The big draw to the 2012 International Students for Liberty conference was John Stossel. Stossel has been a guest for the past two years at the conference, which is certainly an impressive feat for the young organization. Saturday evening, Stossel taped an episode of his television show in front of the 1000+ ISFLC attendees.
When Stossel emerged on the stage, the crowd shouted, “Stossel-stache!” referring to Stossel’s notorious mustache. Nearly everyone in the room was a self-proclaimed libertarian, sporting Ron Paul 2012 stickers and pins and shouting for “Ron Paul” on several occasions. When Stossel asked the crowd if they were “Young Republicans,” he received a deafening “NO!” He received a similar response from the audience when asked if they were “Young Democrats.”
The crowd was predominantly male, though the show would have you believe otherwise. They tried to break up the Q&A with a male-female ratio, so when it aired, it would look like the audience was balanced.
The show had several guests including Reason magazine’s Nick Gillespie and Former Ambassador the the United Nations, John Bolton. The questions and debates were very typical. The halls of the conference reverberated lots of talk regarding liberty and individualism.
However, when Ken Klukowski, from the Family Research Council began to talk, the young libertarians “booed” him viciously.
Klukowski dared to define the family unit as being between a man and woman, drawing an instantaneous, thunderous boo. This caught me off guard. Throughout the day, everyone had encouraged polite conversation, diverse discourse and networking with like-minded libertarians. There were plenty of free books, encouragement to attend week long seminars and a lot of sipping on complementary Starbucks coffee. It had been a lovely and classy event, with nearly everyone is suits of business attire.
These young men and women lacked any sort of respect for a man taking time out of his day to share with them the social data that he had found supporting that children develop better when raised by a married couple (man and woman). The crowd clearly did not want to hear “family”.
They were supportive of the legalization of prostitution and drugs. Yet, when the concept of traditional family was mentioned, they pushed and shoved to get in the line for the microphone to grill Ken Klukowski.
Hopefully they got their five seconds of fame on the Stossel show.