ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI — Turning Point USA (TPUSA) founder Charlie Kirk gave a speech at the Phyllis Schlafly Eaglesâ€™ 47th Eagle Council Friday, hitting many of the notes of his college campus tours for a more traditional conservative audience.
“The political war — every two or four or six years — that is very important,” Kirk said. “Iâ€™m invested in the much more important culture war. Iâ€™m not saying the political war is not important. But, as the great Andrew Breitbart said — who I see lots of shirts and a lot of memorabilia — ‘politics is downstream from culture.‘”
Kirkâ€™s group, which has quickly become one of the most active conservative groups on college and high school campuses, brings conservative speakers to young people and hosts conferences to organize and train young conservatives.
The Eagle Council, hosted this year in conjunction with Jim Hoft and the Gateway Pundit, is by contrast one of the longest running conservative political conferences. Founded in the early 1970s by conservative iconÂ Phyllis Schlafly, the Eagle Council has many older attendees who, unlike Kirkâ€™s typical campus audiences, have not had the first-hand experience of contemporary campus politics.
“When Andrew Cuomo stood on stage and he said, ‘America was never great,â€™ and he wasnâ€™t met with boos, and he wasnâ€™t met with hisses, some people gasp. People were stunned. How could a sitting governor say that?” Kirk explained, adding, “Iâ€™ve been hearing that for five years on colleges campuses. That is mainstream orthodoxy at most universities.”
“Students are told the following sentence, and it is indoctrinated into the next generation with such effectiveness,”Kirk continued. “It is, ‘America is a racist, bigoted, homophobic country, illegally founded by stealing the lands of indigenous people and Native Americans, to build a society rigged against minorities to benefit the white supremacist, white majority, ruling class that also happens to be misogynist.‘”
“It takes a doctorate degree to believe all that,” Kirk joked.
Kirk made a sharp distinction between liberals and leftists. The former, the driving force of the American left in the past, had, by Kirkâ€™s reckoning, a deep-seated respect for free speech. “A leftist does not believe in that. Thatâ€™s why you have seen the crusade [against] and the death of free speech on college campuses,” Kirk said, continuing:
For them, the ends justify the means. … For them, all morality is relative. There is no such thing as absolute truth, there is no such thing as objective standards, there is no such thing as one culture being better than another culture. And this is rooted in the most corrosive, cancerous ideology that is taught to every single young person that passes through a public school which is called post-structuralism or post-modernism, which is rooted in the Frankfort School.
TPUSA sensation Candace Owens was originally slated to join Kirk on stage as she has on the pairâ€™s campus tour, but she was called away on another engagement in Chicago. Kirk all but told the crowd this was a collaboration with hip hop superstar Kanye West. “Thereâ€™s a huge announcement happening in a couple of days with some very very large names and some very big people,” he said. “You might remember back in March, Kanye West ‘I love the way Candace Owens thinks.‘”