America Fest - TPUSA

Updated: Feb 11

On December 18 – 21st, Turning Point USA (TPUSA) brought America Fest to Phoenix, AZ. The event was held at the phoenix convention center and brought in a plethora of inspiring conservative speakers, special guests, and singers for the concert on Saturday and Monday night. With an audience of over 10,000, to say it was a lively experience would be an understatement. The “USA” and “Lets Go Brandon” chants were uncanny.

TPUSA being a 501 c3 non-profit organization founded by Charlie Kirk, its mission is to education students on the importance of limited government, free market, and capitalism. They have a National Field Program with over 1,400 chapters on high-school and college campuses across the country. With the hundreds of thousands of individuals (mostly students) affiliated with the group, they are making major progress against the Marxist ideologies that is indoctrinated in today’s school system. Isabel Brown wrote a great book about her experience on the matter in her book, Frontlines.

On Saturday, people began lining up hours before general session doors opened to make sure they had a good spot to see Charly Kirk and Tucker Carlson kick it off. The moment Charly entered the stage, he was welcomed by fireworks, strobe lights, and confetti that filled the arena. The feeling of proud American patriotism was ubiquitous.

“It’s a great day to be in America”… “we are here to celebrate the greatest nation ever to exist in the history of the world”

Charley Kirk began with.

He gave a great opening speech for about 30 minutes before Tucker Carlson took the stage.

Tucker began his speech with an overall evaluation of America.

“This is the low point, its got to be the low point”, “when something is insane and counter productive, when it doesn’t even benefit the people pushing it, it probably cant continue” “the things that are going on now are so crazy, and their so disconnected” “ things are happening right now that are so insane that they cant be explained by a normal explanation, there’s just absolutely no rational explanation for it”

The statements aimed focus in regard to counterintuitive notions like defund the police, and people wrecking stuff for the sole reason of destruction. Thus, being his described low point, he went on to note how we are now on a path to a more positive light.

The majority of the speech was based on the importance of family and relationships. Thus is the foundation of a healthy life and a healthy nation.

“You cant have wise leadership from people that have unbalanced lives.” “Its not about the knowledge and data” “the facts are ascertainable. The question is, what do they mean” “It’s a matter of wisdom” “it takes someone that understands what’s important, understands people, understands life in its full scope”

This is directly relatable to covid which he expands on following, but it is easily prevalent in the many issues America is currently facing. We need a strong leader to guide us. He uses the example that a scared whimpering dog never leads the pack. He gets to the back and follows the big brave dog. This analogy is true all throughout history. We need a stronger leader that will not be afraid to make the hard decisions, thinks about the nation as a whole, and knows the right thing to do.

“you’re either creating something beautiful or tearing it down”

It was a good speech touching on some of the flaws of the current administration but more importantly what we need to do and can do to grow more prosperous and be a part of the whole that works towards positive change. And it is centered at a personal level with those around you. The ones you love.

The day ended with a concert featuring Dee Jay Silver, RaeLynn, and Brantley Gilbert to list a few.

With TPUSA and many of its supporters being evangelical in nature, Sunday morning appropriately began with a passionate worship session featuring Pastor Rob McCoy.

At 9 began the general session with Donald Trump Jr. taking the stage. He began by touching on the recent event of Lia Thomas, the male swimmer that transitioned to a woman at Penn and started breaking records in the women’s field. He then touched on things like Rittenhouse and Afghanistan and how the leadership's “decency is out the window”.

“There still are moderate democrats. They are just not represented in government.”

He spoke a lot of unfiltered truth about the hypocrisy from the left and how the increasing amount of absurd lies and actions are waking people up to what’s going on. He mentioned that even billionaire Bill Ackman woke up to this while tweeting about the Rittenhouse trial. “This is so different than everything I’ve been told. I’m trying to figure out how Kyle Rittenhouse is a white supremacist after shooting three white guys.” “I can't believe that the people they were making heroes were actual pedophiles.”

He had a great talk and it was followed by Governor Sarah Palin, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green, Congressman Jim Jordan, Congressman Byron Donald’s, Congressman Burgess Owens, and Congressman Matt Gaetz. In between were a number of other great individuals like Dennis Prager, Judge Jeanine Pirro, and Nick Vujicic.

While the general session went on throughout the day, at media row (main hall) there would be constant interviews where the speakers would hang out. Adjacent to that area was also the exhibition. It was set up in a big room with lots of vendors and TPUSA booths.

While the day came to a close, I got to speak with Erica Rodriguez and her friend Kerri Anderson whom she met earlier at the event. Erica Rodriguez is the TPUSA campus coordinator at the University of New Mexico and the president of her Turning Point chapter. When I asked her what drew her to the organization, she referred to the

“political correctness and nonsense that they’re teaching in the classroom.”

“I have nothing but good things to say about this place [TPUSA] and all the people in it. This is the best organization.”

While she studies Psychology with a minor in Spanish and sustainability studies, her pursuit is to have a future career with TPUSA.

“I’ve been talking to my field rep Lacey Williams, who is the Rockies territory field rep and I want to do what she does.”

While Kerri didn’t have a background inside of the TPUSA organization while in

college, she has an interest in politics and knows some people at her church that are involved. Kerri actually just recently found out about Charlie Kirk at an event in Tucson, AZ where she resides. Since then, she has begun listening to his podcasts and found out about America Fest.

One of the speakers she enjoyed a lot was Abby Johnson.

“[s]he talked about her experience within the abortion industry. And that was really powerful. And just her example that she's setting for just people of our age. It really just spoke to me and just, I could connect with it. And her movie and her book are really good, too. And I think everyone should see the movie. It's called unplanned.”

Erica (left), and Kerri (right)

While Erica enjoyed a number of the speakers, what she enjoyed more was the overall re-occurrent rhetoric spoken throughout.

“My favorite part so far is just that everyone who speaks is bringing up how this is a very spiritual warfare that we're in you. We're not just in a battle between Democrats and Republicans. We're in it against Satan himself. And when he comes in and tries to wreak havoc on our lives, and I grew up with the idea that you have to either choose your love of country, or choose Jesus. And all of these people here are telling me things loving Jesus is loving your country, and loving your country is loving Jesus. And this is how we do it. And this is how we marry the two. And my life is colored by Jesus. And so I can't imagine thinking any other way because this is how I live my life. And it's just so wonderful to have all these amazing role models who are saying to me, this is how you can very clearly see that they're not separate.”

On Mondays, the general session started just before noon with a performance from James O’Keefe featuring a few of his famed whistleblowers. While he didn’t end up giving a speech, the dance (based on the evolution of his career) was entertaining, nonetheless. The following speeches featured Dr. Sebastion Gorka, Benny Johnson, Jesse Waters, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, Congresswoman Kat Cammack, Jack Posobiec, Senator Ted Cruz, and more. Candace Owens was also supposed to attend but ended up not being able to make it. While everybody gave an ornate speech, nothing quite compared to the reaction of the audience when Kyle Rittenhouse came out with a panel including Charley Kirk, Jack Posobiec, Elijah Schaffer, and Drew Hernandez. Even when Kyle entered the expo, a crowd followed him around like paparazzi. It is safe to say that the recent trial has made him into some kind of celebrity.

After the General session, a concert featuring, Dee Jay Silver, Lee Greenwood, Russell Dickerson, and Dustin Lynch took the room.

The fourth and final day on Tuesday began with a prayer and speech from Pastor Jack Hibbs. Later speakers featured Brandon Tatum, Congresswoman Madison Cawthorn, Kayleigh McEnany, and closed with Charley Kirk. The event was a colossal success, and there is a chance it may come back in 2022.