Why YAF voted to expel Ron Paul from Young Americans for Freedom

Christopher Bedford Former Editor in Chief, The Daily Caller News Foundation
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In September of 1960 — “a time of moral and political crisis” — nearly 100 of America’s top conservative and libertarian activists gathered at the home of William F. Buckley Jr. in Sharon, Connecticut. There, they laid out the timeless truths and principles that would govern the nation’s first conservative/libertarian activist group — Young Americans for Freedom.

Fifty years later, the Sharon Statement still stands tall as the most concise and definitive declaration of conservative and libertarian principles since the Bill of Rights. Written as an inclusive “umbrella” document, it was designed not only to guide and define us, but to include as many in the great fusionist tent as possible. It was Buckley’s philosophy, as well as YAF’s, that the American right — a unique political movement in the world then and now — is an essential fusion of fiscal conservatism, traditional values and national security. It is this ideal of fusionism that YAF upholds so proudly.

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) was a member of YAF’s national advisory committee for many years, but no more. He has betrayed the principles of the Sharon Statement, and the oath he swore to uphold as a member of the United States House of Representatives. And he has done this time and time again.

Young Americans for Freedom and others on the right have stood silently by as this once great hero of conservative America fell from grace. It is time that ends.

Though a fusionist document, the Sharon Statement Paul has professed to subscribe to pulls no punches in clearly stating:

THAT we will be free only so long as the national sovereignty of the United States is secure; that history shows periods of freedom are rare, and can exist only when free citizens concertedly defend their rights against all enemies…


THAT the forces of international Communism [in 2011, read: expansive totalitarianism] are at present, the greatest single threat to these liberties;


THAT the United States should stress victory over, rather than co-existence with, this menace; and


THAT American foreign policy must be judged by this criterion: does it serve the just interests of the United States?

The oath Ron Paul took for his office is even more straightforward: he must defend the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

The United States, the West and those who love liberty around the planet are under siege by an enemy as dangerous as they are driven. Radical Islamism has declared war on everything — and everyone — that we stand for and cherish. This insidious foe believes that the West is doomed, that our civilization and its allies must be destroyed, and that Allah has commanded that they give life and limb to ensure that a twisted and totalitarian form of Sharia law reigns over the entire planet.

To this end, Islamists have systematically and ruthlessly murdered Americans from Mumbai to Baghdad; from London to New York City. You would think there are few who need be reminded of the fate of Jewish reporters in Afghanistan or Marine peacekeepers in Beirut. You would imagine that there are few who need to be reminded of the fate of our sailors aboard the USS Cole or our embassy staff in Tehran. Someone who forgets the thousands who perished at the hands of Islamists in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania on September 11th is, as YAF California Chairman Jordan Marks says, “delusional.” But when that person leads a near army of starry-eyed, rabid followers, it becomes terrifying.

There are many admirable groups, such as Young Americans for Liberty and Students for Liberty, who look fondly on Rep. Ron Paul for his admirable leadership on the issues of domestic spending and constitutionalism. However, a politician who can look out his office window at the smoke rising over D.C. and call 9/11 blowback against the American policy of defending Muslim states from dictators in Baghdad; who can stare across the desert holes full of beheaded Jews and gentiles and wonder if they are invaders; who can scan over the news of another 25 school children dead in Pakistan or another pizza parlor destroyed in Israel and dismiss it as someone else’s problem; who can hear word of another church burnt in Egypt or another stoning in Iran and demand America stay quiet, is undeserving of the respect of the conservative movement. How can a man who is as smart as Ron Paul, as well-informed as Ron Paul and supposedly as staunch a defender of liberty as Ron Paul see all this and still deny the threat posed to the world, our civilization and our freedoms by this ideology? How can he forget?

Young Americans for Freedom will not forget. We do not forget the dead and wounded Americans in Tehran. We do not forget our Marines in Beirut. We do not forget our sailors in Yemen. We do not forget the Americans in New York City, Washington, Pennsylvania, London and Mumbai. We do not forget Daniel Pearl. We do not forget the brave soldiers of Fort Hood. We do not forget our brave men and women in Iraq, Afghanistan and the world over. We do not forget our principles or the United States Constitution. And we do not forget these and many more.

For our country, our fallen, our freedom and more, Rep. Ron Paul has been expelled from Young Americans for Freedom.


Christopher Bedford is the national vice-chairman of Young Americans for Freedom and executive editor of their official magazine, The New Guard. He is a 2008 graduate of American University. He has also written for American Thinker, Voices, The American Observer, Homeland Security Today and The American University Eagle.