the most active antiwar current on campus: recall the days of the Vietnam era antiwar movement, when "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?" was heard on college campuses from Berkeley to NYU and all points in between. It was Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) that captured the attention and imagination of a generation of youthful activists – and their adult cheerleaders – brought the issue of the Vietnam war to the center of the political stage, and, together with others on the left, forced a sitting Democratic President to retire rather than seek another term.
Those days are long gone. Today, the campus left is a ghost of its former self: there is currently no student organization of what can reasonably be called the "left" with anything close to a nationwide organization. The last gasp of the student left was the Progressive Student Network, founded in 1980, a motley collection of social democrats and former Maoists, which faded out of existence in the mid-1990s. There is today a group calling itself "Students for a Democratic Society" which seems to have a few local activists but no real national presence, as well as a few clots of outright socialist groups such as the Spartacus Youth League (whose unforgettable slogan "Hail Red Army in Afghanistan!" encapsulates its wacky politics) and various other "youth organizations" of aging 1960s Marxist sects, existing on the fringes of campus life.
There are, of course, the Young Democrats and Young Republicans, which exist as fronts for the two "major" parties and are generally seen as kindergartens for aspiring young careerists eager to make their way up the political totem pole. Neither of these groups can reasonably be expected to serve as launching pads for a national anti-war student campaign.
There is, however, one organization that does indeed have a national presence – 380 campus chapters and counting – and has launched what promises to be the most effective anti-war campaign since the 1960s. Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) is the campus group that came out of Ron Paul’s two presidential campaigns, and which has attracted thousands of youthful activists inspired by Ron’s fiery sermons against the War Party, the Federal Reserve, and the daily assault on what’s left of our civil liberties.