Saturday, November 11, 2017

An Open Letter to the YAL on Veterans Day

Dr. Michael Edelstein

Michael Edelstein sent out the following email in response to the email from Cliff Maloney Jr.
President, Young Americans for Liberty:
Dear Jeff and Cliff, 
As a long-time libertarian I’m exceedingly disappointed to see YAL buy into
the U.S. militaristic mindset. Frankly at first I thought the article was meant as a satire.
You may recognize changing the holiday name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day signals a change in mindset from celebrating the cessation of war to celebrating the practitioners of war. 

Below is the email Michael is responding to:

On Nov 11, 2017, at 12:02 PM, Cliff Maloney Jr. - YAL <> wrote:


Today is a day to honor and remember those that have sacrificed everything for our country, our veterans. It is important to take this day to thank those we know who have served and pay our respects to those that have given their lives for our country. Their patriotism and dedication is admirable and something to aspire to.

I am honored to say that I have had the unique opportunity to not only meet, but work with veterans in Young Americans for Liberty. Many of our chapter leaders were active servicemen and servicewomen.

I want to share with you the stories of two brave men I have come to know here at YAL who continue to fight for the principles our country was founded upon.

Meet Bobby Fortune, our Fall 2017 intern, an Army veteran who started a YAL chapter at East Carolina University and is now working in the national office helping with our recruitment efforts. Bobby joined the Army in 2012 at the end of his junior year in high school. He was drawn to defending his country by his sincere desire to protect his friends and family, wanting to be a part of something bigger than himself.
During his enlistment, Bobby was deployed to a small country in Eastern Europe called Kosovo for one year. There he worked with various NATO partners including Hungary, Greece, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, and several others. The NATO peace-keeping mission is aimed to monitor and mediate relationships between the Serbians and the Albanians in the region. Bobby was specifically involved in regular patrols of northern Kosovo and crowd and riot control operations in support of Kosovo Security Forces.

During his time in Europe, his political views changed as he discovered Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and Judge Napolitano. Upon coming home he started classes at East Carolina University and started a YAL chapter in order to educate his fellow students on libertarian issues.

"I went to my first YAL National Convention in 2016. I was amazed with the community I had now joined. The most fulfilling part of YAL in my experience has been becoming part of a network that treats each other like family and embodies the principles we believe in as libertarians. Through YAL, my sense of duty has transformed from serving in uniform to advocating for meaningful change in our foreign policy." - Bobby Fortune 

Bobby is just one of the many inspiring veterans that have joined our leadership ranks.

Meet Jeff Lyons, a Navy veteran that is now leading the fight for free speech in Massachusetts at Bunker Hill Community College. Jeff joined the U.S. Navy in 2008 after leaving Northeastern University. Always wanting to give back to his country, he enlisted in the Navy as an Aviation Electrician's Mate and served for over 8 years.

After finishing Basic Training in Chicago, IL, and an Aviation Electrician Apprenticeship training in Pensacola, FL, he was assigned to a Seahawk Helicopter Squadron which performed Anti-Submarine and Combat Search and Rescue operations onboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, based in San Diego, California. Deployed several times, Jeff was a part of "Operation Tomadachi", the Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief after the 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan.

Jeff then returned home to Boston and took on the role to recruit and mentor sailors as a coordinator for the Navy ROTC Scholarship program. Jeff left the Navy in 2016 because he wanted to complete his college education and continue the fight for freedom and democracy at home.

"Members of the military willingly sacrifice many of the constitutional rights and freedoms that Americans enjoy, and though I am proud to have made that sacrifice for as long as I did, I knew that I was capable of doing more for my country outside of the military than I could serving as an enlisted helicopter mechanic. Throughout my time in the military, I followed what was going on in our country, on college campuses, and what YAL was doing to spread the message of liberty. I needed to get involved in taking back our government from the corrupt politicians and restore America to a nation that is truly a beacon of liberty and justice." - Jeff Lyons

And Jeff did just that! He came home, started taking classes, joined YAL and is now spearheading one of our greatest fights for the First Amendment. On May 3rd, Jeff Lyons was distributing pocket-sized copies of the United States Constitution on campus when security officers told him he needed to move.  Jeff and his friends continued to distribute copies of the Constitution, and a week later they received a formal notice from the university claiming that they violated the code of conduct.

With the help of  the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), we have filed a lawsuit against Bunker Hill Community College and expect to restore First Amendment rights to the entire student body.

Veterans and activists like Bobby and Jeff cause me pause on this reflective day. They set a brave example of wanting to contribute to making their country the best place it can be, and they inspire me and our entire national network to keep fighting for the freedoms the United States was founded on.

From all of us at Young Americans for Liberty, happy Veterans Day.
For Liberty,

Cliff Maloney Jr.
Young Americans for Liberty


  1. We agree:

  2. Thank you but NO I will not be remembering those mercenaries that have been paid for US government empire building.

    Lets be honest you are just hired thugs used to bully some other smaller state that isnt kowtowing to the propaganda

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    1. Elementary, my good man.
      Well said.

    2. Sherlock, is it right to say that those who join the military are "admirable"? Perhaps some of them are "admirable" before they join, but they know what they are getting into: an organization that is used globally for violent, imperial purposes. Can you really say these people are being "used"? I could see that as a more apt description for a conscripted military, but for a volunteer military?

    3. Personally, I didn't know fully until I was already in, despite being exposed to Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan and Lew Rockwell as a young lad. Though the major reason I joined was money, so I did sell-out my soft non-intervention leanings for cold hard cash.

      Eric Morris

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    5. If we are to clearly understand the nature of evil, then we must start with the basic truths of free will and that we cannot know what motivates others. With that beginning we will condemn those who do evil acts whether or not they claim to have a philosophy telling them the act is good and whether or not someone else thought up that evil act.

      Each individual should be held accountable for the foreseeable results of the actions which he chooses to engage in.

      Thus, for all of the evils of government we can only blame the police and the soldiers - the government enforcers. Evil laws are harmless until evil men enforce them.

      It is for this reason that the police and soldiers (the pigs and grunts) are endlessly praised as the best among us, as noble, self-sacrificial, and ever so necessary. Of course, just the opposite is true.

  4. "Today is a day to honor and remember those that have [died murdering] for our [plutocrats]..."