Last Wednesday night, we described the extraordinary experience of hosting a Presidential debate party for listeners to our radio show at the Hilton in Minneapolis. To our amazement, a crowd of 700 rowdy Minnesota conservatives showed up to cheer on the President.
Tonight, the Trunk and I, with various friends and family members, attended another remarkable event. The Center of the American Experiment has been, for the past fourteen years, in the forefront of the effort to transform Minnesota from a bastion of archaic liberalism into a modern, conservative state. The Center is a think tank, a lobbyist, a home for creative conservatives of all stripes, and the foremost intellectual presence, by far, on Minnesota’s political scene. The Trunk and I have both served on its Board of Directors.
Tonight, the Center held its annual Fall Briefing, with Sean Hannity as the speaker. Sean is a force of nature. For an hour, he stalked the stage, free-associating, citing statistics, doing impersonations, cracking jokes, arguing passionately, quoting John Kerry’s own words to devastating effect, bantering with (alleged) liberals in the audience–of whom there might have been one or two–and answering questions. He could have gone on all night, I think. It was a bravura performance, if not always an exercise in linear thinking, and the audience loved it. Fully 1,200 Minnesota conservatives turned out to hear and applaud Hannity, who clearly achieved his goal: charging up a pivotal group for the remaining seventeen days of the campaign.
The photo below shows a portion of the crowd:
In some respects, Minnesota is a microcosm of the nation. What is most notable about the resurgence of conservatism here, I think, is the movement’s intellectual ascendancy. The intellectual action these days is all on the right, and the Center of the American Experiment, under the leadership of founder and President Mitch Pearlstein, is a prime example of conservatism’s intellectual supremacy.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell