Among the issues that the right finds pressing, including liberal bias on campus, drug legalization, and abortion, there is a new and excited group of student activists who are willing to discuss the full ramifications of these policies–and they have arrived on campuses everywhere.
Core conservatives believe in free markets, limited government and freedom of speech. Recently, over 2,500 conservatives and libertarians rallied in West Palm Beach for the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit 2017. Turning Point USA is a non-profit and non-partisan student activism group headed by Charlie Kirk. The goal of TPUSA is for students to consider the facts of libertarian and conservative policies in action, and with over 1,200 campus chapters across the US and Canada, they are certainly making their mark! Even the President of the United States couldn’t stay silent!
Trump’s tweet reads:
“The President has accomplished some absolutely historic things during this past year.” Thank you Charlie Kirk of Turning Points USA. Sadly, the Fake Mainstream Media will NEVER talk about our accomplishments in their end of year reviews. We are compiling a long & beautiful list.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2017
Some of the speakers included in the lineup for the Student Action Summit were Ben Shaprio, Jeanine Pirro, James O’keefe, Tomi Lahren, Donald Trump Jr, and Dave Rubin, to name a few.
Among the discussed topics was the growing liberal bias in professors and administration on college campuses that tend to indoctrinate students rather than facilitate freedom of speech and diversity of thought. Students were given the opportunity to network with different conservative media outlets like Campus Reform. I had the great pleasure of meeting Cabbot Phillips, media director for Campus Reform and Fox News contributor. At a break out session, while he spoke with Lauren Colley, another contributor for Fox News and writer for Red Alert at the Washington Examiner, Phillips gave sound advice for changing the policies that further this bias. He said, “exposing the matter” is the only way to bring attention to it or change it.
For example, Phillips regularly goes to college campuses. He witnesses the indoctrination, and shows them through the Campus Reform YouTube channel. Kayleigh McEnany, speaker, former CNN contributor, and RNC spokesperson, said when taking on liberal bias, “We get stronger every time we argue our views, especially on campus.” And with TPUSA’s help, a conservative student has the resources to succeed in debate.
Diversity of opinion was not un-common at the summit, especially at the marijuana legalization debate. The debate was between Austin Peterson, the runner-up libertarian candidate in the 2016 primaries, against Jeff Hunt. Brandon Uhalik, a student told me, “Austin Peterson won easily. He was extremely informed, not only on his pro-marijuana [legalization] argument, but he also knew the counter arguments very well. I’m pro legalization too, so his points blew me away. The war on drugs is harmful to our society.” This attitude on the legalization of marijuana emanated in the halls of the Palm Beach Convention Center after the 45-minute debate. There is and has been a growing sentiment both inside and outside the movement that conservatives would not be for marijuana legalization. However, I see the opposite in my conservative peers. I see a growing excitement to legalize marijuana.
As far as abortion is concerned, more conservatives would like to see it abolished than anything, and this was well represented at the summit. But this attitude didn’t stop pro-choice, libertarian YouTuber, Dave Rubin, from speaking his mind. “I have heard compelling arguments for the pro-life stance, but I am vehemently pro-choice,” said Rubin at his December 21st speaking session. But even Dave, a pro-choice and gay married man, believes in the key principles that make America great and are the founding ideas of TPUSA.
The attitude of student attendees wasn’t the need to create an echo chamber! It was to listen to opposition, examine your ideals, and strengthen your ability to articulate these views. However, the American left wants everyone to look different, but think the same—they want a different race, gender, and sexuality. These are the identity politics that conservatives fight against daily. At SAS, I didn’t hear about the skin color or sexuality of another attendee; I heard their arguments and their heart for these issues. And leftists can call me racist, sexist, homophobic, or any other word they would come up with, but I will always stand by the fact that my politics do not perpetuate victimhood, but instead perpetuate prosperity for all—regardless of physical background!