The Lantern recently published a misleading and inaccurate letter to the editor regarding Turning Point USA’s Ohio State chapter, and we’d like to set the record straight regarding our presence on campus. That letter, from Brad McKinnis and Val Nikaidoh, co-presidents of the Young Democratic Socialists at OSU, misrepresents TPUSA’s members and goals of our organization, and we believe that Buckeye students should be able to know the facts of the situation.
During OSU’s Undergraduate Student Government elections, our current leadership was unaware of our national organization’s involvement. We strongly support free and fair elections at OSU, and encourage all students, regardless of partisan affiliation or nonaffiliation, to get involved in the political process at OSU.
The shirt McKinnis and Nikaidoh describe is satire, and not intended to disparage any class of people. Turning Point USA does not endorse the shirt, or homophobia of any kind, as it is made by the radio show “Louder with Crowder,” and neither does it take stances on social issues. We support free markets, limited government and the U.S. Constitution. Many in our chapter support LGBTQ+ rights, but also believe in every American’s First Amendment rights of free speech and expression. To those who believe that the shirt is homophobic, we suggest that they brush up on the history of Che Guevara, a mass murderer, and the horrors of socialism before attempting to publicly shame those whose intent is only satirical in nature.
McKinnis and Nikaidoh mention Turning Point USA’s Professor Watchlist as grounds for our removal from campus. This list, which contains hundreds of professors who have belittled, intimidated and attacked students at campuses across the nation for their conservative beliefs, is designed as a resource for college students, who deserve to know which professors have a history of attacking students over their political ideology. Students of all political stripes, most of all our democratic socialist friends, should recognize that professors attacking students over political differences is something that we all should seek to keep out of our classrooms. The watchlist by no means targets professors based on race or religion, but rather by proven discriminatory actions. McKinnis and Nikaidoh suggest the Professor Watchlist is used to “intimidate, harass and even physically injure professors across the nation,” however, this seems unlikely, as more than 1,200 professors have actually requested to be added to the list. This list is meant only as an informative tool for students, and we strongly condemn violence against any person on account of their political beliefs.
Our organization stands for limited government, capitalism and free speech. Our members have many different opinions and ideas, and we welcome anyone to join us at our meetings to share their ideas with us and debate us. We invite Brad McKinnis, Val Nikaidoh, the rest of the Democratic Socialists at Ohio State, and anyone else interested in Turning Point to join us at our next meeting to join in rational and civil discussions. We support the free exchange of ideas, rather than the censorship and removal of those who disagree with us from campus, as McKinnis and Nikaidoh believe.
We will be hosting a safe space this Thursday on the Oval for anyone who feels that they need protection from the legitimate political discussion that Turning Point seeks to create.
President of Turning Point USA at OSU
Second-year in animal science
Vice President of Turning Point USA at OSU
Second-year in agricultural communications
Treasurer of Turning Point USA at OSU
First-year in economics