When Caleb Knox, a freshman at Patrick Henry College, first heard about the “Under 30 Speech Competition” hosted by the Centennial Institute and Turning Point USA, he mostly expected to be competing against either high school or college students. But shortly after submitting his own video on the political trajectory of the United States, he quickly realized a number of his fellow competitors were professionals, already in the workforce, and had years of experience under their belts.
“I’m probably in over my head here,” Knox remembers thinking.
He scrolled through the list of other videos that had also been uploaded—a record-breaking number of submissions in the four years of the competition’s history. The prompt had been to submit a 10-minute video on “God shed his grace on thee,” an excerpt from “America the Beautiful.”
Instead of being in over his head, Knox’s video won the Speech Competition, and shortly afterward he received an invitation to fly out to the Turning Point USA headquarters in Phoenix Arizona to take part in the Western Conservative Summit 2020.
A little taken aback, Knox set aside Moot Court practice for two days to go film his discourse at the studio, the recording of which would later be included in the Western Conservative Summit 2020.
To Knox, the most dangerous element facing a 2020 United States is the development of a vast and dangerous political polarization, cultivated almost feverishly in today’s society. Even as a Freshman, Knox realizes the importance of speaking truth with humility. He’s glad his involvement in the Western Conservative Summit provided him a glimpse on how to join the nation’s discourse. He understands that the challenges the United States now faces on account of that divide cannot be addressed in the absence of Christian faith.
“This is bigger than right and left. This is a broader cultural shift... What flows from that is of paramount significance," Knox said.
A video of Caleb's winning speech is at the top of this post.
To watch a similar speech on the direction of the nation, click below!