Maybe where you live, clear-thinking, conservative, intelligent, politically-active 14-year-olds are a dime a dozen, but around here, we don’t see many teenagers like CJ Pearson. The YouTube superstar rose to fame last year when he blasted President Obama for meeting with Ahmed Mohamed, the Muslim high-schooler better known as “Clock Boy.” The media was appalled to see a black teenager criticizing Obama, perhaps already dreading the day Pearson runs for president.
They are wise to fear him. Not only does he have a bright future ahead of himself in politics, but his commentary is powerful enough to change young minds here and now. Read his recent column about Donald Trump, and you’ll see that it pays to listen to the younger generation every once in a while.
In the Time.com piece, Pearson explains that he went through three other potential nominees before landing on Trump: Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Bernie Sanders.
Wait, Bernie Sanders?
“Some have ridiculed me for supporting various candidates across the ideological spectrum,” he admits. “In a condescending blog post last December, conservative radio host Erick Erickson accused me of desperately seeking attention, questioned by intellectual capacity and instructed me to ‘shut up, and go live life.’ This reaction makes one thing clear: many people in the ‘old guard’ do not have the slightest understanding of the political philosophies of my generation.”
Pearson says that “post-party politics” could be the wave of the future. “According to a 2014 Pew Research study, 50% of millennials identify as political independents,” he writes. “Many people in my generation support the person – regardless of political party – who they believe has the capacity and ability to lead. The future and stability of America are far more important than ego and party.”
When you look at it through that lens, it’s easier to see why Pearson went through the candidates he did. Paul, Cruz, Sanders, and Trump are all alike in one crucial way: They are not afraid to cross the political establishment. And for an increasing number of Americans, young and old, that establishment is the main thing holding the country back.
For Pearson, though, it’s not about theory. Like all of us, he’s watched the horrors unfold in real time.
“While the past eight years may feel distant to some, the wounds – full of devastation and pain – inflicted by President Obama’s agenda remain fresh,” he writes. “I refuse to allow the possibility of a Clinton presidency to extend that suffering.”
Pearson won’t be able to cast his own ballot in November, of course. Hopefully, the rest of us can do him proud.