If you tuned in to Ted Cruz’s announcement that he was running for President today, you would have seen a pretty big crowd on hand. About 10,000 people at Liberty University, a place that some question its validity as a university, attended the announcement. Cruz opened his campaign giving the appearance of being wildly popular, especially with the young people. You know, just like Barack Obama.
But here’s the thing, Obama’s audiences showed up voluntarily. They came from far distances just to hear, then candidate, Obama speak. In Cruz’s case, the attendees by and large came from their dorm rooms within walking distance. And, they were there not because of any great passion, but because Liberty University forced them to be in attendance.
The event is called a “convocation” and is held three times a week at Liberty University. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, all students are required to go to Liberty’s main hall where Cruz spoke today. If they don’t attend, they are punished.
Pretty ironic for a guy who was preaching about “freedom” this morning.
The convocation usually involves a Liberty faculty member or guest speaker who comes in and speaks on a given subject. Sometimes they bring in a christian rock band to perform. Today it became a blatant platform for partisan politics. Not the 1st time it has been that but it is probably one of the most obvious examples of Liberty using what is supposed to be a religious or inspirational sermon for political purposes. So much for separation of church and state.
And by the way, if you look at the Liberty convocation calendar, you will see that this was probably not a recently planned or spontaneous event. Liberty left this date open as a “TBA” probably just for this event when they announced their spring schedule back in January. Every other slot on the calendar was filled in advance.
Some students did find a way to express their displeasure with the forced attendance to a political event. They chose to wear “Stand with Rand” shirts and made sure cameras got a good shot of their “peaceful protest.” (see video)
Adding to the irony (to put it mildly) was Cruz’s theme of “Imagine” as he spouted off lines that John Lennon probably would not approve of. He invoked the ghost of Ronald Reagan and spoke of taking away healthcare for millions, and other draconian ideas posed as “liberty.” This was a speech that could have been penned by Jerry Falwell.
So, to sum it all up. . . Ted Cruz announced his candidacy today for the Presidency and spoke of freedom and liberty to an audience that was forced to be there. He borrowed and twisted a theme made famous by a man famous for being about as left-wing as one could possibly be and invoked the ghost of a right-wing hero in that rant. And, he did it in a place that some people question its credentials as a University, but few doubt its intentions as a church. And, he did all this apparently to look like he is popular with the young people. You know, like Barack Obama.
See Cruz’s announcement HERE:
Featured image via YouTube screen capture