The conservative student organization Turning Point USA hosted the Young Latino Leadership Summit over the weekend in Phoenix, Arizona, promoting the values of free-market capitalism, American exceptionalism, and national sovereignty.
Turning Point USA founder and president Charlie Kirk told The Western Journal that the event was the group’s largest gathering of its type to date (it has previously hosted four such summits) and, to his knowledge, represented the largest gathering of conservative Latino students ever.
“Just the gathering itself is a success, but we want to make sure everyone leaves better connected and better trained,” Kirk said of the 300 who attended. “Better trained on how to debate their values and principles.”
Those values, he said, include the belief that “America is the greatest country,” as well as the importance of “strong borders, national sovereignty, and the rule of law.”
They say we don’t exist.
They lied. #ylls2019
— Anna Paulina (@realannapaulina) February 24, 2019
Among the speakers at the three-day event were former Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle; investigative reporter and frequent guest on FNC’s “Hannity” Sara Carter; Steve Cortes, CNN commentator and member of President Donald Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council; Border Patrol spokesman Art Del Cueto; and My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell.
This amazing group of young people is the future of this country! pic.twitter.com/o0MJNmQQ3r
— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) February 23, 2019
David Basulto and Jesse Holguin, co-founders of LEXIT Movement, also spoke at the gathering, bringing the message that traditional Latino values — pro-life, pro-entrepreneurism, pro-freedom — are more aligned with conservatism and the Republican Party than modern liberalism.
LEXIT stands for “Latino exit” from the Democrats ranks.
“Who better to reach Latinos than other Latinos?” Basulto said to The Western Journal. “We’re just regular Chicanos from the hood, and we support Trump. We want the wall.”
Holguin said he used to be a Democrat, but after doing his homework, decided he could not remain in the party.
“I put God first above all things, and so does the LEXIT Movement,” he said.
Holguin argued that, too often, Latinos have allowed their values to be shaped by biased Spanish-language media, such as Univision and Telemundo, which he said push a CNN-like anti-Trump, anti-conservative agenda.
The activist also pointed to other influences like schools and universities and Hollywood celebrities all trying to push Hispanics in a liberal direction.
“The Democrat Party has basically put every race and ethnic group in a little box, and told them, ‘Anyone outside this box is against you and bad for you,’” he said.
“We’re going in there and we’re going to kick the door down on that box, and free our people and tell them, ‘You’re Americans and everybody in this country, we’re all one.’”
Basulto further argued there is nothing inconsistent with being Latino and against illegal immigration.
“You can be for legal immigration and against illegal immigration and not be a race traitor and care about your own people,” he said. “You can be conservative and still love your culture, love your ethnicity and still be for your people and still be a proud American.”
Asked what two things he would like to see the conservative movement accomplish between now and the 2020 election, Kirk said that, first, he would like to improve black and Hispanic support, and, second, have conservatives unite behind Trump.
“Everyone says, ‘most important election, most important election’…this one’s pretty important,” he contended.
“The left hates America,” Kirk said. “Not all the Democrats do, but the left hates America. And they want to destroy us from within. And if we allow people who hate our country to rule our country, I don’t know if we’ll be able to recover from that.”