The Threat of Turning Point USA

What is Turning Point USA?

Turning Point USA (TPUSA) is a far-right youth group founded in 2013 by then 18-year-old Charlie Kirk. Funded by ultra-conservative billionaires — the likes of Harlan Crow and the Koch brothers — the organization is focused on pushing radical right-wing politics on high school, college, and university campuses by indoctrinating and mobilizing a new generation of young conservatives in every medium from online content to on-campus organizing.

$100+ million. That is the amount of money TPUSA and its affiliated organizations have raised in the first 6 months of 2023 alone. Combined with the might of 4,000+ chapters across the country, TPUSA is a formidable political force to be reckoned with.

Bringing the MAGA Movement to School

Backed by hundreds of millions of dollars in billionaire special interests, TPUSA funds 4,000+ chapters not just in universities — but high schools, trade schools, community colleges, working-class communities, & places of faith. On top of that, TPUSA funnels millions more into campus organizing by wading into student government elections to elect ultra-conservative campus leaders.

An annual culmination of their efforts is organized around “AmericaFest” — which has drawn record crowds of curious Gen-Z and millennial onlookers alike. In fact, AmericaFest drew over 10,000 attendees in 2021. TPUSA also hosts several regional and quarterly conferences targeted towards young women, hispanics, & African Americans. Notable speakers often include: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Tucker Carlson, Rep. Matt Gaetz, Rep. Lauren Boerbert, Steve Bannon, Candace Owens, Mike Lindell, Donald Trump Jr., & President Donald J. Trump.

Billionaire-Backed Cultural Shift

By marketing themselves as “non-partisan” and going on the offense in progressive strongholds to make an active effort in converting and recruiting new supporters, TPUSA successfully conducts targeted outreach to young women, African Americans, Latinos, & Asian-Americans. For example, Queens County in New York City (home to a significant portion of the Asian population in New York) swung 37 POINTS RIGHTWARDS from 2018 to 2022. Similar trends can be found across the board with Hispanics & Asians swinging 19 & 36 points RIGHTWARDS from 2018 to 2022 — a right-wing surge even more noticeable among minority men.

With millions in billionaire-backing behind their efforts, TPUSA is attempting (and seeing some success) to reintroduce homophobia, sexism, & white nationalism back into mainstream discourse through their online and on-campus organizing.

President Biden is right when he says we are in a battle for the soul of America. It’s not just for the presidency — it’s all across this country. Young voters are our margin of victory, and we need to treat them as such. Young people have always been the key driving positive social good. The question we face is do we want to be America First in fear and hate or America First in hope and progress? Do we want freedom and patriotism to be a conservative value or an American one? Our slogan is a better world is possible — because it truly is, only if we choose to invest in our students and invest in their future.