“Your assignment is to go home and watch the debate tonight. Write three things you learned from the political candidates on a sheet of paper and share it with the class tomorrow” said my teacher, Mrs. Stack. Debate? I wondered.
I didn’t know anything about political debates, especially ones that were on TV. In fact, I didn’t know anything about politics at all. The year was 2015, and my assignment was to watch the Republican Primary debate for my middle school speech and debate class.
My seventh-grade self had no idea what I wanted to do with my life when I grew up, but that was all about to change that night with this assignment. Little did I know, upon watching the debate, I would be introduced to the man who would make it crystal clear what career path I should take. That man was Donald J. Trump.
Since I watched that debate, Mr. Trump has illuminated a career path before me. That career was the law and politics. I followed the pathway Mr. Trump revealed before me, and it has led me to where I am today, an attorney on the Mock Trial team at our school, and actively pursuing the nation’s most elite universities that possess the most distinguished law tracks.
Mr. Trump has inspired me to have abundant self-confidence, not be afraid to be bold, and to never count myself out, but to persist to the end of every fight.
If anyone has seen Mr. Trump in person or on TV, they know he exudes self-confidence. I immediately noticed this when I watched the debate that night. Mr. Trump stood on the stage against seasoned politicians, Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as well as former Governors Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee, to name a few. But his lack of political experience did not hinder him from outperforming his seasoned political opponents.
Mr. Trump was confident in his own knowledge and debating abilities, and it ultimately led him to win the debate that night. I was inspired to say the least. It showed me that no matter who your opponents are in life, as long as you prepare well and trust in yourself, you will succeed.
I remembered this lesson last year when I was in the midst of an extremely competitive high school Moot Court competition. It was my first year competing, and most of my opponents had already competed several times and knew what to expect. I ignored that, however, and focused on using my own knowledge and abilities to their fullest potential. Although we did not win the competition, my partner and I advanced to the state finals for the first time in school history.
Additionally, if you followed Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, you know that he took some bold political stances. As a Republican, he denounced the war in Iraq, calling it a mistake. He also aimed to replace NAFTA and TPP and was in favor of tariffs. These were unconventional Republican positions, yet Mr. Trump was bold enough to challenge the establishment and give his honest opinion.
Once more, I took this trait of his and applied it to my own life. At my school, there is a club called the Diversity Student Union, which is overwhelmingly comprised of people that believe in liberal ideas. As a citizen of the United States, I have seen how divisive the country has become when it comes to people’s political views, and I wanted to try to bridge that divide in a small way, starting with the community at my school.
I used the same boldness as Mr. Trump when I walked into the DSU meeting that day. Yes, I was yelled at, and many disagreements arose, but in the end many of the members and I were able to find common ground on sensitive topics. It is amazing what a calm, yet bold, attitude can achieve.
Lastly, if you watched any mainstream media station during the 2016 election cycle, you know that they had little faith in Mr. Trump’s ability to win the election. Nearly every poll had Mr. Trump losing by several points to Hillary Clinton.
All the way up to the night of the election, the media scoffed at Mr. Trump’s campaign, and Time Magazine even went so far as to prematurely print dozens of magazines with Hillary Clinton’s face on it titled “Madam President”.
But Mr. Trump did not count himself out. He was going to fight to the end. He was going to fight for every state, fight for every county, fight for every city, and ultimately fight for every vote. When election night had come to fruition, Donald Trump reigned victorious. Even I was pleasantly surprised.
However, more than anything, I was deeply inspired. Mr. Trump had defied the odds and won the election. I was so inspired that two years later I decided to begin my own campaign for class president. It was one of the most competitive elections in school history, with over twenty candidates running. I never counted myself out, and campaigned tirelessly until election day, where I defeated the four-term incumbent.
Without Mr. Trump’s inspiration, I would not know my future career path, nor would I have been able to surmount the obstacles I have shared with you. I hope you are inspired by the self-confidence, boldness, and persistence of Donald Trump, and can apply it to your lives as I have mine.
Listen to this Conservative Business Journal Podcast with John Di Lemme and Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich about the future of America under President Trump’s leadership…