2016 ERC Scholarship Essay Program $750 Recipient
Zac Wildin, Auburn, Green River Community College

As a conservative millennial, it is demoralizing to have borne firsthand witness to how the leadership of our country over the last eight years has outcast those who have consistently fought to defend the values that made America the land of the free. We have seen gains in government dependency lead to a lackluster economy, as well as losses in patriotism and a faith in our nation that used to perpetuate us towards prosperity. With the stakes in this election so high, we need someone that can renew promises of the American dream through the return of true conservative leadership or we will risk losing it forever. For this, there is one particular personality in the 2016 race named Ted Cruz who will restore such necessities for he not only represents the ideals of liberty but has a proven record of standing by them.

The United States of America has always been a safe haven for those fleeing tyranny in hopes of the countless opportunities provided. My own grandmother fled Germany for America at the end of World War II, as did my family friends from Cambodia under the totalitarian dictatorship of Pol Pot in the late 1970s. Similarly, inspired by his father who fled communist Cuba, Ted leads by example and knows personally what freedoms, whether social or economic, must be preserved to keep America’s reputation. Our Bill of Rights is in jeopardy considering that the next president will be able to appoint as many as four new Supreme Court justices. However, Cruz has always defended the Bill of Rights most notably as a proud advocate of religious and second amendment liberties among others. With his consistent opposition to anti-gun legislation as well as a successful court victory in keeping an 80 year-old cross memorial that stood for World War I veterans in a case against the ACLU, my constitutionally protected liberties are safe with him. As a college student who has worked hard towards a reliable future, it is also important to me that the economy yield the same opportunities as it has in the past. Pro free-market principles such as Ted’s revolutionary tax reform policy of a low ten percent flat rate gives me hope for a resulting prosperity to create possibility of a successful life for me, my future family and the rest of the country.

In total, while we draw nearer to the 2016 election, there is more reason than ever before to consider this as one of the most critical votes for the future of this nation. I fear that as more battles at home are appeased and lost to the freedom-stripping policies of progressivism, we will fall as the land of the dependent and fearful, as countless ill-fated civilizations have in the past. However, I believe that Ted Cruz holds the tenacity, experience, and true Republican values of liberty and opportunity to be the President that we Americans need for a contrastingly hopeful future.