Turning Point USA (TPUSA) is a conservative campus organization led by CEO Charlie Kirk.
According to its website, “TPUSA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote freedom.”
This is a worthy goal, as too many university students today are being brainwashed into an intolerant form of woke leftism.
TPUSA just held its 2022 AmericaFest convention from December 17-20 in Phoenix, Arizona.
My younger son and I attended the conference and it was a good one.
My son is a college student and a member of his campus TPUSA chapter and I attended with a press pass credited to Border Hawk News.
AmericaFest was a great get-together, chock-full of prominent conservative speakers drawn from a wide panorama of writers, commentators, politicians and activists of various specialties. There were both breakout sessions and general sessions during which they spoke.
An exhibitor hall included booths for various organizations and conservative media outlets broadcasted from a media room.
Just walking around you could bump into well-known commentators, activists and bloggers, and converse with them.
One of the biggest positives of the convention was the opportunity for attendees to network and meet like-minded people from across the U.S.A.
The target age range was 18-26, but there were plenty of over-26 year olds in attendance.
Tucker Carlson spoke the first night, although my son and I missed it because we got there too late, though I later watched a video of it online.
Here is a short summary of some (not all) of the speakers I heard at AmericaFest and what they discussed:
Matt Walsh spoke about the importance of truth.
Rep. Matt Gaetz strongly criticized Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy and laid out a plan for the GOP.
Darren Beattie of Revolver.news, Rep. Andy Biggs, and former Trump administration official Kash Patel participated in a panel discussion entitled, “Silencing Dissidents: Twitter Files Exposed."
Vivek Ramaswamy discussed how we need to be a merit-based society with a common national identity.
Kari Lake, who ran for Arizona governor and is still contesting the election, spoke, as did Blake Masters, who ran against Mark Kelly for U.S. Senate in Arizona.
Seth Dillon of the Babylon Bee spoke about humor and satire and how it fits into the big picture.
Dennis Prager gave young attendees advice for life.
One panel discussed the COVID lockdowns and adjacent issues and how they related to freedom.
Jimmy John, founder of sandwich company Jimmy John’s, delivered a humorous account of how he built his company.
Steve Bannon delivered a powerful address, calling on attendees to "deconstruct the administrative state."
TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk delivered a final address at the end of the convention, with a tribute to Rush Limbaugh.
There were plenty of other speakers.
All in all, it was a great convention.
I have a few constructive suggestions for next year’s AmericaFest. Here they are:
1. Organize Some Social Activity
Consider that you have a convention of thousands of likeminded young people. Wouldn’t it be a good place for an attendee to meet an eligible likeminded young person of the opposite sex, which might lead to an eventual marriage and the beginning of a new family?
So why not help them out by throwing some sort of party or social activity, where TPUSA young folks can meet and mingle? After all, most of these kids flew to Phoenix and are stuck in the hotel at night.
If nothing else, it could an enjoyable evening.
2. Don’t Ignore Immigration
Yes, a few speakers mentioned immigration and the border. But there were no breakout sessions and no panel discussions on the subject.
TPUSA should invite several expert speakers on the subject of immigration. They ought to deliver individual speeches and participate in panel discussions in the general session and breakout sessions.
Immigration (legal and illegal) and related issues of assimilation, citizenship and demographics have a strong impact on the future of our country, the fate of freedom, and the future of the young people who attend AmericaFest.
They ought to be well-informed on these issues.
You can find more of Allan Wall's work at his website.