Header image from Mountain West Regional Conference website.
The Mountain West Regional Conference came to the Grand Hyatt in downtown Denver on March 18. The conference was intended for young conservatives and was sponsored by Turning Point USA, a nonpartisan group.
TPUSA focuses on specific, usually more conservative issues. Their platforms include school choice, capitalism over socialism, smaller government, and what they call the Game of Loans, which has to do with higher education.
“Turning Point USA educates students about the importance of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government. Through non-partisan debate, dialogue and discussion, Turning Point
USA believes that every young person can be enlightened to true free market values,” reads their mission statement.
The event lasted all day on Saturday. It was capped off at 5 p.m. with a social hosted by Prager University, another prominent internet platform created by Dennis Prager. Speakers throughout the day included Charlie Kirk, the founder of TPUSA, and Brent Hamachek.
Kirk’s segment focused on the platforms associated with TPUSA. He spent his time speaking mostly about school choice and the virtues of capitalism over socialism. School choice is something that everyone should support, Kirk said, because it helps children by creating more competition. Allowing more competition allows for better teachers and ultimately better students.
Kirk’s idea is that parents being able to choose which school their children go to will give them the chance to choose a better performing school over a poorer one. He said that when conservatives argue with more left-leaning people, conservatives should reply to liberal arguments with,
“A child’s zip code shouldn’t decide their future. You’ll find a lot of people won’t disagree with that.” He encouraged his audience to adopt that as a tagline.
He also cited the popular documentary “Waiting For ‘Superman’” and how a featured source, Michelle Rhee, supports school choice. Kirk recounted how Rhee gathered all 6000 teachers from the D.C school district and asked them if they would like the chance to earn more money in exchange for less job security. Eighty-five percent were in favor of making more money.
“Now we know which 15 to fire,” Kirk said.
The other big speaker was Brent Hamachek, the creator of Segueway Solutions, Inc. and author of “Time for a Turning Point.” He detailed the history of the terms left and right and how it came to
mean communism and fascism. However, his view is that the real spectrum runs between individualists to collectivists. He said that the extreme ends of this spectrum were anarchy and dictatorship.
“These people you’re arguing with on campus you’ll find aren’t that different from you. Most people you will find end up in this area here,” he said, referencing the moderate area between individualist and collectivist.
Antifa, a group dedicated to promoting Anti-Fascism, gathered outside the Hyatt. There they held signs that said, “America was Never Great” and “Charlie Kirk is a Jerk.”
Police were present to protect attendees and when the officers stopped protesters from getting too close, protesters chanted, “D.P.D protects Nazis.”
MWRC attendees staged a quick counter protest, holding signs that said “triggered” and “Communism Kills.” One member from TPUSA was holding a sign that said “Only commies rip signs.” It was ripped from her hands by protesters, prompting two arrests.
“They are truly the ones treading on everyone’s social liberties by assaulting, cyberbullying others in the name of political resistance and being too spineless to step out from an echoing chamber,”
Graysen Spiller, an attendee at the conference said about the protesters.
The hotel staff asked that any protesters please leave the premises, prompting TPUSA to go back inside. The Antifa protesters stayed outside the venue a short while longer.