Young conservatives, politicians and media stars convene in Katy to ‘win the culture war’

THE WOODLANDS — The prayer room at Grace Woodlands Church was studded with red MAGA hats on Saturday as young adults gathered to hear from leading Conservatives, often seen on Fox News.

In the hallways, a few people pushed strollers and others weaved through the crowds to get to tables selling shirts that read, “Let the revolution begin” or “Liberty is never more than a generation away from tyranny.” “.

They were there at the Fourth Annual Texas Youth Summit, a two-day conference where Texan teens and young adults met with politicians, ideologically-aligned corporations, and political groups to hear presentations, meet in small groups, and ultimately empower one another feel, according to the summit’s motto, “to be the catalysts to win the culture war.”

Speakers included Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Donald Trump Jr., talk show host Candace Owens and US Rep. Lauren Boebert, who carried a gun strapped to her leg as she turned to the hall. As the headliners delivered their speeches, a large cross from the sanctuary of the churches was illuminated behind them.

US Rep. Matt Gaetz also spoke, the same day the Washington Post reported that he had sought a preemptive pardon from President Donald Trump in connection with a sex trafficking investigation. On Saturday, Gaetz did not mention the investigation into which the US Department of Justice was reportedly investigating whether he paid women to travel across state lines for sex and whether he was in a relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Instead, he called on the young people present to fight for conservative causes.

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“If you’re here with me on a Saturday, you came into it because you care — and because you know the fight we’re in,” he said. “We are now in a country where grandmothers are being robbed in broad daylight in our major cities and they are raiding the home of the former President of the United States. This used to be seen only in the poorest third world countries on planet earth.”

The summit was founded by Christian Collins, a former Cruz political associate and US Rep. Kevin Brady. Registration for the event, which was supported by donations and sponsorships from corporations like right-wing mobile phone company Patriot Mobile, was free for students ages 12 to 26 provided they provided a recommendation from an adult showing “their interest in conservative politics.” confirmed .” Adults could purchase a ticket.

According to its website, the summit aspires to “identify, educate, and educate students to embrace the principles of fiscal responsibility, the free market, limited government, the American state of emergency, and the Judeo-Christian principles on which this country was founded.” support financially”.

“The left controls the education system, television networks, Hollywood and social media, and influences youth,” the website reads. “It’s so important that youth learn the conservative principles that have always made and will continue to make America exceptional.”

The stakes were high for the participants.

“I’m so conservative, I love my country. … So all of these things are just things to strive for. And they’re trying to take that away from our country,” said Manny Galvan, president of the Turning Point USA chapter of his Houston high school. “Every day we sit here, so the more we do nothing, the more is taken from us. The more we try to fight back, the more we can win.”

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But the participants also had different views on what the Kulturkampf means.

“It’s not a literal war, but it’s a metaphorical war of ideas,” said Collins, the event’s founder. “We work to educate young people with conservative and especially Judeo-Christian values ​​so that when they go to college or go into their high schools they have the right worldview because of what the left is doing.”

Paideia Classical School was one of the organizations that took part in the event. They have four locations across Texas, three of which have opened in the last three years.

“We try to bring out critical thinkers with our classes,” said Loiuse Davidson, who worked at the table. “A lot of people just accept what they see first without doing any research.”

Some panels at the event challenged attendees to challenge established research and come up with conspiracy theories surrounding COVID-19, cell towers and more. But more than anything else, the event focused on the idea that liberals, both inside and outside government, were steering the country in a dangerous direction.

“When it comes to this organization, we’re a nonprofit that addresses conservative issues, and we address the issues as opposed to certain groups,” Collins said. “We’re really trying to tackle the ideas, the ideas are important to us. So if we think your idea is wrong, we’ll look into the idea, but I mean we’re not trying to trace anyone’s identity.”

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Phill Cady, an Air Force veteran who had relocated to Texas from California, set up a table to register people to vote. He said he would register anyone to vote if they asked – even if they disagreed.

“Some people just see MAGA and think badly,” he said, gesturing to his red Make America Great Again hat. “I’m a Republican, but I’m not here to support that.”

But the message from many was to do more than just vote. Winning the Kulturkampf required strong political action and mobilization.

“If you’re a digital warrior, you’ll get better at it,” Gaetz said. “If you’re on the phone and knocking on doors, become more efficient, become an organizer and an activist.”

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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

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