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By Aidan Mattis

Speaking to the Penn State Student run, and independent media site The Underground, Jesse Ryan the President of the Young Democratic Socialists chapter, had harsh words about the pro-freedom organization. Citing a Twitter dispute with PSU TPUSA President Kylie Thomas, Ryan said that when seeking new members, they would “preferably [stay] away from the Turning Point USA table.” Ryan’s group also called the capitalist, small government organization LGBT-phobic due to a tweet from the Ohio State chapter of TPUSA. Despite the fact that Thomas herself is bisexual, and the chapter in question is not at Penn. State, not Ohio State, Ryan persisted in calling the chapter of TPUSA homophobic.

Speaking about a picture tweeted by OSU’s chapter of TPUSA, in which a student wears a T-shirt with an image of Che Guevara with the text “Socialism is for F*gs”, Ryan said that the comment “was just not anything productive. It was filled with homophobia.”

TPUSA at OSU responded, saying “We apologize to those who found the T-Shirt offensive. The actual saying on the shirt is ‘Socialism is for Figs’, but it is challenging to read in the picture.”

Penn. State’s Turning Point USA has been pursuing an opportunity to debate YDS on the merits of capitalism versus socialism, yet has been continuously frustrated by the leftist group’s refusal to do so.  Ryan cited concerns in dealing with the libertarian-leaning nonpartisan TPUSA, stating that “When you have a very sensitive title like us, you have to have a very logical, analytical approach when you’re talking to people like that [TPUSA].” Ryan was referencing TPUSA’s executive board, who have a table set up in the campus HUB every Tuesday. “People might just come up and start ripping up signs,” Ryan finished.

Ironically, PSU’s TPUSA chapter has struggled with people ripping up signs and having their materials unceremoniously dispersed, as a leftist leaning journalist named Terri Thomas (of no relation to the former Thomas) did exactly that to the group’s table in early February.

At another meeting, Ryan told his club about a back and forth with Kylie Thomas on Twitter. Citing what he believed to be a more of a screaming match than an actual debate, he remarked that “[He] just really think[s] it’s a testament to what would actually happen if [YDS] actually debated [Turning Point USA].” Ryan’s excuses have frustrated members of the Turning Point chapter.

Further excusing his club from participating in debate, Ryan explained that “Debates are really about who screams the loudest and who talks the fastest…” Ryan made no effort to reach out to other members of the Turning Point USA chapter at the school, and has yet to speak with Kylie Thomas, relying solely on the YDS chapter Twitter to communicate. Ryan’s comments about TPUSA at PSU being homophobic have yet to see any official response from the pro-capitalism group.

This incident at Penn State represents a growing trend in millennial politics, in which the left would rather shy away from debate and discussion than face the opposing side. By claiming that any interaction with the opposing ideology would be an uncivil screaming match, YDS has excused itself from the challenge of defending their ideas. To quote the infamous Milo Yiannopoulos, “If you don’t show up to defend your ideas, you lose.” Thus, in this microcosm, this bout of political battle, Young Democratic Socialists has lost the skirmish.

EDITOR’s NOTE: The views expressed are those of the author, they are not representative of The Libertarian Republic or its sponsors.

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About The Author

Aidan Mattis

Aidan is a first year student at Penn State University, and a proud graduate of Conestoga High School. He is the chapter Vice President of Turning Point USA at Penn State.

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