Texas Senator Ted Cruz became the first Republican to officially announce his 2016 presidential campaign in front of a packed crowd of 10,000 college students at Liberty University on March 23. While it appeared he had a gigantic crowd of eager young conservatives, the truth of the matter is that those present weren’t as quite enthused as it may have seemed.Liberty University students were required to attend the Cruz announcement for their weekly Convocation (similar to Soundings) or forced to pay a fine. The University’s handbook outlines some downright insane penalties for various “infractions.” Smoking a cigarette – $25. Attending an R rated movie – $50. Practicing witchcraft – $500 and possible expulsion.
Not attending Cruz’s rally was only a $10 fine, but participation including clapping and cheering, was also required – meaning an already cash-deprived student could be facing a $20 fine altogether.
Popular phone app YikYak blew up during Cruz’s speech, as students let the world know how they really felt. Here are some of our favorites, including a wonderful Marshawn Lynch reference.
“Worst. TedTalk. Ever.”
“Announcing here was a genius move on his part. To everyone else it looks like he has an audience of 10,000 young adult supporters. They don’t know we have to be here.”
“Convo- I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”
Many students also razzed Cruz for his repeated use of the word “imagine.”
“Imagine a speaker… who takes forever… to say anything.” In typical college fashion, Cruz’s affinity for the word quickly turned into a drinking game amongst the students,
“All right change of plans. I don’t think I can drink fast enough to keep up with how many times he’s said imagine. I already owe like five shots. I can’t catch up.”
Besides channeling his inner John Lennon, Cruz persistently proclaimed that if elected there would be no more phone tapping or email tampering. An admirable objective, but wait, there’s more.
He then asked for the students to take out their phones and text the word “constitution” to the number 33733. Seems like a nice gimmick, and although Cruz never provided any details on the number, he looked pleased to see the student body abide. Spoiler alert, those phones were already out – apparently Cruz doesn’t check his YikYak very often.
But what of Cruz’s promises? The ones about respecting privacy, remember? All you have to do is text your personal information to this mysterious number that collects your number for undisclosed purposes and not ask questions!
It’s acts like this that have the Democratic Party almost, if not more excited than the Republicans over Ted Cruz’s presidential run. Many Democrats are ecstatic with impending train wreck of a failure that is Cruz’s campaign.
According to political news site The Hill, Democrats want “nothing more than for him to run strongly throughout the primary season. The more momentum he develops, they argue, the more likely he is to push the eventual GOP nominee further to the right than that person will want to go.”
Nonetheless, there are still some who remain wary.
“I recall the legend of folks in the Carter White House saying they wanted to run against Ronald Reagan… So I approach the GOP field with a degree of humility,” said Paul Begala, a strategist for President Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.
So while there is the slight chance that Americans will prove to be as stupid, on the whole, as the rest of the world considers us to be, Ted Cruz is truly the Sarah Palin of this election – too crazy to be taken seriously, too dangerous to completely ignore, and too pretentious to realize that his campaign is simply an audition for a position on Fox News in 2017.