The Importance of Young Conservative Leadership in the U.S.
Turning Point USA at ECU’s President Caroline Craig
The United States of America finds itself at a crucial point in its history. The freedom and liberties our forefathers fought for are crumbling around us. What does the future hold? The answer lies in the hands of young Americans who will steering this ship through the turbulent waters ahead.
We had the opportunity to interview a future leader of America, Caroline Craig. Caroline is currently attending East Carolina University, where she is the Turning Point USA chapter President. She is also a Future Female Leader Cabinet Member and finds the time to run her own blog Right of Normal.
What experiences have you had being a conservative on a college campus?
Being a conservative on a college campus is never easy. I am going against the grain in everything I do and say. I'm under a microscope and I always wonder whether or not my teachers warn each other about the outspoken students in the classroom. I have never had a paper unfairly graded, thankfully. I have had teachers lie to the rest of my peers but ignore when my hand shoots up to comment on what the professor said. I have had a professor that compared Republicans to Nazi's but that was almost the worst I have heard. There are just barely any conservative outlets on campus because conservatives are looked down upon on campuses.
Have you had to compromise your beliefs and values as a student?
When I was a freshman, I wrote to my professors leanings once and I did it because my parents told me to. I gave up my principles for a letter grade. But ever since then, I've realized that even though I want the good grades, I want to earn them going off of my principles, not my professor's ideology.
What are the top three issues for you in the upcoming election?
It's hard to say that only three issues matter the most. I think I'm looking for a specific leadership more than single issues but if I had to choose, I would say my top three issues are national security and defense, economic policy, and social program reform across the board.
Out of the three, which issue is most important to you right now?
I would say that right now I'm most worried about our national security. Not because I don't trust the military to do their jobs, but I don't trust the bureaucracies to do theirs. I feel like our military leadership under Barack Obama has been all bark, no bite. We are a laughing stock and I'm sick of watching our enemies making moves while we sit back and watch. Bush scared our enemies, Obama amuses them.
What medium do you use most to receive news? Social media, Political TV Shows, Blogs, websites, etc?
I receive a lot of my news from my Fox News and Associated Press app's which send me notifications. I use Twitter a lot so I follow quite a few news outlets. I also watch TV which can be anything from Fox News, CNN, The Blaze, or local news outlets. I read a lot on The Blaze, Campus Reform, and Hypeline. And for political commentary and blog, I read a lot on Future Female Leader.
Is there a go-to website that you visit on a daily basis?
I go on Twitter all the time and check up on Facebook occasionally. I visit futurefemaleleader.com daily as well as campusreform.org, theblaze.com, hypeline.org, turningpointusa.net, and rare.us.
Do you identify with a specific candidate at this point in the primary season?
I can't say that I'm 100% behind a candidate but I really like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. I just know that America can't afford 4 more years of a Democrat.
Where can young conservatives go to be more active on their campus?
Most colleges and universities have a College Republicans but that isn't the only place. There is Turning Point USA which I am the president of at East Carolina University and we got 250+ to sign up because the message of "Big Government Sucks" is extremely relatable to college students. Turning Point USA, Young American's for Freedom, Young American's for Liberty, Network of enlightened Women (NeW), Students for Life, Students for Concealed Carry are some of my favorites. Some campuses may have these but if they don't, I highly encourage them to start it. Starting Turning Point USA was one of the best things I've done in college and it's brought a discussion to campus that otherwise wouldn't have seen the light of day.
Is there a piece of advice you'd like to give your fellow conservatives?
Don't stop fighting. College campuses are indoctrination factories where your peers will listen to what their professors say and believe it without fact checking. It's our job to bring up the facts that professors won't tell our peers. Don't back down because people want you to. Don't be afraid because facts and science are on our side. Do your research. Get a mentor who has gone through what you may currently be going through. And do not burn bridges.
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