Campus News

VIDEO | Reasons to Vote for Trump: A Conversation with Michael Knowles

Conservative commentator gave speech in Huntsman Hall on Thursday 4/19

Michael Knowles, Managing Editor of the right-leaning publication The Daily Wire and author of the New York Times best-selling blank book Reasons to Vote for Democrats, spoke in Jon M. Huntsman Hall room JMHH 370 on Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m. to explain his staunch support for President Trump.

Hosted by The Statesman, Knowles gave a talk laying out his rationale for supporting the president followed by a question-and-answer session from the audience. Attendance was free to the public. Attendees arrived early to munch on pizza and peruse a free copy of The Statesman‘s April print issue.

Undergraduates from the University of Pennsylvania and other Philadelphia-area universities gathered to meet the actor-turned-journalist and ask questions in person. Numbering around 70, audience members also included working locals. Philadelphia native Walt Danker even tweeted at Knowles after the event to thank him for answering a question from Danker’s daughter about bias in local high schools.

 

In addition to 30,000 views on YouTube, The Daily Wire‘s live-stream video of the speech garnered over 148,000 views, 900 comments, and 467 shares on Facebook:

 

Knowles separated his discussion into two overarching parts, namely, reasons to vote for Trump in 2016 and reasons to vote for Trump in 2020.

During the lecture Knowles was full of smiles and jests. He joked that “Hillary Clinton” and “making Democrats cry” were reasons enough to vote for Trump, quipping, “their salty, delicious, leftist tears bring me joy.”

Taking a slightly graver tone, Knowles then delved into key differences in philosophy and policy that informed his decision to vote Trump in 2016 despite being admittedly “hesitant at first.”

The commentator explained his qualms were quickly allayed when President Trump took office and had “a pretty good first year … That’s a pretty good argument for 2020.” Knowles praised Trump’s success in bringing about deregulation and tax cuts as well as his pragmatism for paying little attention to transgender bathroom issues, which Knowles lampooned as affecting “five people on planet Earth who are confused about their biological sex.” The Daily Wire editor also lauded promising developments in negotiations between North and South Korea, chuckling over laughter, “Donald J. Trump may bring peace to the Korean peninsula.”

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Knowles spoke for 35 minutes to a laughing crowd of about 70 before opening up to Q&A at Huntsman Hall.

Rounding out the lecture, the conservative commentator offered his number one reason for supporting the president’s election and re-election:

Really, the most important reason to vote for Donald Trump in 2016 or 2020 is that it shows that America still has a little bit of life left in it. It still has a little vigor. it still has a little recklessness. It still has spirit and life and ethos to it.    We must, despite the constant negative press, ‘covfefe.’ We need to ignore that negative press. We need to embrace that exuberance and that reality of this moment. The left simply wants to destroy and deconstruct – and divide and divide and divide – and attack. And what we must do is build our culture and politics back up. We must build and we must make. We have to build on the victory of 2016, we have to build on it in 2018, we have to build on it in 2020, and we must make America great again – and again and again and again and again. Thank you very much.

The speaker then transitioned to a question-and-answer session, during which he discussed such far-flung topics as Bill Clinton’s rape accusations, conservative art, bets with Ben Shapiro, and the so-called deep state, in addition to electoral politics.

One audience member, introducing herself as “from former Soviet Union, as you can tell by my accent,” told Michael that she was very shocked upon moving to the United States twenty years ago by the way leftist ideas had taken hold here, before asking for his opinion on conservative talk radio.

Besides answering in support of conservative radio – “Rush [Limbaugh] is the original one … I love Dennis Prager, Dennis is my cigar buddy, we’re very fortunate to have him in Los Angeles” – Knowles pointed to the irony that under Communist governments like the Cuban regime, the citizens often choose to don American flags rather than leftist propaganda, since they know firsthand the effects of Communism. “White useful idiots in America wear Che Guevara T-shirts, because they don’t know the horrors of enslavement and property confiscation and physically being brutalized by the government,” derided Knowles.

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Knowles spent another 45 minutes accepting questions from audience members, who inquired about topics as disparate as Clinton rape accusations, conservative art, and the deep state.

Michael Knowles graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in History before pursuing his career in acting and political commentary. President Trump tweeted praise in 2017 for Knowles’ empty Simon & Schuster book, calling it “A great book for your reading enjoyment.” Knowles began hosting a regular podcast for The Daily Wire, where he works for editor-in-chief and founder Ben Shapiro.

The talk was co-hosted by the UPenn College Republicans. It was promoted on Facebook here

The Statesman‘s James Paron reported on April 17 that flyers for the event were torn down ahead of the talk. The Daily Pennsylvanian also reported on the event in anticipation and in retrospect.

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Though flyers were torn down ahead of the talk, around 70 students and locals still turned out for free pizza and lively conversation. Tens of thousands watched online.

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4 replies »

    • Nice question Walt! Locals are welcome and encouraged to attend. However, I will warn that there is a sign-in policy, starting I believe at 7 pm, preventing you from walking right in. It may work out either way but I would advise arriving before 7 pm to avoid any delays.

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