By Guy Page
It’s a little-known fact that Charlie Kirk visited Vermont as a child. He admires much about Vermont government and culture. He thinks Vermont is “one of God’s gifts to America.”
Wait – is Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, derided by local cultural Marxist Kirk Kancelers as a fascist outsider, praising Vermont?
Indeed he is, as he told hundreds of (mostly) supporters Monday night, Oct. 18. And he admits that Vermont surprised him.
“Wow! This is Vermont?” Kirk told the standing, cheering mixed crowd of college students and older people that filled the ballroom at the Doubletree – Hilton (the former Sheraton). “I wasn’t sure what to expect in Bernie Sanders’ hometown.”
Technically, Kirk wasn’t in Burlington, Bernie’s adopted hometown. And therein lies a story.
What the Turning Point USA founder did expect was opposition. His Exposing Critical Racism Tour had already been cancelled from one venue – the Battery Street Hilton in downtown Burlington – under threats of boycotts and, Kirk said, violence from cultural Marxists. The cultural Marxist group CopWatch claimed a ‘victory’ in forcing the cancellation. However, their presence Monday night was relatively small and muted, compared to the large, enthusiastic crowd of Kirk supporters. A strong security presence no doubt dampened the anti’s’ enthusiasm level as well.
Kirk praised the yellow-shirted student organizers who made the night a success despite such opposition. “It’s very difficult to be a conserative today. It’s more difficult to be a young conservative college student, especially at (he chuckled) the University of Vermont. So you deserve a lot of credit.”
The Arizona resident and Chicago native “grew up coming here, visiting Lake Champlain. It’s one of the most beautiful states in the country. It’s one of God’s gifts to America,” Kirk said. “Your politics are a totally different story.”
In addtion to its natural beauty, Kirk praised Vermont for preserving the little against the big. “Sometimes it’s important that we recognize that we want local communities to stay strong, families stay strong, and that we want limited government and we don’t want overreaching corporations destroying family businesses handed down.”
“This [Burlington] is one of the few cities that has still kept from an aesthetics point the smalltown America, not letting these soulless, godless corporations come in and destroy small business and entrepreneurship.”
Vermonters embrace the notion that “we want to keep things the way they are – which is actually a kind of conservative idea…. In the last 18 months, we as conservatives have stopped being corporate cheerleaders. We should stand for the good, the true, the beautiful, the local and the decentralized, not the foreign and the corrupt.
“We don’t want to be ruled by Washington DC, and we also don’t want to be ruled by Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, and Astrozenaca.”
Second, Kirk praised the principle and practice of Town Meeting — “That kind of idea of participatory government is a uniquely American idea — that we’re going to take a day off from work and show up” to practice “the consent of the governed.”
“We don’t want to be ruled by the same 100 companies. We don’t want to be ruled by Big Government and Big Google.”
And finally — “The third thing I love about Vermont — I love your gun laws!,” Kirk said. “You have great gun laws!”
Kirk said he’s concerned that Vermont is the third-least churched in the country, because when faith in something bigger goes, so does freedom, either to collectivist or authoritarian rule. People who reject God always fill the vacuum with something else — often government or materialism, Kirk said.
Kirk told the crowd Monday night he is inaccurately, unfairly criticized as wanting the U.S. to become more white. “Vermont is the whitest state in the nation is Vermont, and their politics are pretty screwed up.” However, he does criticize self-consciously ‘white oppressor’ supporters of Critical Race Theory who see their role in American society as “It’s our position as white allies to blow it up.”
“Please go explore the world, explore the Scriptures, explore a relationship with God and Jesus Christ,” he implored the small group of assembled, mostly-quiet protesters. “There’s so much more that’s beautiful out there than just trying to cancel other people. It’s not a great way to live.”
Kirk said he always gets a chuckle when Bernie Sanders talks about white privilege: “Which of your three homes are you going to donate to the disadvantaged population of the state?”
To hear all of Kirk’s speech, go to the TPUSA Facebook page.
Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.