Nikki Haley Tells Conservative Teens to Stop Trying to ‘Own the Libs’

Not in favor of “owning libs.” Photo: Pool/Getty Images

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a oft-mentioned future presidential candidate, told a group of conservative high-school students on Monday that one of their favorite activities might be “fun,” and might “feel good,” but it’s not always in their best interest.

She was talking, of course, about “owning the libs.” The Hill provides a transcript of Haley’s remarks on the subject:

“Raise your hand if you’ve ever posted anything online to quote-unquote ‘own the libs,’” Haley asked at the High School Leadership Summit at George Washington University.

The vast majority raised their hands in response, and then erupted into spontaneous applause.

“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?” Haley asked. “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.”

“Real leadership is about persuasion, it’s about movement, it’s bringing people around to your point of view,” she added. “Not by shouting them down, but by showing them how it is in their best interest to see things the way you do.”

The irony of Haley’s remarks is that they came at an event hosted by Turning Point USA, a group that has made its name by attempting, often with disastrous results, to get under the skin of liberals. The group famously hosted an event at Kent State University last October that saw a student in a diaper, sucking a pacifier and sitting in a playpen. The point? To mock the “safe spaces” that liberal students were demanding.

Nikki Haley to GOP Teens: Stop Trying to Own the Libs