WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Justin Amash (R- MI-03) and Thomas Massie (R-KY-04) spoke to the students at the International Students for Liberty Conference Friday afternoon to kick off the weekend event. Together they discussed what it is like fighting for Liberty on Capitol Hill in a Congress that is increasingly willing to reduce the freedoms of American Citizens. The conversation was entertaining and informative, and attendees were given a glimpse of two men who work past their differences and focus on their similarities to work together in order to reach the same goal.
Both Representatives talked about the difficulties of Libertarian, or Libertarian Leaning, politicians face on The Hill. However, Amash had a more optimistic outlook regarding Republicans and their desire to restrain government and preserve Liberty on Capitol Hill than Massie . And despite minor differences in perspective, these two men focus on their similar goal and work together within Congress in an attempt to reduce the impact of government in the daily lives of American citizens.
One thing discussed at the session was the removal of former House Speaker John Boehner (R-KY) and the election of Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI-01) as Speaker of the House. Both men discussed the importance of removing Boehner in the fight to defend civil liberties. Massie referenced the help he had from Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-OK-1) to get the Freedom Caucus assembled by way of social media instead of behind closed doors in order to bring accountability to those who needed to hear from their constituents about the process of getting rid of Boehner. And both men discussed the importance of keeping a very close eye on Paul Ryan. Massie made it clear that he would not support Speaker Ryan in regards to ANY Omnibus Spending bill. And although Amash agreed, he was less vehement in his statements.
During the Q & A portion of the session, I asked the Representatives what they were doing to protect the First Amendment rights of Free Speech and Freedom of the Press on Capitol Hill. This is an important question although we don’t always hear a lot about it because it is independent news sites like FortySix News that keep citizens informed about things the mainstream media is NOT telling us. And I asked specifically if either gentleman thought independent citizen journalist and online news sites should be licensed. Their answer was a very big and definitive NO and that the First Amendment right to Free Speech guarantees sites like this one the ability to get information out to American citizens.
Their willingness to discuss their struggles on Capitol Hill to defend Liberty, their ability to put aside minor differences in perspective and approach, and their straightforward answers to questions from the audience was a refreshing change from the normal song and dance we usually get from our elected officials. Students came out of the session with a clearer understanding of what it is like to fight for Freedom within government and how to work together. As I tweeted out yesterday during the session, Representatives Amash and Massie give me hope for the future of the First Amendment in America. But more than that, they gave me and the other attendees hope for the future of Liberty in America. And that is what students and millennials really want…FREEDOM.