Republican Congressman Ron Paul has been unceremoniously removed from the National Advisory Board of the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) for his America-First views on foreign policy, highlighting the college activist group’s move from right-wing American exceptionalism to Israel-first neoconservatism.
“It is a sad day in American history when a one-time conservative-libertarian stalwart has fallen more out of touch with America’s needs for national security than the current feeble and appeasing administration,” YAF’s Senior National Director Jordan Marks said in a press statement.
Paul, whose open criticism of America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan during his 2008 US Presidential bid drew the ire of vested interests wishing to maintain the status quo, was blasted as having views “near treason” by Marks, who also accused the Texas Congressman of not upholding his oath to support the US Constitution.
“Rep. Paul is clearly off his meds and must be purged from public office. YAF is starting the process by removing him from our national advisory board. Good riddance and he won’t be missed,” Marks said.
Paul has won the Straw Poll at CPAC, which was founded in part by YAF, for the last two years running. This year’s conference saw a growing rift develop between supporters of Dr. Paul and those backing neoconservatives Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.
The move to expel Dr. Paul has been blasted by many YAF alumni, who say the organization has fallen far from its original Goldwater-conservative goals.
Hanover attorney and former YAF Ohio state board member Elwood “Sandy” Sanders has noted in an article for Virginia Right that not only did Congressman Paul support giving President Bush the authority to attack Afghanistan, he is “a consistent supporter of the Constitution, US sovereignty and both personal and economic liberties.”
“Because he supports non-intervention and states the obvious – there can be blowback from bad US policies – the YAF wants to condemn him like this? Why now?,” Sanders asks.
“The organization has been hijacked by neoconservative pro-Israel activists who are quickly turning the organization into a single-issue advocacy group: that issue being Israel First! activism,” former YAF activist and White Acopolapyse author Kyle Bristow told The Right Perspective. “Jordan Marks and Erik Johnson are to be blamed for this horrible transformation.”
“YAF is pretty much dead,” Bristow notes. “There are a few token chapters at a few colleges in the U.S., but for all intents and purposes, the organization is nothing but a website and a bank account (YAFers from the 1960s donate money, and God only knows where that money ends up).”
That sentiment was echoed by Ron Paul’s political director Jessie Benton.
“I hadn’t heard of YAF doing anything in years, I thought they were defunct,” Benton told Politico. “Young Americans for Liberty [a libertarian spinoff group from Ron Paul's 2008 US Presidential campaign] is the group of the future.”
In addition to YAF and YAL, a third non-Leftist group, Youth for Western Civilization, is active at the college activist level.