The thing about 13-year old kids is that they try on a lot of different ideas because they're 13 and it's what kids do. Which is why it should surprise no one that CJ Pearson has walked away from the conservative movement, particularly after his spectacular crash and burn earlier this year when he claimed President Obama blocked his Twitter account.
Now Pearson claims to have seen the cynicism behind conservatism.
"I was tired of being a champion of a party that turned a blind eye to racial discrimination. Tired of being a champion of any cause that denies equal rights to every American. Tired of being a champion of a party that doesn't care about the issues important to young people," Pearson wrote in an email.
The 13-year-old, African-American YouTube star from Georgia said in an interview that he began considering the change after a conversation with another teen friend, who asked why he doesn't speak out on racial discrimination -- to which he replied he was concerned his followers wouldn't be pleased.
"Over the past few days, I thought about essentially how I don't want people to follow me because I'm that anti-Obama kid, or who called out Hillary Clinton or who took Bernie Sanders to task," Pearson said. "I don't want to be the conservative wonder kid that people follow because I make them feel good and like young people are part of their movement. I want to be followed because I'm the voice of a generation that doesn't have a voice at the table."
Well, CJ. Your generation really does have a voice at the table, and it's possible yours will amplify it. Or not. We'll have to see. But the decision to make a split with Ted Cruz was definitely a shrewd one.
Pearson was apparently deeply affected by the Laquan McDonald shooting.
Pearson was also the chairman of Teens for Ted and part of the presidential campaign for the Republican Texas senator, but separated with the Cruz campaign at the beginning of the month. Pearson said Cruz wasn't doing enough for issues affecting young people.
No Republican gives a damn about issues affecting young people. Only fetuses. Just for the record, CJ.
This is the second time Fox News has championed an adolescent wunderkind, only to have them repudiate conservatism later. Remember Jonathan Krohn? Also from Georgia, also featured because of a CPAC speech he gave which was also exploited.
Here's my own dirty little teenage secret, folks. I was raised in a house full of Democrats but all my friends worked for Nixon's re-election campaign in 1972. Guess who else did that? Yup. And guess how old I was. 13. That's right. And by age 14, I had a clue that I was an idiot, and to this day, my family loves to razz me about wandering off the reservation long enough to work for a dirty lying crook.
Thirteen-year olds evolve, and evolve quickly. It's time for CJ to settle down, excel in school, maybe run for student council or even keep writing about issues that he's passionate about. It's time for Fox News and the parents of these kids to let them be teenagers without having to change their minds in full view of their exploitive conservative masters.
Good luck, CJ. I hope you use the time away from the limelight to think through your politics and use your talents for good.