A battle for the soul of youth reaches Kingman
KINGMAN – Conservative organization Turning Point USA, wanting to “combat liberalism,” is spreading across Arizona targeting college students and high-schoolers. Its state representative, MacKenzie Angelo, met with the Conservative Republican Club of Kingman led by Laurence Schiff on Monday, May 13 to explain why “socialism sucks.”
It wasn’t a big gathering. Just a dozen people enjoyed lunch, most of them in their 60s, 70s and older, with MacKenzie as the only person in the room in her 20s. Fox News star Charlie Kirk, who started Turning Point after he saw Democratic organizers recruiting students during a football game, is in his 20s, too.
The idea is to reverse the way young people think today, many of them supposedly attracted by progressive thoughts, and raise a new generation of conservatives. Nonetheless, the organization considers itself nonpartisan and, at least in theory, avoids “social issues” or signs of overt political affiliation.
“They try to paint us as awful people,” she said. “But I completely disagree. In my personal experience, we are much more open minded than liberals.”
Angelo was recruited herself after she stepped out of what she described as a feminism class during which a professor told her that as a conservative, she was not respecting herself as a woman. Currently, she is full-time with Turning Point USA, which just opened its headquarters in Phoenix. She advises people to check out personal accounts of conservative students being punched in the face on Instagram.
“The situation on campuses is very hard for conservative students,” she said. “The atmosphere is very toxic. People can’t wear MAGA hats, even though I see T-shirts with Bernie Sanders all the time.”
It is Angelo’s first time in Kingman, and when she talks about her negative experiences as a conservative on college campuses, she receives a lot of sympathy from local Republicans terrified by “Stalinism on American campuses.” She confessed how difficult it is to open an organization chapter on campuses where all professors seem to be liberals and the administration is “biased.”
“Students can’t find one professor to serve as their advisor,” Angelo claimed. “They have to get a janitor or an IT guy to fulfill a requirement to have at least one full-time college employee on board.”
Despite claims that Turning Point is nonpartisan, Angelo didn’t hesitate to define it as “an anti-Bernie movement.”
“We are not a Republican group,” she added. “We are here to have a discussion. That’s why I love it so much.”