Ted Cruz kicked off his presidential run on Monday with a speech at Liberty University. And while the Texas senator hailed liberty as the goal of his campaign, his view of liberty doesn’t comport with that of most Millennials.
Thomas Jefferson defined liberty as “unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.” That is a timeless sentiment with which most young people largely agree. Today’s youth increasingly support economic freedom, individual liberty, and a peaceful foreign policy.
Unfortunately, Cruz only embraces the same limited view of liberty as failed Republican candidates of the past.
Were Cruz truly a principled champion of free markets, he would seek to advance a more open immigration process, thus allowing worthy immigrant workers to freely trade their labor with American businesses. Instead Cruz makes Latinos the scapegoats of his attack on illegal immigration and grandstands about building a wall along the southern border.
Moreover, Cruz isn’t friendly to personal liberties, as are most forward-looking Millennials. The Texas senator wants to restore the Justice Department’s prosecution of non-violent marijuana users in states where it is legal, despite the fact that more than 60 percent of young Republicans support marijuana legalization.
Worse is the senator’s demagogic opposition to same-sex marriage. Almost 70 percent of Millennials support marriage equality.
The Millennial spirit is decidedly cosmopolitan and forward-looking; the principles of liberty happen to be so as well. But Cruz’s campaign seems to prefer a cloaked agenda of freedom for me but not for thee.