Mississippi State University's Young Americans for Freedom campus chapter hosted speaker Tim Young, a political comedian, author and recently hired TV personality for Fox News, Thursday night in McCool Hall. Young talked about free speech on college campuses and having civil conversation with people of different political views.
During the audience interactive event, Young suggested civility is a conversation rather than a presentation of a formal speech, which furthered his point to encourage opening dialogue with those of opposite political leanings.
Young began the event, by discussing the picture of the black hole recently released by NASA. He then moved into discussing the importance of political civility. Young said, as citizens, it is our duty to speak in a civil manner and to work together in completing political agendas. He said Republicans and Democrats have more in common than most realize, such as climate change and individual prosperity. Young also discussed his opinion that all Americans are nationalists, and defined nationalism as believing one’s own country should prosper before giving foreign aid.
Young, a conservative himself, explained the foundation of conservatism.
"I think classical conservatism, which I believe in, is smaller government, taking less money from people and having less of a hand in people’s lives," Young said.
Young believes the Republican party has been associated with hating social issues and not caring about the Earth. Young gave an example of Americans being more concerned about finding their next meal than the issues for which the LGBTQ community is fighting.
According to Young, conservatives are not against LGBTQ rights, they are just more concerned with other issues.
"If you ask a conservative what they think of gay rights, they will respond with 'I don’t care,'" Young said.
Young also poked fun at people who believe President Donald Trump is a bad guy. He gave an example of the Women’s March, asking the audience what rights Trump has taken away from women.
Young also spoke about the Bill of Rights and the first two amendments, emphasizing the necessity of free speech. He said the Second Amendment was meant to give citizens fire power to defend themselves from a governmental take-over.
Taylor Welch, a Junior Psychology major, attended and enjoyed the event.
"I thought it was funny and what he said was reasonable about not being unnecessarily vicious to people," Welch said.
The president of Young Americans for Freedom, Jesse Watkins, a junior studying aerospace engineering, spoke about the results of the "build the wall" banner the group displayed on campus several weeks ago, which stirred up controversy among students and professors. Watkins said the speaker’s message emphasized the group’s banner was an example was civil political discourse.
"I think this is the perfect prompt to have someone talk about free speech. I think he promoted the message that we would like to send is civility," Watkins said.
Watkins also explained the reason for their display of the "build the wall" banner.
"We try to avoid talking about crime statistics and the money it would cost to support illegal immigration. People who are jumping the border, using Obama’s words, are cutting the line," Watkins said. "If you are able to hinder or at least stop illegal immigration, you would be able to talk about reforming a system that works better for everybody. We want a fair system for everybody across the world. We are very pro-immigration, so we think the wall is a good step in the right direction to stopping illegal immigration.”