Turning Point USA (TPUSA) is a conservative and controversial activist organization. According to their website, “Turning Point USA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded on June 5, 2012 by Charlie Kirk. The organization’s mission is to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government.” Loveland began their own Turning Point USA division this year.
Here’s what it comes down to: Turning Point, funded by Republican politicians, promotes backwards and extreme-right views among students in an attempt to shift educational entities to the right.
TPUSA is not what it markets itself as — it is not a partisan organization intended to spark discussion. It’s attempting to form a group of socially regressive young people in America. However, Loveland’s TPUSA chapter has a right to exist. The club is not violating any rules or trying to indoctrinate other students.
The administration originally asked the club to disassociate with Turning Point due to controversy and questions over whether an outside organization can have a club in Loveland.
The organization has come under considerable fire for their “Professor Watchlist”: a McCarthy-era shame gimmick website intended to aggregate a list of liberal college professors. You can’t make this stuff up. On the front page of the site, it appears to be an attempt to name teachers who promote white genocide and deny the holocaust. However, a deeper look into the website proves it targets professors who write editorials about gun ownership and make posts on social media the group doesn’t agree with.
TPUSA is pro-fossil fuel, anti-global warming and anti-taxation — ideas already so dated that speak for themselves. The slogan of the organization is “Big Government Sucks”. Loveland is one of the many divisions run out of public schools.
“We have clubs like yoga, pizza, and we’re thinking about rock climbing and a couple others I’m working on. A club has to follow the same school rules. The same policies of a normal school day continue — a club is considered a continuation of the school day so the same rules must be followed. Really, the only requirement is that you have to have an adviser and teacher that wants to support the club. Turning Point was proposed to me. Initially, my reaction was ‘oh, cool. It’s a political club, we’re good to go.’ Then I started seeing some of the language that turning point used,” said assistant principal Matt Buis.
Turning Point USA’s website contains publications some would consider controversial. For example, one publication called 10 Ways Fossil Fuels Improve our Daily Lives offered on their website aims to “open your eyes to the benefits of fossil fuels and dispels any myths that are perpetuated by your leftist professors on college campuses today.” The pamphlet is worth a read for a laugh. It claims that fossil fuels cure diseases and that moving to renewable energy will cause millions to lose heating. Not to mention that any educator teaching peer-reviewed science is labeled leftist myth-makers.
Other publications include The Case Against Gun Control and 5 Reasons Big Government Is The Real War On Women. Another publication Urban Failure, is described on the TPUSA website as, “the story of many of America’s once great cities that have been ruined by liberal politicians and big government policies.” Another pamphlet begins with “I specifically saw a parallel between the rationing of food in the movie and the rationing of healthcare that Obamacare will create. After some further research it became clear that Obamacare is the real life version of The Hunger Games”. This piece literally paints an apocalyptic dystopia created by the Affordable Care Act.
Personally, I am one of the nearly 30 million Americans and one of many Lovelanders insured by Obamacare that would otherwise have no access to healthcare. While I would never claim it’s perfect, I doubt that the affordable care act will ever lead to the end of civilization as we know it.
This group literally downplays sexual assault and paints victims as overly sensitive. On the website, founder Charlie Kirk refutes the statistically supported claim that 1 in 4 college-aged women are assaulted:
“One of the most blatant structural issues with the survey run by AAU was the definition of sexual assault. The survey contained questions that equated inappropriate touching ie: “touching someone’s breast, chest, crotch, groin or buttocks—grabbing, groping or rubbing against the other in a sexual way, even if the touching is over the other’s clothes” with sexual assault. Acts such as these, while they may be uncomfortable and unwanted, take away from the seriousness of acts such as rape. There exists a need for a uniform description for what qualifies as sexual assault”
According to womenshealth.gov, “Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity, including rape, that you do not agree to. Also called sexual violence or abuse, sexual assault is never your fault.”
Charlie Kirk and TPUSA does not get to decide what sexual assault is. TPUSA does not have a right to downplay sexual assault. This is victim-shaming. This is wrong.
At first this whole situation seemed comical to me, but looking further into the organization, it has become clear that it takes these views completely seriously and intends to indoctrinate the next generation of voters with their absurd and destructive ideas. The goal of this club is not to educate. The goal is to brainwash. This is something parents, teachers and administrators deserve to know about. However, the club isn’t breaking any rules and the school has found no reason to remove or change the group as they originally planned on proposing.
“While we are aware of the controversial nature of Turning Point USA, our chapter will retain our affiliation with the national organization. We will not rebrand ourselves simply due to the fact that we are a political club. The Loveland chapter of Turning Point USA has the right to exist just as the Loveland chapters of FCA [a club for Christian Athletes], NHS [National Honors Society], etc. also have the right to exist,” Loveland’s TPUSA chapter said in a statement to Loveland Magazine.
Turning point is, for the participants, a space to discuss and debate political ideologies such as electoral college and presidential elections. Loveland TPUSA has given awards, shared pizza and movies around political discourse. The club recently met with Loveland’s mayor Mark Fitzgerald.
“They have a message that they want to spread. They can spread that within the club. I just said you can’t go around putting stuff up. You’re allowed to have the club. But, they’re not outwardly going out of their way to throw their beliefs on others. They’re not trying to make it a big outspoken thing where they do protests. That’s not what they’re about,” assistant principal Mr. Buis explained.
The group has worked with Loveland Magazine and the school administration respectfully, carefully and responsibly. I think that Loveland’s chapter is a good group of people discussing conservative politics. That’s okay. Encouraging political action is a good thing. But Turning Point USA’s views as an association are not acceptable.
There’s not much that can be done about this– the club isn’t breaking rules and, therefore, is here to stay. However, as a community, we must make it clear that TPUSA’s claims do not represent the reasonable general public. TPUSA is fostering social regression. The only option we have is to fight back against the broken political ideologies and voice relevant and progressive ideas.
Let’s leave dated political stances in the past.