Posts Tagged ‘Young Americans for Liberty’
By: James Robertson
The recent “Tea Party” phenomenon has exploded in the mainstream media, heralded by some as a rebirth of the Republican Party and vilified by others as an outlet for lunatics. While the significance of the movement has yet to be determined, it has certainly increased awareness of certain political values. Among them are limited government, personal liberty, and most importantly, adherence to the Constitution. While Tea Partiers and Republicans both like to pepper their speeches with these buzzwords, their voting records tend to call into question their actual adherence to these principles.
Angela McGlowan, candidate in Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District Republican Primary, recently spoke at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville. In her speech, she took swipes at Democratic incumbent Travis Childers, calling for a move to the right on Capitol Hill. McGlowan held a press conference onthe University of Mississippi campus Friday in which Judge Joe Brown of daytime television stardom endorsed her candidacy. Before the event got underway, McGlowan was chatting with students near the podium on the front steps of the student union, where the conference was to take place. It was here that McGlowan was approached by a student member of the campus organization Young Americans for Liberty.
Throughout the week, Young Americans for Liberty had a table set up inside the union advertising their group. They offered prizes to passerby who could name all of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the safeguards commonly referred to as the Bill of Rights. Students and faculty alike tried their hand at reciting all ten, along with several University Police Department officers and Dean of Students Sparky Reardon.
The student group member who approached Mrs. McGlowan asked if she could name the first ten amendments in exchange for a prize, to which she responded that she could but would not do so while standing in the sun on the front steps of the Student Union. The student then replied that Mrs. McGlowan’s response led him to believe that she could not in fact name the first ten amendments. At this remark, the Congress hopeful became noticeably perturbed and summoned UPD officers to have the student removed from the area. Knowledgeable of the situation and the students’ rights, UPD did not remove the student from the area and simply sought to cool the situation down. One officer even remarked that he didn’t see what all the fuss was about, as he had tried to win the prize at the group’s table earlier in the week.
Mrs. McGlowan’s reaction might be indicative of her future in politics. Stating that she can indeed name the first ten amendments yet refraining from doing so at the request of a constituent does indeed cast doubt upon the veracity of her claim. While the midday sun might have been a little warm, she was waiting to begin a half-hour press conference in the same location, suggesting that her aversion wasn’t necessarily driven by comfort, but possibly embarrassment at her own lack of knowledge.
This is not to say that all members of Congress should be expected to recite the Bill of Rights verbatim on the spot. However, inquiring as to whether or not a candidate knows about the document he or she would be expected to defend upon election seems like a fair request. The Congresswoman-elect could have even attempted to salvage the situation by admitting that she did not know the amendments and that that was an area she planned to work on. Instead, she summoned security and requested that the student be removed.
While McGlowan’s Tea Party speech was very well received by the delegates in Nashville, that kind of national publicity does not necessarily translate to votes in North Mississippi. The fact that she showed such unabashed hostility towards a student group that champions conservative values demonstrates her propensity to alienate her home base. Her primary challenger Alan Nunnelee is from Tupelo, the most highly populated city in the 1st District. Stir in a very liberal stance on gun control you have Mrs. McGlowan facing an uphill battle in the primaries. If this incident on the University campus is indicative of McGlowan’s style, it could spell an early end to her general election hopes.
The Wake Forest Young Americans for Liberty are in the running for the Leadership Institute’s Campus Activism Award for hosting Ron Paul and BJ Lawson on their campus. They can receive funding if they win this. Right now they are in second place with 25% of the votes. Let’s help out our fellow YAL members and vote for them. Go here.