"And have no fellowship with darkness, but rather expose them." Ephesians 5:11

Since she was 14 years old, Caroline Joyous of Calhoun County has been interested in politics. She got an early start as a political commentator and once dreamed of running for office. However, now that she has had a few years under her belt, Joyous says she has changed her focus and hopes to use her voice to encourage other young conservatives.

"I am beyond grateful that the Lord has continually opened doors for me and connected me with some of the most incredible people so that I can help enact change, no matter how big or small," Joyous told 1819 News. "That said, the longer I've been involved in the campaign side of politics, the more that my eyes have truly been opened to how much corruption there is. Just because someone has an 'R' next to their name doesn't mean that they're going to stand up for what we freedom-loving Americans believe in, and just because they make promises certainly doesn't ensure that they will keep them once they're put into office."

Joyous has rubbed elbows with the likes of former President Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Dan Bongino, country music artists and Alabama elected officials. However, there are two she says she will never forget. Sean Feucht, Christian artist and missionary, and Tucker Carlson. Joyous said she was able to meet Carlson during a fundraiser for Rainbow Omega.

"I sent an email to the CEO of Rainbow Omega, Mr. Tim Hodge, knowing it was a long shot," she remembered. "I had bought tickets to attend the event either way, whether I met him or not because Rainbow Omega is such an amazing organization and absolutely one that all of us should be quick to support. The literal day before the event, I got a phone call from Mr. Tim Hodge. He went out of his way to work it out so that I could talk with Tucker Carlson. So, if he's reading this — thank you so much Mr. Hodge, I'll never forget it!"

Joyous said Feucht and Carlson encouraged her to continue the fight by showing her how to stay humble and diligent.

As a 17-year-old, Joyous hopes to reach others her age and encourage them.

"I want to be a voice representing the people of my generation who don't feel that they're heard or understood," she said. "I want them to know that they are understood and that their opinions regarding what's going on in our nation and world does matter. I want them to know that their faith in Jesus and belief in pursuing and protecting freedom isn't a bad thing to hide; it's the lifeline for America's future."

Just over two years ago, Joyous only had 25 followers. Now, she has grown her following online to nearly 38,000. However, Joyous said it's not the number of followers she's worried about.

"I understand completely that, realistically, I could be banned tomorrow because of my views and everything I've ever put online would be lost," said Joyous. "Big tech has censored my account for ninety days twice at this point, restricting my reach for months. Unfortunately, like all other content creators, I have no control over any of that. I do what I can, I remember why I'm doing what I'm doing, and I pray that the Lord continues to use me in any way that He wants in this fight to restore America."

With internet notoriety comes challenges for many, and being a young conservative with a strong voice doesn't always win the popular vote. But for Joyous, who would rather speak up than shut down, sharing her convictions has been rewarding.

"The key to restoring America is for individuals who believe in freedom to stop holding their tongue," Joyous said. "We can't afford to be apologetic about our convictions any longer. Of course, I don't want to be haphazard with what I put out into the world, and I always want to use discernment. I do, however, want to be able to look back years from now and know that I obeyed the Lord and stewarded what He gave me."

Adding to her fire, Joyous said she recently learned that sometimes receiving hate means she's doing something right.

"I read a book by John Maxwell recently called Talent is Never Enough, and I took something invaluable from the book that I want to share," she told 1819 News. "Instead of asking why should you take the opportunity in front of you, ask yourself why not?' I want to live life fully and jump on anything that I know is from the Lord, without hesitating. I have never regretted showing up and getting 'in the room.' In the same sense, I know that I will not regret standing up for what I believe in online. There are certainly thousands of spiteful internet trolls out there, but I pray for them and see them as encouragement."

The liberal movement has labeled conservatives as intolerant and hateful, but Joyous says the truth is conservatives are the most inclusive.

"We believe in protecting the right to free speech for all people, not just those whom we agree with. We agree that life is valuable for all, no matter race, gender or stage of life. We do not determine someone's value based on if they are born or unborn," she said. "We see all human beings as equal. We believe in the American dream, which guarantees freedom of opportunity, not freedom of outcome, for all Americans who seek it and work for it.

"We believe in protecting our country for every one of its legal citizens, whether you vote in alignment with the Republican party or not. We believe that everyone who is a legal American citizen of voting age should have their vote counted and that every citizen deserves fair elections. We believe that the American people deserve to have their hard-earned money spent on making America great before we send billions of dollars overseas to fight wars that we aren't involved in. We believe that after natural disasters, the American people deserve attention and action."

Joyous will cast her first ballot next November in the General Election. While looking forward to voting, she hopes the rest of her generation gets involved.

"One generation has the power to make or break a nation, and I will do everything that I can to ensure that Gen Z is not the generation to hand over our freedom," she said. "It's so important for young people to know that they're not alone and that someone else stands alongside them, sharing their convictions and concerns for the future.

Joyous said none of her success would be possible without the Lord. Although she knows it could be taken away at any moment, she says she plans to remain steadfast. She will soon launch her new show, "Proudly Free with Caroline Joyous," on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. She also plans to release a book next year.

"Hope is not lost," she said. "If I could tell every American, young or old, one thing, it would be this: This is the moment for which you have been created. You have been placed on this earth to make an impact. If you are still here, you still have a purpose and something to accomplish. You are valuable and loved, and you're why I do what I do."

Caroline Joyous can be found on Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter) and TikTok.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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