- By Luca Azzara, Staff Writer
On Thursday, Oct. 25, the Young Americans for Liberty hosted a political debate on campus.
The organization is one of the largest and most active pro-liberty organizations among America’s universities and colleges. Its purpose to the student body is demonstrated through events and by providing education to all those who are interested in learning more about the ideals of liberty. With more than 300 chapters and over 26,000 student activists world-wide, YAL’s purpose and its effects are shown to be essential to student bodies all around the country.
The debate featured three representatives: conservative David Tubbs, liberal Grover Furr and libertarian Yuri Maltsev.
Dr. Tubbs earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University, where he concentrated in political philosophy, constitutional law and Russian studies.
Dr. Furr, an English professor at MSU, completed his undergraduate degree at McGill University and also earned his Ph.D. at Princeton University.
Dr. Maltsev is a professor of economics at Carthage College. He worked with former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms on the re-construction of the political movement in the late 1980s.
The entire debate, which lasted an hour and a half, was moderated by Todd Seavey, a producer of ABC and Fox News.
The debate consisted of eight to 10 topics and issues faced by Americans. Some of the questions asked by Seavey included stances on America’s foreign policy, views on the war in Afghanistan and domestic issues such as the war on drugs and health care.
In his opening statement, Dr. Tubbs expressed his agreement with anti-Utopian schemes within politics. He also stressed his belief that personal freedom correlates with responsibility.
In Dr. Maltsev’s opening statement, he expressed his beliefs in free minds, free markets and that the government should be kept somewhat smaller than it currently is, making sure it is “kept in check.”
Within Dr. Furr’s opening statement, he expressed that exploitation is society’s biggest source of misery. He believes that society should be a whole, rather than a society of individuals.
Regarding the war in Afghanistan, Dr. Tubbs responded, “I believe that our decision to go to war in Afghanistan met criteria for a just war.”
Regarding foreign policy, Dr. Tubbs stated, “I believe that the U.S. is still a positive figure in the world, but cannot simply do everything.” He went on to express the idea that the U.S. should provide leadership throughout the world because of its special status.
His view on drugs included the much needed distinguisher within prohibitions regarding the purchase of certain drugs.
Dr. Tubbs believes that some drugs should not be characterized with others that pose a severe threat. His position on health care was that a basic package is an entitlement, and if an individual wants better health care then they “should accept the decisions made in your life.” Those decisions include smoking and usage of certain drugs.
However, Dr. Furr made it clear about his disagreement with U.S. foreign policies both in the past and those that are still used today. Dr. Furr believes that the imperialistic policies “won’t stop without a tremendous struggle from U.S. citizens.”
His solution for the war on drugs in America is to “make the private selling of drugs unprofitable, where drugs would be solely sold by the government with high restrictions.” Responding to the question on health care in America, Dr. Furr stated, “There should be a single-paired universal health care, so everyone has health care.”
Maltsev had concrete points on various issues, although occasionally he was unclear. Maltsev believes that all drugs should be legal and that individuals have the right to use whatever drug they choose.
When asked what he thought about education, Maltsev answered, “It simply does not pay to go to college these days, and students are being short changed.” His view on health care was based on the idea that if “market works on everything else, then why would it not work in this case?”
Although the purpose of the debate was not to divide the audience and attendees, there was still some differences in the audience’s reaction. However, members were still educated about the issues America faces.
“[This debate] provides a sense of knowledge to individuals who may be confused or unsure of the issues presented,” said Director of Events Corey Hubbard. “It provides a place to discuss opinions rather than speak about them in a mumbled sense.”