Photo Credit: Kate Irving
Column: Why I Started a New Club
As a believer in the conservative movement, I wanted to create a club here at Sparkman to promote the cause and show the arguments and values to those who may have not been exposed to them before. I chose to work with Young America’s Foundation (YAF) to achieve that cause because of their values aligned with mine.
YAF is a National Conservative organization that promotes their values through chapters on high school and college campuses throughout America. YAF’s history stretches back over 50 years. YAF started at Vanderbilt in 1969 and became a national organization by the early 1970s. They worked with one of the most prominent conservative thinkers and commentators, William F. Buckley Jr. of the late 1900s. They also worked with President Ronald Reagan throughout his life. YAF even bought Reagan’s Santa Barbara Ranch, Rancho del Cielo. Reagan visited the ranch so much during his presidency it was called The Western White House. He signed his famous tax cut, The Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, at that ranch and hosted many world leaders at his ranch, including Margret Thatcher (Prime Minister of Britain), Queen Elizabeth II, and Mikhail Gorbachev (the 8th and last leader of the Soviet Union). YAF preserves and offers tours of The Reagan Ranch, which YAF members go to during most YAF conferences in California. YAF’s beliefs are outlined in The Sharon Statement. This document was written in 1960, in part by Buckely. Summarized, it says that YAF believes in Liberty, the free market, limited government, a strong national defence, and traditional values and opposition to communism.
I started paying attention to politics in 2016 and started actively expressing my beliefs about a year ago. As stated before, I care about the conservative cause. I feel that it is best for America and her people. In November, one of my former teachers suggested that I start a conservative group at Sparkman. I thought about it over the break and looked into all the National conservative groups and decided on YAF being the best option because they have more of a focus on social conservative values along with fiscal conservatism when compared to other groups. I believe social conservatism is incredibly important because if we don’t defend traditional values, we will lose in everything else, including the economic debate.
What are traditional values? These include human life has value, valuing the family, hard work, objective morality, marriage, and providing for one’s family are a few examples. I’ve seen many right leaning friends that don’t necessarily pay attention to politics try to debate someone and either lose the debate, making them and the conservative cause look unintelligent, or saying an argument wrong and being labeled a -ist or a -phobic. One of my goals in YAF is to teach the members why they believe what they believe and how to defend it. Another is to expose conservative ideas to people who may not have ever heard them.
Sparkman YAF’s first big project will be the 9/11: Never Forget Project. This initiative was started in 2003 when National YAF saw most campuses were ignoring the anniversary. It is important that we never forget so we don’t become complacent and have another attack like 9/11. In this event, we will put out 2,977 US flags, each honoring a life lost on that tragic day. I also plan to hold meetings talking about different topics throughout the year that will be open to everyone who wants to come. If you are interested in joining contact me ([email protected]) or our sponsors Mr. Stevenson ([email protected]) or Mr. Dolan ([email protected]). You can also check out our Instagram for event announcements @sparkman_yaf.