A new organization, Turning Point USA, is taking on big government extremism by organizing conservative and libertarian leaning youth. It’s way past time.
Talk to the under-30 voting bloc, and you may come away concerned if you venture into politics and US history. There is uniformity of thought among many in this group, and a tendency to pick a political party like you might pick a favorite sports team. There is a near-tragic lack of knowledge about how government can legally act as well as what elected officials actually do, compared to what they say they do.
The brains behind the brawn in the creation of Turning Point USA came from Charlie Kirk. In less than three years, the 21-year-old from Illinois has grown the organization to a presence on more than 800 campuses across the country. Kirk admittedly is a long way from the clout of a leftist group like moveon.org’s more than 3 million online rabble rousers.
However, the Turning Point USA founder has a mission opposing the intrusion of federales into every aspect of our lives. It is likely he will succeed, if given anywhere near the millions Move On has received from donors whose actions can sometimes be perceived as anti-USA.
Turning Point has a libertarian-leaning mission hearkening to Buckley-style conservatism—“importance of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government.” For many of us, those ideals are paramount in politics.
Only by reining in the corrupt, inefficient bureaucracy will real opportunity become available to all.
Much of the divisiveness in the US can be attributed to a federal bureaucracy that has so exceeded its legal and moral powers, it’s a wonder the country’s founders haven’t risen from their graves to tell us how stupid we are to let this happen in an age when information is more readily accessible to all than at any other time in history.
In April, the group registered 1,000 voters in Florida, usually a key state in presidential elections. Most of the voter registration groups in this state lean left. TPUSA may eventually help level that playing field via a national registration effort.
Those who know me personally know I spend a lot of time around young people. I’ve become a go-to sort of person for many young people who know I write about politics, and I never cease to blow their minds simply by stating facts. For instance, one young man who is a Democrat told me he would not vote GOP under any circumstances. “Republicans started that war in Iraq and got rid of Saddam and look what happened,” he said (I’m paraphrasing).
I told him the de facto war in Iraq actually started under Bill Clinton and it is a matter of public record—the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. Clinton also assisted the Brits in dropping more than 1 million pounds of bombs on the country. The young Democrat was, in a word, astounded at this information. He certainly didn’t convert on the spot, but our discussion gave him things to think about and to question. I told him I wasn’t trying to make a Republican or libertarian out of him. “I’m just asking you to question your own party’s actions and motives.”
Recently I had a convo with a candidate who is opposing a well-funded Democrat in an upcoming election. The remarks we exchanged were off the record, so I won’t break that confidence. But I told this candidate to talk to young people wherever they can be found.
That’s what Turning Point USA is doing courtesy of efforts begun by a high school student in his parents’ house. In three short years, Kirk and his cohorts have grown the organization to a level catching attention from Bloomberg News and other national media.
Those of us in the like-minded opposition should do everything we can do advance the mission of this group. Less than half of America’s youth voted in 2008, 48.5 percent according to Pew Research who based the claim on US Census figures. By 2012, only 41.2 percent of that bloc voted. This is a sector ripe for picking, but more importantly, it’s a sector whose future depends on what our government does now. It’s a good idea to get that across.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/May 12, 2015)