“Do what you love and love what you do.” This oft-repeated quote may be a tad cliché but for the past three months I am happy to say I am doing exactly that. Every job has its highs and lows, but working with Turning Point USA has infinitely more highs and they climb to unparalleled heights in my life. Getting to interact with people personally on campus, meet motivated student leaders, and further the values of freedom and liberty is honestly a blessing. I can genuinely say I do what I love and I love what I do.
Tabling on any college campus is a challenge. Students are disengaged and more enthralled by the T-Swift blasting through their headphones than as to why big government sucks. Getting people to care is definitely difficult, but as we have found, it is not impossible. My “TPUSA Power Team”, as I like to call them, have been able to engage more students than I ever thought possible.
Because of to their unshakeable dedication and evident passion, I have to give them a quick shout out. Without Hunter Clary, Caroline Williams, Grace Willoughby, Heather McGuire, Ian Tygar, April Joy, and Mike Torounian, I would (a) not be nearly as successful reaching students on campus and (b) be having nearly as much fun! These leaders have made Turning Point USA prosper and achieve its goals of spreading the message of freedom, free markets, and fiscal responsibility. We had over thirty students at our very first meeting and this number will only continue to grow.
Going into this semester I was prepared to receive negative feedback on campus. I had heard horror stories of how badly some students were treated just for promoting conservative values. I was never scared, but I was apprehensive. One of the biggest lessons I have taken away from tabling at UF, is that there are infinitely more students that share my values than I originally believed. When I get to hear personal stories from people as to why they value capitalism, free markets, and freedom, it makes everything worth it.
For example, a couple weeks ago we were in Turlington (our “free speech” zone on campus) and a Chinese man came up to our table with the biggest smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that when you see it, you cannot help but smile back. I asked him if he had ever heard of TPUSA to which he said no, but inquired as to what it was about in broken English. I started explaining it to him what our mission and goals are and he became ecstatic, smiling even bigger. He explained to us that he was from China and that he came to America to escape the very real, and very prominent, oppression of big government. Continuing in broken English, he continued to explain how Americans do not seem to understand the threat that big government wields. To say the least, he was thrilled that we were out fighting the good fight on campus. The smile never left his face as he grabbed our “I <3 Capitalism” and “Big Government Sucks” pins, stickers, and publications.
I do not have the space to tell you about how many similar, personal encounters like this I have had on campus, but take my word that they happen often. With every conversation such as this one, I am reminded as to why our dedication to the values of freedom, liberty, and the American Dream are so important. This nation was founded on ideals that are the envy of people around the world. The quality of life America has created is unparalleled in human history and our resilient spirit is how I know we are approaching the Turning Point in the our political scene today. Every day we fight to remind students about the values that have made America great. The fight is not over, but from what I can see, we are winning.
We are the future. We will not tire. We will not give up. #ChompBigGov