A jam-packed audience filled the LSU Student Union Theater on Tuesday to hear from conservative political commentator Candace Owens.
Before Owens stepped on stage, the audience roared with applause and chants ranging from “U-S-A” to “Let’s go Brandon.”
Owens joined Turning Point USA on the Live Free Tour to visit multiple college campuses. Her talks are aimed at energizing students and the community around conservative, pro-American values, according to promotional materials for the event.
Owens did communications for Turning Point USA from 2017 to 2019, during which she caught the attention of Kanye West and then-President Donald Trump. She now hosts a show on the Daily Wire, a conservative media site founded by political commentators Ben Shapiro and Jeremy Boreing.
Owens touched on a variety of topics in her nearly hour-long talk.
Owens repeatedly voiced her opposition to the public school system and advocated for “school choice,” which allows parents to choose alternatives to public schools, like charter schools.
“I think the Department of Education needs to be abolished and burned to the ground,” Owens said.
Owens provided background on how she developed her conservative beliefs, telling the crowd about a Feminism 101 class she took in college, which became a pivotal moment for her. She said her professor “brainwashed” women to blame their oppression on men.
“She [the professor] didn't want us to think rationally,” Owens said. “You will find this in classrooms, especially today. They are not teaching you how to think, they are teaching you what to think, and there is a big difference there.”
Owens also said feminists attack the family dynamic by not wanting strong men in society. (Owens has caught widespread attention for her opinions on gender roles, tweeting when Harry Styles wore a dress that it was “an outright attack on men” and making a call to “bring back manly men.”)
Owens said pushing for women to be in the workforce and making motherhood a secondary focus means the government must step in to raise children. According to Owens, women need to drop the drug that causes a “feminism high” after college because “family is fulfilling, and family is what makes you happy.”
Owens connected her thoughts on family to what she said she believes is the United States’ move toward socialism.
“They know that if you come from a strong family, you are way better positioned to become more successful,” Owens said. “It doesn't matter what your color is, it doesn't matter what your gender is, you're going to be better positioned in life if you come from a strong family.”
Owens also described what she believes makes liberals and conservatives different.
“The difference between leftists and conservatives is that when a leftist has an issue, they externalize it. They say I have an issue in my life and who can I blame … Conservatives, we do the opposite. We say I have a problem and I have the ability to fix that problem,” Owens said.
Graham Head, a finance freshman, attended the talk and liked Owens’ perspective.
“I really liked how she made it clear what the conservative values are,” Head said. “What she is doing is she is not only presenting her side of the story, but she is making it more accessible for all sides of the story.”
The talk ended with questions from the audience, giving attendees the opportunity to address a variety of topics. Questions ranged from her opinion on vaccinations to critical race theory.
Enola Guyer, an animal science freshman, didn’t seem impressed by Owens’ responses.
“A big thing is that when people asked her questions, she kind of danced around the question and used buzzwords,” Guyer said.