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Trumpism Finds a Safe Space at Conservative Women’s Conference

Liberal organizations such as Swing Left and March for Our Lives have focused considerable energy during 2018 on the electoral work of registering young people to vote, but Turning Point USA is continuing its focus on arming conservatives for arguments, with an eye more toward training the next generation of conservative news pundits than the electioneers.

Over the course of the summit’s four-day agenda, there were no training sessions focused on political organizing or campaigning. There was, however, a session for “10 Best Ways to Grow Your Instagram in 2018,” “Suing Your University 101,” and a pajama party on Saturday night.

Mr. Kirk said in an interview that while liberal organizations are currently outpacing conservatives in organizing young people, conservatives are focused on a broader “culture war.”

“We’re always going to be behind because the left controls higher education,” he said. “They control 2,100 platforms of learning.”

Still, even within the conservative movement, Mr. Kirk and his organization are becoming increasingly divisive. For some weeks, Turning Point USA has been the target of intense criticism on social media from conservatives and liberals alike, and a memo from another conservative organization accused the group of inflating its attendance numbers at conferences, and boosting its membership with “racists & Nazi sympathizers.”

A recent tweet from Candace Owens, Turning Point’s outspoken communications director, also was the subject of criticism.

Ms. Owens, who skyrocketed to national fame after helping shepherd rap artist Kanye West through his transition from liberal social activist to a vocal supporter of Mr. Trump, received significant blowback recently after she tweeted that “the entire premise of #metoo is that women are stupid, weak, & inconsequential.”

Ms. Owens has yet to apologize publicly, and she did not do so explicitly at the young women’s conference. Nevertheless, she was greeted with a standing ovation before her speech Saturday afternoon, smiling as a song from Mr. West’s new album played quietly in the background.

“We’re all with you, Candace!” a young woman screamed from the crowd.

Correction: June 17, 2018

An earlier version of this article misspelled the given name of a woman who attended Turning Point USA’s Young Women’s Leadership Summit. It is Kyasia, not Kyeasia.

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News credit : Nytimes