Opinion: What’s the point, Turning Point?

Matthew Olienechak

I’ve decided to step back from the larger problems I’ve been trying to tackle lately and instead focus on a more local issue. Specifically, I’ve been itching to comment on one of our newest student organizations: the Kent State chapter of Turning Point USA.

Now, full disclosure — I’m pretty far left on the political spectrum. If you’ve read my columns before, you might have picked up on this.

But when I heard members of this organization were going around dressed as cops and handing out “trigger citations,” their way of poking fun at political correctness, I knew I had to say something. 

What’s the point? There is so much wrong in this world right now, from war and famine to the possibility of millions losing crucial health insurance. People are still reeling from a string of natural disasters, and Las Vegas became yet another victim of horrific gun slaughter.

Yet, “combating” political correctness on campus is their main goal right now?

I’m not sure what else I expected from an organization whose Twitter bio promises a fight for “fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government,” or whose recent photos on the main Twitter account for the organization have such thrilling slogans such as “Socialism Sucks,” “Commies aren’t cool” and “The Greatest Social Program is a Job.” 

It’s just another example of the ideological right trying to push back against the wave of leftist activism and falling short. There are no inspiring issues to be found, no worthy causes to rally behind. There is nothing besides an attempt to keep our society as it is, to prolong the individualistic social norm and its worship of capitalism.

Young adults who have been born into a position of incredible privilege act as though they are the underdogs in this world. But they never need to worry about how their race or economic background will impact their life.

They’re not underdogs, and no one has ever rooted for Goliath over David.

But what can we expect when they join an organization led by yet another nationalist? Charlie Kirk, the founder of Turning Point USA, is the kind of man who gets incredible amounts of satisfaction from proclaiming on Twitter: “Taxes are theft … USA is the best country ever, socialism kills, Hillary should be in prison.”

He says of socialism that “it is the most dangerous, evil ideology to exist,” seemingly putting the horrors of Nazism and fascism behind it.

Now, they do have a right to these opinions, just as I have the right to mine. 

But it pains me when I see this incredible energy they possess put to such ends. They could help bring an end to systematic racism, to police brutality, to an upper class that drains those below them of all wealth. We could work together against the threat of climate change or impending nuclear holocaust.

But instead, they refute those causes to focus on their eternal crusade against political correctness and taxes.

And we, as a species, are all the worse for it.

Matthew Olienechak is a columnist. Contact him at [email protected]