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Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told the world on Monday morning that he was running for president, surprising exactly no one. Cruz made the initial announcement on Twitter and then followed it up with a speech at Liberty University.
Making such a major announcement on a college campus might seem like a risky move for a conservative like Cruz, but Liberty University is no ordinary college. Founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell in the early 1970s, the school was recently listed as one of the top ten most conservative colleges in the country. The odds of Cruz’s announcement speech being interrupted by liberal protesters were about as low at Liberty as they would have been at CPAC, the annual conservative conference. Cruz’s choice of venue also allowed him to send social conservatives a message while visibly appealing to young people.
Nevertheless, college kids are still college kids, and mandatory Monday morning assemblies are still mandatory Monday morning assemblies. Yes, that’s right: Attendance at Cruz’s speech was mandatory for all Liberty students.
As you might expect, anonymous local messaging app Yik Yak soon filled up with comments from Liberty students mercilessly mocking Cruz.
Because Yik Yak lets anyone post anonymous messages that are geographically restricted, it has become incredibly popular among college students, who, as it turns out, like to say offensive or embarrassing things to and about each other when they know they can get away with it.
The Cruz campaign, the logo of which is either a teardrop containing the American flag or an American flag ensconced in a flame, is clearly off to a great start.
100 bucks most of Ted Cruz’s aides are currently googling “what is yik yak.”
— Elizabeth Plank (@feministabulous) March 23, 2015
Students didn’t just troll Cruz online; they also did it IRL. Check out the “Stand With Rand” shirts in the background.
Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)
Aaron Sankin is a former Senior Staff Writer at the Daily Dot who covered the intersection of politics, technology, online privacy, Twitter bots, and the role of dank memes in popular culture. He lives in Seattle, Washington. He joined the Center for Investigative Reporting in 2016.