An Interview with John Mace McGrath: Organizer for the Trump 2016 Presidential Campaign

Recently, we interviewed John Mace McGrath from Fort Worth, TX. He is currently a senior at Trinity Christian Academy, and will be attending The Citadel this fall. McGrath served as the Texas State Director, and later Southwest U.S. Regional Director of “Students for Trump” during the 2016 Presidential election, as well as a co-chair for the Texas Congressional District 12 race. We spoke with McGrath about his experience as a young person involved in Presidential politics, including his work with social media, phone calling, and “pavement politics” (he knocked on over 2,000 doors over the primary and general elections!).  

What motivated you to become involved in political organizing at such a young age?

I felt that politics was a calling, and I had the gall to say something, while many of my peers don’t have the will or ability to do it themselves. I was excited, and a little unsure of myself when I took a position at Students for Trump, but it turned out to be a very wise decision.  

What do you think is the best way for young people to stay involved in politics now that election season is over?

Social media is very important in keeping people engaged with what’s going on in the world. Young people can begin researching how a particular area voted in the last election, and work to improve on those results or change them.

What was the most difficult aspect of working on a presidential campaign at such a relatively young age?

Most people at an older age usually laughed me off, often thinking I didn’t know what I was doing, and in most cases, they told me, “Trump isn’t going to win”.

Why do you believe young people being involved in politics is so important?

Unfortunately, not enough young people are engaging in the political process, and I feel it’s necessary to have the conversation with young people and encourage them to be as active as possible. Whether that would be pavement politics, community organizing, or just going to the voting booth, I feel the values of millennials is sorely underrepresented.

What were your favorite and least favorite experiences from working on the Trump campaign?

My least favorite experience when working in the campaign was the night we lost Texas to Ted Cruz in the Republican Primary. I had put a lot of time and effort in the Dallas Fort-Worth area knocking on doors and making phone calls, but we lost it to Texas’ favorite son, Ted Cruz.

My favorite experience working for the campaign was when I had the opportunity to drive Mr. Trump’s family to a debate venue in Charleston, SC. I drove Mr. Trump’s wife, Melania, his daughter Ivanka, and her husband, Jared. It was a surreal experience and now that he is president, I will not have the opportunity to do that ever again.

Thank you to John Mace McGrath for taking the time to talk about his experience as a youth involved with President Trump’s campaign!
Written by Kate Canavan

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