American colleges and universities have traditionally been a hotbed of progressive, leftwing, socialist and even Marxist ideas. Very often, these ideas translated into support for the Democratic Party in the nation’s electoral politics. The Republicans usually took it as a given and rarely resisted the left-wing dominance of the higher education institutions. If ever they resisted, it was done half-heartedly until the presidential campaign of 2016 when Republican candidate Donald Trump took the campaign to the campuses. In the last two years, the Republicans have not forgotten the campuses and are making every effort to establish a presence on the American campuses by replacing the Democratic supporters or, as they prefer to call, the progressives.
In Campus Battlefield, Charlie Kirk gives the Republican program and agenda for the American campuses in the years to come. Charlie Kirk is the Founder and Executive Director of Turning Point USA, a national student movement dedicated to organizing students to promote the principles of free markets and limited government. Founded in 2012, Turning Points USA has a presence in over 1100 high schools and university campuses. Charlie Kirk says that it is ironic that all the lectures about the desperate need for campus safe spaces and trigger warnings and the wickedness of micro-aggressions and offensive speech come from the left while liberals are most often the aggressors. He writes, “Conservatives are shamed, shunned, shunned, and exiled. Micro- and macro-aggressions against conservative are tolerated, if not applauded.”
Charlie Kirk says that it’s not conservatives who are calling for safe spaces and the rest to protect themselves from having their feelings hurt. He writes, “In comparison to liberals, how often do conservatives organize boisterous demonstrations to prevent liberal speakers from appearing on campus? How often do conservatives harass liberals as they try to recruit students to their causes? How often do conservatives say that liberal free speech must be restricted because it is hateful and offensive? How often do conservative march on administrative offices to force the cancellation of liberal speakers? How many conservatives are demanding “safe spaces” that are essentially echo chambers for liberal bombast? How often?” Of course his answer is clearly, “Not often, if ever.”
Charlie Kirk says that self-styled “progressives” are the ones who are snuffing out free speech and making the expression of conservative ideas a risky venture, betraying the culture of free speech that liberals not too long ago praised and aggressively defended. When it comes to hostile campus environments, it’s difficult to find any surpassing the ones progressives, liberals, and far-left clans are creating for conservatives. He says that the powers that run colleges today — the faculty, administration, and some alumni who have mindlessly bought the prevailing authoritarian and left agenda — no longer believe a college is a place where different ideas are taught, expressed and challenged. He writes, “They have become leftist echo chambers that reinforce an anti-American, anti-freedom, pro-Marxist worldview.”
The institutional dominance the left enjoys did not happen overnight. Charlie Kirk says that the left doggedly planned for decades to take over our high schools and our colleges. He writes, “The left relentlessly and incrementally pounded its credos into the minds of generations of students. And today we are seeing the disastrous results.” Charlie Kirk examines how the left has pulled this off and how we can resurrect the heart and soul of our universities as safe places for the teaching and expressions of all ideas, not just those endorsed by the liberal curia. He says the fight for his mission has already begun. This fight is long because “this fight is over more than control of high schools and colleges. This is a life-or-death fight for the future of our country and of Western civilization. If the leftist corruption of the ideas of liberty, free speech, and economic freedom now so common on college campuses comes to dominate the nation’s outlook, as the left intends, this will not be a country that the Founding Fathers would recognize. It will be unrecognizable to all of us, who as Americans grew up enjoying the very freedom that they now are trying to destroy.” He concludes “We are at war for the soul of our country, and it’s a fight we must win before it is too late.”
Campus Battlefield is a necessary addition to the already existing body of literature on the Republican program and agenda on the American campuses. It is not a nuanced, scholarly book. It is simply a political program of the Republicans by a young energetic Republican. The success of Charlie Kirk in establishing Turning Point USA chapters on more than 1100 American campuses in six years is no small feat. This shows that he and his group would play a bigger role in the resurgent Republican movement on the campuses. This also shows that the Republicans will face their political opponents more assertively. This is a must-read book to understand the aggressive Republican agenda on the campuses in the years to come.