Reed Ferguson’s PowerPoint presentation The Moral Argument for Capitalism caught our attention. In fact, it slapped me with truth and relevance.
Her message about the superiority of liberty and capitalism over socialism was loaded with exceptional contemporary relevance.
Although our progressive culture will not admit or recognize the growing conservative groundswell among millennials, it’s happening. Since iVoteAmerica is dedicated to “The Next Generation of Conservatives” we teamed up with Ms. Ferguson for a video remake of her already exceptional presentation.
We wanted to know more about Reed and she consented to the following interview.
Q: When did you first start to think about liberty, capitalism and the culture of politics?
A: Growing up in a conservative home, I was always interested in politics. I remember falling asleep next to my grandmother, listening to Fox News and her history books on tape. But it wasn’t until later on in high school when I got interested in economics that I really started asking myself why I believe these things. Why does conservatism matter? Better yet, what even is conservatism?
Q: What’s the deal with most millennials and their apparent notions of entitlement?
A: People like Bernie Sanders have gotten inside their heads and taught them that they have the right to the fruits of someone else’s labor and that they are also morally superior because of it.
Q: Why do most students seem to characterize capitalism and freedom as an ugly value?
A: This one could be one or two or all three of these answers:
- Student debt, which Bernie Sanders has, of course, told them is the fault of “CORPORATE GREED” and free enterprise. In reality, point me to a problem that Bernie Sanders believes is a problem with capitalism, and I will show you that it is actually a problem that government intervention created.
- Young people weren’t around to see the atrocities that were carried out in the past century by governments that valued the “common good” over the rights of the individual.
- They’ve never actually thought about what these words mean. They hear “conservative” and they think “racist, sexist, homophobe.” Maybe, they’ll just think, “anti-healthcare,” “anti-abortion,” or even “anti-choice.” But if they were to actually examine modern conservatism, they would find that it is the exact opposite. It’s the belief in constitutionalism and freedom of choice, not government compulsion.
Q: How are you personally involved in creating change in the culture?
A: At my school, I just won the election for director of social media for Turning Point USA, which is a non-partisan political club that promotes free markets, limited government, and fiscal responsibility. Most of our members are conservatives or libertarians, but we will usually try to attract middle-of-the-aisle people by saying, “Basically, if you aren’t a social justice warrior, you’ll fit right in.” While organizations like College Republicans are great, being non-partisan really helps us focus on the principles, not the party, and allows us to not alienate our peers at first glance.
Q: Got any favorite political figures that currently inspire you?
A: All my friends know that I have a thorough obsession with Ben Shapiro. I listen to him probably every single day. There are a few things we would probably disagree on, but overall, I think he is one of the most honest and principled political pundits out there today.
Q: Since I know you are a big fan of Milton Friedman… what is it that you like about him?
A: I got my first dose of free market economics when in high school, I was surfing the Internet and stumbled upon a Milton Friedman lecture. He was discussing equal pay and basically said that the free market is the only way to get rid actual sexism. The feminist who asked the question said something like, “Don’t you think that that dooms them to stay that way?” He said absolutely not. That lecture was probably how I originally came to my view that the free market holds people directly and monetarily accountable for their actions. He responded to her by saying, “Look. I’m on your side…but you aren’t.” Brilliant.
Q: Any plans to run for office (LOL)?
A: Haha! I’ve read so much Ayn Rand that I’ve come to despise virtually anyone who lives off of the public dollar (with the exception of the people who are protecting our country, of course). I refuse to ever be a looter, so if I were ever to run for office, to comfort my soul, I would probably need to earn my fortune in the private sector first, where I wouldn’t be living my life at the literal expense of someone else.
Q: We worked together to create a video based on a presentation you did, what’s the story behind that presentation?
A: For my speech class, we had to give a persuasive speech. Originally, I chose a fairly non-political, neutral topic because I was surrounded by a class full of college students, some of whom were very likely to be social justice warriors. Then I started wondering, “Why the heck am I so scared to give a speech on capitalism? Capitalism shouldn’t be controversial.” So I changed my topic and gave the speech. My TPUSA chapter tweeted it, and the national TPUSA page retweeted it, and you must have seen it from there.
Q: What advice do you have for an old Boomer like me, who wants to see the Next Generation of Conservatives like you create political and cultural impact?
A: Focus on the freedom aspect. I think there is a silent majority of young people who would much more readily identify with us if they understood that the essence of modern conservatism is really classical liberalism. People love calling themselves liberals and freedom fighters. Capitalize on that.
Q: What’s your favorite hobby? What annoys you most in life? Whose music do you listen to? Favorite book and movie?
A: I am actually a musician. I sing, write songs, and play guitar and piano (although, piano, I play badly). I’m into the classic blues-rock bands of the 1960s and early 70s. Because I was trying to get my music out there, I stayed quiet concerning politics for a long time. But no more! Aside from pretending I’m a super cool musician, I am a dork by every sense of the word. My biggest obsession is Harry Potter, I love Star Wars, and I’m currently re-reading The Lord of the Rings because, you know, why not? I love writing, and I’d love to publish many, many books someday. As for what annoys me? Leftist totalitarianism annoys me.
Thanks, Reed, you have renewed my faith in “The Next Generation of Conservatives” and it has been a delight to work with you. I wish you God’s continued blessings as your life moves forward and you continue to stand for liberty.
iVoteAmerica stands with young professionals, like Reed Ferguson. We are dedicated to seeing organizations like TPUSA continue to foster the lasting values of liberty, capitalism and small government.
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