'Young Americans for Liberty'
Searching for a video that expressed an aspect of American liberty, there was so many avenues to explore. However, I stumbled upon this video posted by ‘YAL’ – ‘Young Americans for Liberty’. I felt this was quite appropriate, from the perspective of myself as a British student viewing American students pledge their allegiance to their country through an obvious representation of patriotism, yet pledging how to make their country reach a whole new level of freedom for their generation in the future, suppressing any stale, outdated ideas or movements in society, to create a better environment and life, and inevitably a ‘better’ America. ‘Young Americans for Liberty’ is a pro-liberty organization that is continuously growing with more than 162,000 youth activists nationwide.*
* <http://www.yaliberty.org/about> accessed 7 November 2014.
They reinforce the idea that this is not a new project, it is a ‘continuation of a youth movement already brewing in this country’. The video supports the movement and their ideas as an organization by videoing students discussing their own ‘pledges’. By ‘pledging’ their individual ideas, aspirations, national and international movements, and even referring back to the original ‘Bill of Rights’ and the 10 Amendments of the US Constitution (1789), showcases a ‘voice’ for the younger generation. It spreads the awareness of the 10 amendments that are still relative in today’s society, and it proves that this next generation are paying attention to the problems within their own country, which often students or the younger generation are criticised for not getting involved in politics and social reforms.
An interesting ‘pledge’ by one young woman, stated “I pledge to hang on to my 2nd amendment rights until they pry them out of my cold dead hands.” – Another American student also stated: “I don’t own a firearm but I pledge the right for you to own a firearm”. This is a controversial statement on the subject of the ‘right to keep and bear arms’ which is currently approved of in all states. It signifies the idea of how the future generation, those students, feel the necessity to stand for this pledge as a sense of physical protection and liberation with the possession of a firearm. Another male student also refers to the ‘Bill of Rights’, stating: “I pledge to be an advocate of the 10th amendment in respect to state sovereignty.” This refers to the amendment that advocates the ‘powers are not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” This has also proved to be controversial in current affairs due to the situation of the legalisation of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana which is questionable for debate as to why some states advocate this and not as an entire country.
Within the video, not only do young American students ‘pledge’, but a small variation of other ethnicities are included, as well as speaking in their own native language. One British man states: “I pledge to spread the message of liberty throughout the world.” Also, a Hispanic woman declares: “I pledge to always defend my rights”. An Asian man also expresses: “I pledge not to buy U.S. Treasury Bills” and conclusively, a Russian man states: “I pledge to join the libertarian revolution in Russia”. Overall, the message of the pro-liberty organization reinforces the quote displayed in the beginning of the video, by Thomas Jefferson, “Every generation needs a new revolution.”