Turning Point USA — National Student Movement
Report by Betty Sakai
Figuring out why Republicans failed to win in 2012 -- by being not focused on “boots on the ground personal connections” but upon impersonal, low-energy advertisements like TV ads, radio advertisements, buying of billboard space, and holding to traditional communications -- teenager Charlie Kirk decided to change things.
He had grown up immersed in the Marxist indoctrination factory of false ideals in the public government schools in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. The teachers, administration, and school board he found were incredibly tolerant of other people’s points of view as long as those points of view were the same as theirs. From grade school, students were taught to vote early and often. Upon graduation from high school, Charlie convinced his parents to allow him to put off going to college while he focused entrepreneurially on developing a counter conservative student organization copying the successful vote-gathering methodology of the Left employed by Marxists in MoveOn.org.
Charlie spent the $1,800 his family had saved for his college education on setting up the legal 501C3 framework for his organization. He borrowed money he did not have to attend the Tampa Republican Convention in 2012 and memorized the names of the 100 top GOP donors. On the last day he introduced himself and pitched to philanthropist Foster Friess, who gave Charlie seed money. After 10 months, Charlie’s organization had 2 or 3 staffers and funds were getting low. He seized upon the opportunity to approach independent billionaire, Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, a man who the Leftists had not been able to control, who was running for Governor in Democrat-controlled Illinois -- He won by 180,000 votes. Bruce Rauner as Governor reduced taxes and created balanced pension reform in Illinois. He had also donated to Charlie Kirk’s organization. As a result, Turning Point USA opened 110 campus groups that knocked on 58,000 doors and made 107,000 phone calls and registered 10,000 new voters. Turning Point USA campus groups continue to be in the trenches. They fight the fight on a daily basis. They connect person-to-person. They work to get out the vote, to assure the vote.
Pointing out the importance of field offices, Kirk noted that for Republican Bruce Rauner to get elected in the Democrat-controlled State of Illinois, Rauner had installed 100 field offices – had plenty of boots on the ground. Comparing this with the 67 field offices Republicans had installed totally to support Mitt Romney in the battleground states of Ohio, Virginia, and Florida, Kirk said, shows the importance of direct person-to-person connections.
Those who wish to donate to Turning Point USA, and young people who are considering getting involved, are encouraged to learn more at www.turningpointusa.net and https://twitter.com/TurningPointUSA . In California: firstname.lastname@example.org On September 8th the Conservative Forum attendees were so impressed by this 21 year old entrepreneur that more than $1,000 was collected just by passing around a donation jar.
Turning Point USA has today 47 to 48 full-time staffers supplying materials to members and chapters and affiliates – pamphlets, booklets, banners, signs – technical assistance, providing speakers, planning conferences and retreats, providing funding to campus groups, and most importantly assisting young people who wish to discuss issues that are important to them. The organization provides materials such as How to Organize: Winning the Battle On [College] Campuses and encourages students to engage in persistent, aggressive, effective grass roots activism.
Charlie Kirk quoted Mark Twain, “Tell the truth. It’s easier to remember.” Facts do not lie, he asserted. He outlined some of the messages important to our nation’s youth today:
(1) Democrats (without objection from Republicans) are not telling the truth about the federal government funding of higher education, increasing tuition and costs. Democrats have manufactured a student loan crisis that is far worse than the housing crisis or dot com bubble. 93% of all student loans are given out by the federal government. In supporting student loan forgiveness, Democrats act compassionately surprised by their giving away money the federal government does not have to young people to study for degrees that do not matter, who upon graduation will try to find a job that does not exist. Students are saddled with the repayment of huge loans that smash their hopes, dreams, and futures. Many graduates end up being employed by fast-food and coffee houses making frappuccinos, becoming dependent on government. The fact is, political opportunism is destroying lives. Kirk said Democrats wake up every morning figuring how to make more people dependent on government, promising more free stuff in exchange for a Democrat vote. And politicians like Hillary Clinton promise student loan relief and blame it all on wall-street because that sounds good, although the promised relief won’t happen or very much, the intent of the promise being only to gather votes.
(2) the value of attending college when 61% who enter college do not graduate -- identifying which professions require a college education and which occupations do not – noting that those working in the trades often have 6-figure incomes, more than those who work in coffee houses, and more than teachers, doctors, and lawyers
(3) the importance of school choice, that a zip code should not determine a child’s future, and the role of public sector unions in blocking this implementation
(4) the value of personal freedom
(5) the value of understanding the U.S. Constitution and the liberties provided therein
(6) understanding the power of the free-market in providing opportunities for all
(7) the role of limited government in maintaining individual freedom
(8) the importance of the social media and the need for articulate, whimsical TV personalities to convey the message that big government sucks -- a message that resonates with the young
(9) the preservation of the 2nd Amendment because gun ownership saves lives, about a female empowerment culture, not a rape culture
(10) that immigration is not big with most young people and most do not support massive deportation but do support border security
Charlie Kirk explained that his generation stands independent of political affiliation – even the youths who live in Chicago – and this is a good thing. It used to be that the majority of people in Chicago vote Democrat no matter if the voter is dead, in prison, or is somebody’s dog. Today’s youth, he said, are contrarian to traditional party politics. They talk about issues nobody else will talk about.
Turning Point USA is now present in 1,000 of the 9,000 campuses nationwide. On each campus, 17 to 20 students man a table in a public square engaging other students, following through to get to know them personally. As a thank you to students attending the Forum, Charlie Kirk offered them a booklet entitled, “How to Debate Your Teacher and Win”.
The goal of Turning Point USA members and affiliates is to counter anti-American dogma, to register voters as Republicans prior to the 2016 election, to make sure the voter gets to the polling place. Citing Ohio State University with its 58,000 students, Kirk noted that Mitt Romney (who does not appeal to most young people), received only 5,000 student votes, while Barack Obama received 23,000. “Inexcusable” exclaimed Kirk! “No-one can tell me that less than 10% of the students at Ohio State are Conservative. This can be fixed. This is exactly what Turning Point USA has been doing.”
Charlie Kirk is a remarkable young man at 21 years old. In high school he was more often seen standing in the hallway removed from the classroom by teachers trying to silence him, to negate debate. They tried to silence his point of view, but failed. His grandmother was a life-long Republican. Charlie joined the Boy Scouts and became an Eagle Scout. He dreamed of going to West Point but lost out to someone of a different gender and persuasion in his district. Undeterred, in the home of Barack Obama, in the home of Valerie Jarrett, in the home of Hillary Clinton, in the home of David Axelrod, Charlie Kirk engaged in the fight. With Turning Point USA he works every day to empower the largest growing voting-block in the U.S.A., 23 million students and young voters nationwide.
Turning Point USA focuses on the three Ms of Manpower, Message, and Money. Charlie admonished the audience to introduce their young to the organization. He ended his presentation by noting that just one little introduction could amplify into a leadership position that could produce real cultural changes. The Forum audience thanked Charlie Kirk with a standing applause.
Check out our past presentations!