Charlie Kirk And Candace Owens' Campus Tour Is All About The Owns - 2019-05-01
"If you disagree, go to the front of the line." That's what Charlie Kirk tells the 500-plus people gathered in a ballroom at Montana State University in Bozeman. He and Candace Owens, his coheadliner, have spent the previous 90 minutes proselytizing for the free market — and against "the left" — but, as both have been keen to emphasize, they love to debate. And they want anyone brave enough to argue with their theories to cut in front of all the adoring conservatives in attendance to do so. Disagreement is Kirk's stock-in-trade and the foundation of his YouTube stardom, his Twitter fandom, and his frequent stints on Fox News, where he shares the gospel that liberals — with their campus protests and calls for deplatforming — are in fact the least tolerant actors in the American political landscape.
For the last two years, Kirk and Owens have crisscrossed the country for a speaking tour they're calling Campus Clash — making pit stops at major college campuses, from the University of Washington in Seattle to Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania — as the public faces of Turning Point USA, an organization that uses establishment conservative money to gin up young conservative energy.
Like other stars in the constellation of the new, Extremely Online political right, Kirk and Owens pride themselves on their openness to debate. "We think that if you have terrible ideas, we want to hand you a megaphone," Owens told the crowd. "If your idea isn't good, we can defeat it with our better ideas. We believe in debate. You can see you're welcome here, and you're never gonna have people shout you down. But unfortunately, we don't get the same treatment on the other side. We have to sneak through kitchens and basements to get in because there's protesters. Bricks were threatened to be thrown at us at this event."