United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has issued a warning to young conservatives about their social media habits.
On Monday, Haley spoke with students attending the High School Leadership Summit at George Washington University. According to The Hill, Haley asked the students to raise their hands if they ever "posted anything online to quote-unquote 'own the libs.'" As reported, many of the students raised their hands.
"I know that it's fun and that it can feel good, but step back and think about what you're accomplishing when you do this—are you persuading anyone? Who are you persuading?" she continued. "We've all been guilty of it at some point or another, but this kind of speech isn't leadership—it's the exact opposite."
Haley then presented the students with a different approach. "Real leadership is about persuasion, it's about movement, it's bringing people around to your point of view," she said. "Not by shouting them down, but by showing them how it is in their best interest to see things the way you do."
The idea of "owning the libs" has turned into a social media rallying cry among young conservatives determined to get a reaction out of liberals and progressives. Many times, however, the efforts descend to a level that reflects much more poorly on conservatives, as satirized by cartoonist Matt Bors.
— To Own The Libs (@ToOwnTheLibs) November 19, 2017
The high school summit was hosted by Turning Point USA (TPUSA), whose members have gone to extreme lengths in an attempt to paint liberals and progressives in a negative light. In October 2017, for example, students from TPUSA's Kent State chapter dressed up in adult diapers and toddler clothes and laid in a simulated playpen. This demonstration was reportedly done to poke fun at safe spaces, but quickly turned into jokes about the group's personal fetishes.
— Austin Mariasy Photography (@austin_m18) October 18, 2017
After the demonstration received intense backlash, TPUSA created new guidelines to avoid a copycat incident.