During U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s speech today at the High School Leadership Summit, a four-day conference for conservative high school students hosted by Turning Point USA, she encouraged them to show “real leadership” by engaging with people to persuade them, not “by shouting them down,” according to The Hill.
“Raise your hand if you’ve ever posted anything online to ‘own the libs,'” Haley told the audience. “I know that it’s fun and that it can feel good, but step back and think about what you’re accomplishing when you do this. Are you persuading anyone? Who are you persuading?”
Haley also asked the audience if they had ever posted something online to "own the libs." Almost everyone in the audience raised their hands, and then erupted into spontaneous applause for themselves. Haley discouraged the behavior even if it sometimes feels good #HSLS2018
— Maya Lora (@mayaklora) July 23, 2018
The Hill reported that Haley urged the high school students in attendance to rethink how they approach arguments and disagreements:
We’ve all been guilty of it at some point or another, but this kind of speech isn’t leadership. It’s the exact opposite.
“Real leadership is about persuasion, it’s about movement, it’s about bringing people around to your point of view. Not by shouting them down, but by showing them how it is in their best interest to see things the way you do.
From rising to South Carolina governor, to removing the Confederate flag from South Carolina statehouse grounds, to her actions and conduct as U.N. Ambassador, to her speech tonight, Nikki Haley continues to serve as an inspiration for the future of the Republican Party.
She could not have chosen a better audience for this lesson, as it sometimes seems as though some young leaders of the conservative youth moment — including the founder of Turning Point USA, Charlie Kirk — are more focused on fame and antagonizing liberals than they are on advancing conservative policy or fostering productive debate.
The conservative movement needs more leaders like Nikki Haley — a strong, intelligent, compassionate leader who is always willing to stand up for what she believes — even if it may not be politically popular or if it means she must act alone.
And it’s a reassuring sign that many in the young audience clearly approved of her and her speech:
Standing ovation after someone screams “2024!” at Ambassador Haley. She laughed it off.
— Christine Rousselle 💁🏻♀️ (@crousselle) July 24, 2018
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent those of any other individual or entity. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @sarahmquinlan.