Earlier this year, Christian — who describes his three main interests as politics, comedy, and rock 'n' roll — was one of 100 students chosen for the US Senate Youth Program in Washington, DC. The highlight was meeting President Donald Trump, whom he voted for in November and can do a spot-on impression of.
Trump shook Christian's hand and gave a short motivational speech. "I bet there's a future president sitting in this room right now," he told them. It could be Christian, who plans to enter politics after graduating from college.
Today, with his friends, he plays in a rock band and performs political comedy on a local radio show in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Tell me about where you live.
"[Fort Smith, Arkansas] is a typical Southern town. It used to be very industrious. We used to have a big Whirlpool plant here, but Whirlpool went down to Mexico. A lot of people lost their jobs, and it took an economic downturn, so there are a lot of abandoned buildings downtown. But we have a rich cultural heritage of being a western town. There's a famous judge, Judge Parker, who was known as the 'hanging judge,' because Fort Smith was the last civilized area before you got into Indian territory, which is now Oklahoma. He was famous for hanging a lot of people ... It's a mixture of metropolitan and a close-knit neighborhood — just big enough to have restaurants but not a whole lot to do."
Do you feel like you fit in? What was your high school like?
"Yes, I like the people and am very in tune with the culture, which is very conservative, religious, and focused on family ... My high school, when I first started, was called the Southside Rebels ... We have a great band. Southside has the reputation of, 'This is where the rich, white, affluent kids go.' And Northside was where the low-income kids go. But I think it's gotten more ethnically diverse. A big controversy happened my sophomore year, after the South Carolina Dylann Roof shooting. To be politically correct, we changed our mascot to the maverick and our fight song, which was 'Dixie.'"
How do you identify politically? What is an important issue for you?
"I'm a registered Republican, and I believe in small government and individualism. Individualism has become a nasty word. But I feel as though that's what the country was founded on, the belief that you can strike out and do your own enterprise without the fear of government intervention ... An important issue is I see the fear of identity politics coming up more and more — this idea that we're going to box people in ... this social-justice climate, I cannot stand. That's the most detrimental thing to the Democratic Party. I think identity politics are a form of racism — the idea that because you are 'this,' you have to do 'this.'"
How do you use social media?
"I use Instagram and iFunny a lot to look at funny pictures. I don't have a finsta, but I a lot of my friends do. A lot of my friends run meme accounts, too, which is pretty impressive in a way. I think finstas are too damaging, because once you put something on the internet, it never comes back ... When I first started [on social media], I was in seventh grade and posted whatever I thought about. But now, I'm very much careful about what I post."
How did you form your political views?
"Very much so from my family and independent research. It seems like my mom falls more in line with Democratic principles, and my dad is a centrist who's slightly to the right. I'm very much more to the right. Family formed my opinions. I go to church. That's where I get my religious morals, and I listen to a lot of talk radio."
What are you worried about for your future?
"This idea of socialism, it scares me. I'm probably in that group of ultra-white affluent people, the country-club crowd that feels threatened by idea that socialism is becoming normalized, which is based on the idea that you can steal from me ... I'm worried that we're going to have a leftward trend in politics among young people and see the rise of universal healthcare ... You're not entitled [to healthcare]. It's a privilege, because it's a product, like anything else. You purchase it, like a piece of furniture ... If a baby is born with a congenital heart disease, a doctor is going to operate on it. If they can't afford it, you can do a payment plan or go to your church or your friend."