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Charlie Kirk gets first GOP convention address, calls Trump 'bodyguard of Western civilization'

Conservative activist Charlie Kirk gave the first address of the Republican National Convention on Monday, touting President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP-led Maricopa County board decries election recount a 'sham' Analysis: Arpaio immigration patrol lawsuit to cost Arizona county at least 2 million Conservatives launch 'anti-cancel culture' advocacy organization MORE as "the bodyguard of Western civilization."

"Speaking to you in my personal capacity tonight as a 26-year-old, I see the angst of young people as well as the challenges facing new parents," said Kirk, the founder of the pro-Trump student group Turning Point USA. 

"I am here tonight to tell you, to warn you, that this election is a decision between preserving America as we know it and eliminating everything that we love," he continued. 

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Kirk went on to praise Trump, referring to him as his "friend" while alluding to demonstrations and protest across the country. 

"We may have not realized it at the time, but Trump is the bodyguard of Western civilization," he said. "Trump was elected to protect our families from the vengeful mob that seeks to destroy our way of life, our neighborhoods, schools, churches and values. President Trump was elected to defend the American way of life." 

Kirk also criticized those tearing down statues during the address, a reference to demonstrations targeting monuments to Confederate generals and other historical figures. Kirk did not mention the police killing of George Floyd, which instigated the first protests, or calls for racial justice, which have been a characteristic of most of the demonstrations in the country. 

Kirk is seen as a rising star within pro-Trump circles, often appearing at campaign-style events with the president and his family. He joins a number of other notable speakers for Monday's program, with the theme "Land of Promise." Other speakers include Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Donald Trump Jr., Nikki Haley, and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.).