Letter to the Editor
August 9, 2019
Re: Jennifer Bray, ‘Young Fine Gael president criticised for attending conservative conference in US’ The Irish Times, Aug. 8, 2019, 2:18 AM <https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/young-fine-gael-president-criticised-for-attending-conservative-conference-in-us-1.3979996>; and,
Re: Jennifer Bray, ‘Split in Young Fine Gael after president attends right-wing US conference’ The Irish Times, Aug. 8, 2019, 12:13 AM <https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/split-in-young-fine-gael-after-president-attends-right-wing-us-conference-1.3980549>.
Your reporter consistently characterizes Young America’s Foundation as “right-wing.” This is not only unfair, but quite untrue. YAF and its sister organization with a similar name, Young Americans for Freedom, go back to 1960, with the publication of the famous Sharon Statement.
YAF had and has three core missions; they relate to supporting and educating the American public—particularly on college campuses—in regard to:  individual liberty / limited government;  the free-market economy; and,  a strong national defence / anti-communism. These are mainstream American political positions, and the people who have and continue to advocate for these views have not engaged in anything but normal democratic politics.
For a good history of YAF and other similar American right-of-centre organisations, which like so much of American conservatism is misunderstood in Ireland and in wider Europe, see George H. Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in American since 1945 (1976). It is a short book, and so very helpful for the beginner.
Seth Barrett Tillman
YAF website link: <https://www.yaf.org/about/>; and,
Sharon Statement link: <https://www.yaf.org/news/the-sharon-statement/>.
Seth Barrett Tillman, Letter to The Irish Times on Young America’s Foundation, New Reform Club (Aug. 9, 2019, 10:17 AM), <https://reformclub.blogspot.com/2019/08/letter-to-irish-times-on-young-americas.html>.