Charlie Kirk, a 24-year-old conservative firebrand, was bringing his pro-capitalism, small-government message to the University of Minnesota on Dec. 5. And he clearly was expecting some blowback.
“Tonight I will be smashing socialism at the University of Minnesota!” Kirk, the founder of Turning Point USA, tweeted that morning. “Protests expected from the intolerant campus left. Will be fun!”
As it turned out, the protests — on one of the most frigid nights of the season — never materialized. But to Kirk’s fans, it’s a sign of the times that, in 2017, they could need police protection to bring a conservative speaker to campus.