The right is losing the culture war but conservatives should take heart and persevere because they have truth on their side, Turning Point USA Founder Charlie Kirk told attendees of the 2019 Midwest Regional Conference.
“The left has taken over our universities, they have taken over our high schools, they have taken over our grade schools now and they are teaching ideas that will destroy the very country that everyone here has been able to prosper in together,” Kirk warned. “Our college campuses are teaching hatred of America to the next generation and they are very good at it.”
“We are not winning broadly, but we are making progress,” said Kirk.
“The left hates the idea that there are other ideas. They know that if we are able to speak, that we will win. The left has feelings. We have history and reason and debate and dialogue and discourse and open-mindedness and tolerance and the ability for our ideas to win other people. They cannot defend their ideas when they are actually put up against a logical cross examination or a debate or a dialogue.”
Regardless, the stakes going forward are high and the margin for error small, said Kirk.
“If we don’t succeed, we will soon be a country that is unrecognizable, and you are starting to see leading indicators of that,” said Kirk to the hundreds of attendees. “I do not think something like the ‘Green New Deal’ would have been introduced 20 or 30 years ago. I do not think hatred of Israel and hatred of Jewish people would have been tolerated 20 or 30 years ago. I don’t think socialists would be getting the votes they are getting today 20 or 30 years ago. I don’t think someone who committed a fake hate crime and 16 felonies could get released with nothing 20 or 30 years ago.”
Further evidence of leftist corruption of the nation’s educational institutions and a slow slog toward socialism has now leeched into the halls of Congress, where the likes of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) now hold court, Kirk said. For a number of years, he has warned that this was coming.
“Whatever happens on campuses today is what is going to happen in Congress tomorrow,” he told conference attendees as a means to hammer home the point that TPUSA must continue doing what it can to diminish the leftward threat on campus and minimize its impact on future presidential elections.
The “good news,” said Kirk, is that TPUSA’s emphasis on American exceptionalism, free markets, limited government, and the proposition that the Constitution is the greatest political document ever written resonates with students exposed to it.
“The truth will win,” he said. “It is not that students are opposed to our ideas, it is that they are not exposed to them at all in the first place. When we go to college campuses, it is not that students say ‘I’ve heard all that before and here are ten reasons you are wrong,’ it is that they tilt their heads and say, ‘I never knew people could think that way. I’ve never heard that America is a good country. I’ve never heard that the Judeo-Christian ethic is what built western civilization. I never heard that free enterprise capitalism is the most moral, effective economic system ever discovered.”
Kirk said that in the search for truth, students should ask themselves several baseline questions.
“One is, are you angry or are you thankful to live in America? If you are angry that you live in America, that has been taught to you, and it has been taught incorrectly, because you should be kissing the ground that you were born on that you were able to live in this country at this time.”
“A second question we have to ask is ‘are you a victim or are you a victor?’ Far too often universities teach victimhood as a virtue,” Kirk went on.
“There is nothing virtuous about complaining or whining or asking for something in return because you think something bad happened to you. Our universities have an entire culture built around the idea that if you live here you are inherently oppressed and that you deserve something in return. How did that manifest itself? That is how you get socialism because everyone thinks they are entitled to someone else’s money. If you are a victim, it is really easy to sell the virtue of others to be redistributed to yourself. It is very easy to say that person doesn’t deserve that, or that person didn’t work hard for that. What a dangerous road that leads us down.”
Engaging the left in the culture war will continue to be expensive, Kirk told donors assembled at the MWRC.
”What we are doing is we are empowering the ground troops with the ammunition and the artillery to fight the culture war. We are up against huge opposition, hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars are spent to make sure that conservatives have hell to pay when they set foot as a freshman on campus, whether it be George Soros or Tom Steyer or the entire left. With your help, we are going to save the greatest country that has ever existed.”
Turning Point USA is also planning to undertake a new project in which it asks donors to stop giving money to colleges that silence conservatives.