Social issues took center stage with Charlie Kirk and Tucker Carlson as conservative personalities launched Turning Point USA’s AmericaFest conference in Arizona.
The founder of the conservative grassroots movement touched on subjects ranging from the transgender rights movement to “self-righteous sycophant” Anthony Fauci in his speech, calling on the young audience to resist the “managed decline” of the United States.
“We know there's a deeper game being played here than tax policy right now in our country,” Kirk said Saturday night. “The game that's being played is very simple: Are you thankful that you're an American, or are you angry that you're an American? And are you willing to do something about it?”
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Kirk denounced the vaccine mandates and the authoritarianism he said the pandemic allowed to encroach on America's values.
“No one should be forced to get the vaccine against their will under any circumstances whatsoever. Period. End of story,” Kirk said.
“People are waking up to exactly the motivations of either Fauci or the whole ruling class which is very simple: This was a means to an end for them to try to control your life and your children, and we are not going to let that happen,” he continued.
Carlson highlighted the natural obligations to family and community that he says the Left wants to erode. The Fox News host said he has never before seen people “wrecking stuff for the sake of wrecking stuff” the way he says the left-wing politicians, whom he speculated as having unfulfilling personal lives, look to destroy societal institutions.
“There are laws of nature,” Carlson said. “We are subject to them. We can't change them. We can't transition out of them. We can’t identify as being exempt from them. They don't change. They don't care what we think. Nature, God, are outside of our control. We can only respond.”
Family ties are one of the natural instincts that the opposition wants to destroy, he said, even defending former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo's decision to help his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, when he was embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal.
“Of all the things that you can fire Chris Cuomo for, and there a million, faking his quarantine, lecturing us about masks, the thing they fired him for was family loyalty,” he said.
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Both Tucker and Kirk urged the audience to lean into their natural obligations to their families and to their friends, with Kirk, a Turning Point co-founder, concluding his talk by asking all the people who attended the event alone to raise their hands so event organizers could reach out to them.
“We have 10,000 people gathered in a room,” he said, referencing both the pandemic and the number of conservative young people. “There's something special about that.”
Thousands of freedom-loving Americans all in one room… not a mask in sight— Turning Point USA (@TPUSA) December 19, 2021
Welcome back, America!#AMFEST2021 pic.twitter.com/J2tLInvfbW
Saturday night marked the beginning of the four-day speaker series. Judge Jeanine Pirro and Reps. Marjorie Taylor Green and Matt Gaetz are among those expected to deliver remarks during Sunday's festivities.