President Trump recently asked the U.S. Department of Treasury to investigate the tax-exempt status of universities. In a tweet, the president said:
Too many Universities and School Systems are about Radical Left Indoctrination, not Education. Therefore, I am telling the Treasury Department to re-examine their Tax-Exempt Status… and/or Funding, which will be taken away if this Propaganda or Act Against Public Policy continues. Our children must be Educated, not Indoctrinated!
At first, I thought that it was a direct lift from some of Turning Point USA’s own content! Our organization has been fighting against campus indoctrination since its founding in 2012. Of late, what we see happening in our streets, in corporate boardrooms, and in almost every office of state and local government is the direct result of decades of collectivist ideas being taught as dogmatic truth to our college students. These ideas center on the fact that America is a systemically oppressive, evil nation.
To paraphrase the not-so Reverend Jeremiah Wright, “America’s academic chickens, have come home to roost.”
Consider the evolved “tolerance” of University of Chicago, which fired Professor Harald Uhlig for suggesting that BLM was making a mistake by attempting to defund police departments rather than simply provide better training.
Or similarly, it’s hard not to appreciate the “progress” exhibited by University of Wisconsin officials entertaining the idea of letting students tear down a statue of “The Great Emancipator,” Abraham Lincoln.
Perhaps it’s the re-segregated dorms at Cal State Los Angeles or UC Boulder that helped reality set in.
Or maybe it was New York City College’s professor of art crime (which is apparently a thing) who took to social media to instruct rioters and vandals on the best methods for tearing down a statue of Christopher Columbus.
By now, everyone knows what the universities have been up to.
The time has come to hit universities in their wallets, the only place proven to matter to these anti-capitalists who “hate” money — except when it’s their own.
This is why Turning Point USA recently announced DivestU.com to encourage wealthy, center-right patrons to pull their gifts from their alma maters if they no longer reflect their values. Our goal is to secure over $1 billion and 1,000 large donations in revoked gifts. So far, our messaging is striking a chord. In less than one week, donors have divested over $13 million from America’s most “elite” universities such as Harvard, Yale, Notre Dame, and Baylor, and this is just the beginning.
It’s also why President Trump signed an Executive Order in 2019 in an attempt to compel universities to promote free speech or risk of losing federal funding. But the left’s increased militant aggression means revoking the university’s tax-exempt status is the next, necessary step.
Universities are typically organized as 501c3s, meaning people can make tax deductible donations to these institutions. One of the various “rules” that a tax-exempt organization must follow is that they cannot endorse politicians or parties. To give you an example of how this works, Turning Point USA, a 501c3, had to create an entirely separate 501c4 in order to operate and run Students for Trump heading into November. This entity is funded completely by non-tax-deductible support.
Convincing people to give donations is no small task, but many will gladly accept the write off. Successfully convincing them to give money without a tax deduction increases the difficulty by a factor of ten; but, it’s an important firewall against corruption.
Under the president’s previous EO, university’s tax-exempt status was never in jeopardy, just certain federally funded grants. Potentially painful no doubt, but limited. It also only applied to allowing free speech on campus, mainly for visiting lecturers. Now, however, much like the FBI used the IRS to get Al Capone, the president might be able to use the Internal Revenue Service to finally bring an end to the intellectual criminal cartel that is the American university system.
Since these institutions are clearly using their campus rules and their professors’ lectures to promote a particular ideological and political framework (practically eliminating conservative professors altogether) the president’s proposed reform could very well mean that the universities’ current ideological composition would result in a violation of their tax-exempt charter.
I genuinely believe our children can and will love America again, but America’s universities have become ground zero for the Marxists’ march to revolution. It’s time our hard-earned, capitalist dollars stopped funding their assault on our nation.
DivestU.com is part of that. Removing federal college loans guarantees is another. Revoking tax-exempt status is the third, necessary piece.
Reforms like these will only happen if we are willing to finally fight back. And it will only happen if we have another four years of President Donald Trump in office.
The universities will just have to form, and fund, their own 501c4 organizations if they disagree.
Charlie Kirk is the author of The New York Times bestseller The MAGA Doctrine: The Only Ideas That Will Win the Future and host of The Charlie Kirk Show