My wife and one of my daughters graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. So when the Lindau family, substantial benefactors of the college, instituted a program that brings conservative speakers to campus once a year, we found ourselves on the invitation list. Tonight Dr. Charles Krauthammer delivered the Lindau lecture for 2012.
We attended a dinner before the event and had an opportunity to chat with Dr. Krauthammer about politics and the Twins’ exciting 10-9 comeback earlier this afternoon. Then it was on to the the main event. Krauthammer gave an excellent talk, as you would expect. He analyzed the Obama administration as a drama in three acts, set in the context of a fundamental struggle between two visions: the robust, individualist democracy envisioned by the Founders, and the social democracy model that has prevailed in Europe and which President Obama wants to institute here. If you don’t think of Krauthammer as funny, you should; there was plenty of entertainment as well as erudition.
The crowd was impressive. The large lecture hall was filled, with people standing around three sides. There was a TV feed to students in an overflow room, and the event was streamed live on the college’s web site. The crowd was enthusiastic, too, and gave Krauthammer more than one standing ovation. I attribute this in part to the Fox News Effect. It is nice to be a columnist for the Washington Post and to win a Pulitzer Prize, but to be considered a superstar by conservatives, there is nothing like being on Fox night after night.
Be that as it may, it was a good night for conservatism in Minnesota.