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Home/Rod Dreher/Charlie Kirk’s Hooters Conservatism

Charlie Kirk’s Hooters Conservatism

Charlie Kirk and Turning Point USA winning the battle for ideas by firing money into a crowd of young conservatives (NTD screengrab)

I don’t follow the life and work of Charlie Kirk, the 27-year-old MAGA-fied leader of the Turning Point USA right-wing student group. But that just shows how out of it I am. Though he never earned a college degree, he was given an honorary doctorate by (where else?) Liberty University, in the spring of 2019:

Liberty Online Provost Shawn Akers then conferred a Doctor of Humanities degree upon Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, “in recognition of his work and dedication to courageously promote American freedom and defend our common liberties on behalf of young students in colleges and high schools across the country and for his example and inspiration to young people everywhere of what can be achieved when faith, conviction, and hard work are put into practice.”

Kirk founded Turning Point as a high school senior in 2012 and serves as its director to champion free speech, limited government, and the market economy. In 2016, he was the youngest person to give a speech at the Republican National Convention.

“I have never had the opportunity to visit a university that embodies the teachings of Jesus Christ better than Liberty University,” Kirk said. “If you decide to profess your faith and say you are a Christian, this world is going to make it difficult. For those of you who are believers in Jesus Christ, wear that badge proudly.”

Last year, Dr. Charlie Kirk joined with Jerry Falwell Jr. and Liberty University to launch the Falkirk Center, a think tank. From the Liberty student newspaper’s report:

On Nov. 30, 2019, Liberty University announced its partnership with political activist Charlie Kirk with the creation of the Falkirk Center, a modern think tank set to renew and defend God-given freedoms and Christian principles throughout American politics and culture.

Although the center is not a traditional think tank according to Executive Director Ryan Helfenbein, the Falkirk Center strives to be a cultural influencing tool that exists for college students to actively engage in and have their voice heard.

“This is not your dad’s or granddad’s think tank,” Helfenbein said. “We’re trying to have massive cultural influence, and Gospel driven and Christ-centered cultural influence that also speaks to issues that culminate in public policy.”

As the Falkirk center looks to take on current social issues with the Bible as its compass, the center also looking to engage a younger generation of people who are passionate about standing for their Christian principles and reforming what the center believes is a leftist, progressive leaning culture.

Here’s a screengrab from the Falkirk Center website:

I assumed, naturally, that Charlie Kirk was an Evangelical leader. A week or so ago, I wrote about how he welcomed Falkirk Center fellow Eric Metaxas onto his program to discuss the election fallout. Metaxas said a lot of things I found shocking; I wrote about them here:

Eric Metaxas’s American Apocalypse

Well, apparently the eminent young Evangelical leader Dr. Kirk has been hosting a big TPUSA conference in Palm Beach this weekend (it was reportedly oversold, and between five hundred and six hundred people who paid to come were not allowed in). Here is some of the quality conservative and Christian content from the event:

It’s just awesome how much massive cultural influence this Gospel driven and Christ-centered young doctor is building for himself, innit?

The money cannon was part of a 25-minute live pitch for Bang Energy, one of the conference sponsors.

Hey, I like eccentric spectacle, and if Charlie Kirk’s right-wing frat boys and girls want to party in West Palm Beach in the middle of a deadly pandemic, well, let them do them. But you know what, Charlie Kirk? You better leave Jesus out of this dirtbaggery! This vulgar trash has nothing whatsoever to do with God.

For that matter, I have no idea what it has to do with conservatism either, but then, my Kirkean conservatism is Russell’s, not Charlie’s. But I’m sure the Falkirk Center will explain to us all how the TPUSA money cannon exemplifies what can be accomplished “when faith, conviction, and hard work are put into practice.”

I’m just going to leave this little screengrab from the TPUSA site below. I think we all remember that time Alexander Hamilton’s Bunker Hill Babes enlivened the dullness of the Constitutional Convention with their popular “Back Bay shilling shake” routine:

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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