WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.– Turning Point USA hosted thousands of young conservatives at their annual Student Action Summit.
Conservative students from around the world were in attendance at the retreat, which is conveniently paired with Christmas vacation. It was surely a much-needed escape for visitors from ultra-liberal campuses, like myself.
If you were in attendance from a state with freezing cold weather, it was a double-win.
The summit featured very well-known names from the world of conservative politics. From Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch to Fox’s Greg Gutfeld, the diverse range of speakers was both entertaining and enlightening.
Host of The Rubin Report, Dave Rubin, took the stage and pointed out something that doesn’t get adequate attention.
The fact that throughout the media’s portrayal of America being an evil place, our generations continuously have easier lives. This is important information to keep in mind when questioning the narrative mainstream media projects.
He asked the audience to examine how their lives compare to their grandparent’s lives.
“Somehow every single one of you in this room has it better than your grandparents. That tells you actually this thing is bending towards goodness. It is bending towards fairness,” said Rubin during his speech.
Rubin gave advice to avoid getting trapped in the world of social media arguments. “Twitter is not real life,” said Rubin.
I couldn’t agree more, and it was solid advice to the young audience. He also gave an ode to independent media sources relating mainstream news to a wounded animal.
Dr. Jordan Peterson
Dr. Jordan Peterson took the stage to the B-52’s “Rock Lobster,” which couldn’t be a more fit song for his entrance.
However, he brought it back down to reality after the music stopped. Dr. Peterson stated: “for the first time in my memory, conservatives actually have something to sell young people.”
He noted that the skepticism young people hold towards the values of elders is good. “There’s some utility in youthful rebelliousness,” stated Dr. Peterson.
This was countered by saying that taking your rebellion to far is bad. He followed it up with a reminder to remember that people are not perfect.
Dr. Peterson discussed hierarchies, and the importance of them. Hierarchies are formed by knowledge of solving a problem. The people who know how to solve a problem obviously should be in charge of the system.
This naturally forms a hierarchy. However, to have a functional hierarchy the people at the bottom need to be trained, and there needs to be the opportunity to rise to the top of the hierarchy.
This motivates society to solve problems. He also spoke about growing up and taking on responsibility.
“It is much better to grow up. It is much better to take some responsibility,” stated Dr. Peterson.
This speech was deep to say the least. He also changed my views on what “accomplishments” are. We need to look at things like starting families and maintaining relationships as accomplishments.
It is true, Dr. Peterson is a rock star. It is absolutely hilarious that Jesse Watters had to follow him up. But Watters was great as well.
Instead of the average speech, it turned into a debate between TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk and Fox’s Tucker Carlson.
Both were cheered and booed by everyone in the audience. Personally, I think Carlson mopped the floors Kirk. To be fair, Kirk didn’t get much talking time and that’s good because it was Carlson’s time slot.
It also doesn’t help that experience wise, it’s like a flamingo fighting an alligator.
Carlson started off by reminding the audience to stand strong in their beliefs, and that you should not react to disagreement with violence, but with smiles. Then you will prevail and people will come around.
This when it started turning into a debate.
“How is this working if like the kid down the street can’t get married, I don’t want to live in that country. What I care about is families, in the end that is all that matters,” stated Carlson. That was met with applause.
Kirk responded: “in your mind do you think it is the role of the state to create a better functioning family?” Kirk went on to shift the focus to protecting liberties as the main role of the state. Stating that it isn’t the government’s role to plan the perfect family.
Carlson met this with laughter and replied: “every single law that exists is to incentivize or disincentivize behavior.” Carlson then got into why he thinks marijuana should remain illegal.
This was met with boos, but this was an audience of young people. Carlson went on to some of the reasons why the government would want more weed and Xanax in our culture. “It makes you less like to complain about it because you’re high.”
Kirk replied “just because you want it to be legal doesn’t mean you condone it.”
It went back-and-fourth for an hour. Both brought many good points to the debate. I still think Carlson won by a longshot.
However, it was a healthy spirited debate, between people more like-minded than not.
Overall, the Student Action Summit was a great experience and thousands of young conservatives were in attendance. If you are a young conservative then you need to attend this event next year.
Were you at SAS 2018? Tweet me @GeneBrownUSA