Over the past few years, I have had the unique opportunity of watching Turning Point USA evolve into one of the key conservative organizations in the country. Where do I fit into all of this? Well, they’re how I got my start. I was recruited to join the organization, alongside Charlie Kirk, Candace Owens, and Brandon Tatum in the summer of 2018.
At the time, I did not know much about the organization, but what I did know, is that they were going places that the GOP was cautious in approaching. They were targeting and directly hoping to engage the Hispanic American Demographic. In a time of identity politics and the blanket use of the term “racist” with the far-left progressives, TPUSA realized that in order to help educate (and save this country) you had to fight fire with fire, and that meant not only standing up strong conservative minority voices, but directly engaging the base.
Currently, according to pewhispanic.org, the largest voting minority in the country are Hispanic Americans. Specifically, those of Mexican descent. It has become extremely important that outreach to this community is done, especially by conservatives. In fact, in the last few months, the DNC has launched an over 20-million-dollar initiative to combat misinformation online and specifically with memes (in Spanish to the Hispanic voters).
How do we combat this? Through education, leaderships, and information warefare. Something of which TPUSA has knocked out of the park over the last few years. I worked for TPUSA as their National Hispanic Outreach Director for about a year prior to announcing my congressional run. It is there that I first attended Young Latino Leadership Summit.
This year was probably the most important summit of theirs thus far. Why? Because it not only was able to educate and inform young Hispanic activists from across the country on what is truly happening with the humanitarian crisis at the border, but they brought in incredible speakers to Include Art Del Cueto (the President of the Border Patrol Union), Kimberly Guilfoyle, the US Ambassador to Mexico, Jesse Holguin (the founder & leader of LEXIT), Senator Ted Cruz, and of course, myself.
Some people may argue that this is identity politics, but to those people, I say “No, it is not.” So many people like myself, and younger Hispanic Americans grow up in a bi-cultural society in which sometimes it is not publicly acceptable to be a conservative or embrace your conservative values. When you create an environment, where you hear real stories from people just like you and are shown that you are not the only one, it lights a spark that not only empowers people to find their voices, but it helps them fight, fight for their beliefs, their passion, and this country.
I know that in attending this conference, not only was I able to help empower young leaders, but I was able to do exactly what so many have done before me… I was able to lead. It is important to remember that we are stronger together. That a united front in the conservative movement means mentoring, empowering, & leading those that will come after us. Had I not joined Turning Point, I can tell you that I would not be the effective leader that I am today.
I learned from the best and now it is all of our responsibility to pass it on. I traveled the country and learned how to listen to those that disagreed with me, so that I could in turn, refine my argument. Listening is key, for any leader.
It is our responsibility to empower the voice of future generations. To share our knowledge and leave the world a better place than how we found it. It means taking that first step, and going into the unknown to make change and it is here, at these conferences and through organizations like this, that the initial change starts.
In this bi-monthly column, you will not just see my response and coverage of key events in our Nation at the grassroots conservative level, but you will hear from up-and-coming Hispanic leaders, activists, and journalists that will carry this torch for future generations.
Anna Paulina Luna is Chief Correspondent and Vice President of El American English