This is an opinion post by a young man who is a conservative. He echoes my progression in supporting Ted Cruz.
His profile: Markeece Young Raleigh, NC
Markeece Young is a nationally recognized political blogger and activist. As a former Democrat he now dedicates his time to reaching minority and millennials voters to the right.
Last June at our state convention, I was invited by the Cruz campaign to join a group of “grassroots leaders” in North Carolina in a private setting. I was honored to be considered one; I was only 19 years old and didn’t have any connection to the Cruz campaign. I thought it was pretty cool that they even knew who I was.
At that time, I was not a supporter of Cruz by any means. I liked him, as I liked every one of our young gun Tea Party Senators (Mike Lee, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul), but didn’t hold any particular endearment toward Cruz.
During the meeting, Senator Cruz was able to ease many concerns I had about him and his campaign. I was able to ask him a question about how we can reach younger voters. He answered by saying: “We have to talk about how a record amount of young people are moving back in with their parents after graduating because they can’t finds jobs.” Black youth are reaching almost 50 percent unemployment. He reiterated about how we have to show young people how free markets will help them the most; how big government hurts them and their futures.
After this sit down with Ted Cruz, I started leaning towards him. Then I got a call from the state party asking if I wanted to introduce Donald Trump.
I was so excited. Ever since middle school I grew up watching The Apprentice. I was also an avid watcher of professional wrestling, in which Donald Trump had made several appearances. I was a huge fan of Trump. Before the dinner, Trump’s head of security approached me with a paper full of graphs, telling me, “Mr. Trump wants you to mention he’s the highest paid speaker in America, higher than Hillary.”
At the dinner, as I was introducing him, he was nice. He gave me a standing ovation when I told the story about how I had taken down Hillary Clinton’s campaign announcement through social media. It was a great moment. I shook his hand.
Everything was going great…and then it was time for his speech.
His speech was so unprofessional, laced with profanity. He attacked Mexicans as rapists and murderers and said they weren’t sending their best. Half of our servers at that dinner were Hispanic, some probably of Mexican descent. They seemed embarrassed. People began to walk out. He just bragged and bragged; he didn’t give us a vision for the country. After watching that speech, I knew that my affection for Trump was purely out of entertainment. I could never support him politically.
Trump’s rise made it more apparent that we need Ted Cruz, not only for this election, but to save the definition of conservatism itself. Trump is a populist, not a conservative. Ted Cruz is rooted in principle and believes what he says. I believe that Cruz is genuine in his ideas and, like he says, we don’t need a campaign conservative but a real conservative.
Sure, there are some things that I would like to see Cruz stand for, such as criminal justice reform (I would love to talk to him about how important that is to young people like me), but you will never find a candidate you agree with 100% of the time. I believe that Ted Cruz is the courageous leader we need and that he is the last stand for real conservative principles against the wave of nationalism and populism that too many Republicans are falling for in this election.
It took many months, but I am now ready to commit to Cruz.