I had the privilege of hearing Charlie Kirk speak today. Oh. My. God. Charlie is a human dynamo: incredible intelligence and moral decency wrapped up in pure energy and passion, presented through the medium of a riveting presence.
Some of you may already have gotten a taste of what Charlie offers if you saw him speak at the Republican National Convention or have caught him on Fox. Here’s a video of him speaking at the Western Conservative Summit this past summer:
That video is only 10 minutes long. We got to hear Charlie speak for almost an hour. Much of that time was spent with him speaking off the cuff, answering questions like the most seasoned speaker on the circuit. It’s hard to believe that this dynamic, focused, poised young man is only 22 years old. He’s an old soul, that’s for sure.
Charlie’s passion for getting America’s youth to embrace such traditional values as free speech and the free market began when he was in high school, looking at American colleges. After touring several of them, he was so dismayed by what he found there that, rather than entering college himself, he elected to dedicate six months challenging the hard Left mindset that dominates America’s institutes of higher education, after which he would begin college himself. (I’ve written several posts about the insanity on America’s campuses, with my agonies at my child’s Obscenely Expensive Liberal Arts College described here and here. I also did some disheartening forays into college course catalogs from Smith, Macalester, Oberlin, Scripps, and Williams. The only moment of light was Hillsdale.)
Charlie’s six-month experiment turned into an organization called Turning Point USA which, four years later, has an impressive operating budget (all from donations, which you can make here) and is present on 1,100 high schools and college campuses nationwide, with over 75 full-time field staffers. Moreover, Charlie just hit the Amazon best seller lists for political freedom and economy with his new book, Time for a Turning Point: Setting a Course Toward Free Markets and Limited Government for Future Generations. Although the hard copies are currently sold out, you can pre-order one for shipping. You can also order the Kindle version of Charlie’s book.
I didn’t take notes (I was too busy listening), but I think I can remember a few of the high points from Charlie’s speech, which I present here in no particular order.