Four states, four Live Free campus events, and I have good news to report: From what I have seen and heard this week, America’s young people are ready to enlist in the Liberty movement.
In Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Missouri, hundreds of students turned out to Our America’s events, and they came loaded with great questions, great energy and an exciting desire to mobilize for smaller government and bigger freedom. Next week, we go to New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah -- and I fully expect to see the same energy and excitement.
Why does it matter that these young people will take time away from exams and papers and fun to show up in an auditorium and talk about liberty? It matters because America, as always, is changing. It is changing as new attitudes, new faces and new understanding of the costs of a big, intrusive government begin to have an impact on the “system”.
Just this week, a Pew Poll showed, for the first time in their surveys, that a majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana. Gallup, who has been asking Americans about legalization since 1969, when more than 80% of Americans opposed it, has found a similar shift. On marriage equality, even members of that most stubborn institution, the U.S. Senate, are “evolving” at a steady pace, with even so-called conservatives expressing support for gay marriage. That was unthinkable a few short years ago.
I personally don’t believe these are isolated issues. As I travel the country, I am seeing these shifts as part of a larger recognition that individual freedom and liberty cannot be entrusted to the government. Young people, especially, see that -- regardless of personal opinions -- government cannot and should not choose which Americans enjoy individual rights.
Increasingly, they see that, if left to its own devices, government will produce the kind of hypocrisy that embraces alcohol use while criminalizing marijuana. They understand that, if we let it, government will pry its way into every aspect of our personal lives, from our cell phones to our bank accounts to our computers. And they understand that a national debt approaching $17 trillion is a greater threat to their futures than Iran or North Korea will ever be.
The Our America Initiative exists to give voice to these and other issues -- and to plant a flag around which Americans can rally on behalf of smaller government, greater liberty and real economic freedom. Believe me, millions of Americans are ready to rally. But they need leadership and they need organization to turn their attitudes into action. That is precisely what the Our America Initiative is offering.
But...organizing a nationwide campus tour is no small task. It takes time, it takes people, and yes, it takes money. Posters and brochures have to be printed. Radio ads have to be produced and placed. News coverage has to be coordinated. The same goes for our other activities, such as the Liberty Strategy Conference we are hosting in Salt Lake City next week and media tours to Washington DC and New York later this month.
Your support is critical. If you haven’t, I wish you could join me at one of our campus events. You would see what I am seeing: Liberty is a rocket just waiting to be ignited. Your contribution at Our America Initiative is the match that will light the fuse.
I hope I can count on your help. With your financial support of the Our America Initiative, we can take the message of smaller government and greater freedom directly to the millions of Americans who are fed up with the status quo and ready to get to work changing it.
Have a great weekend, and stay tuned for more reports from the great events we will be hosting next week!
Thanks, as always, for your friendship and support.
Gov. Gary Johnson
Our America Initiative
P.S. To see more photos from our Live Free events, visit my Facebook page.