Monday I was privileged to participate in the Hoover Institution's Media Colloquium at Stanford University.
Perhaps you, like me, are aware of but unfamiliar with the Hoover Institution. The Institution is considered a Conservative think tank, and according to Wikipedia is "influential in the American conservative and libertarian movements." It supports individual, economic, and political freedom; private enterprise; and our form of representative government based upon the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
During the Colloquium, along with a couple of dozen other journalists, I spent a very interesting day exploring foreign and domestic policy issues facing President Obama and the 113th Congress, with a number of accomplished academics. We discussed the economy, the national debt, the fiscal cliff, the sequester, taxes and too big to fail with Michael Boskin and Kevin Warsh; Obama's reelection and dissociation theory with Shelby Steele; the future of Conservatism, and his new book Constitutional Conservatism: Liberty, Self-Government, and Political Moderation, with Peter Berkoowitz; national security issues including cyber and drone warfare with Amy Zegart; and the Middle East and Iran's nuclear ambitions with Abbas Milani.
The discussions were all intellectually stimulating and very interesting. It's been some time since I have been immersed in an academic environment. The experience caused me to appreciate my education in Political Science, International Affairs, Economics, Administration and the Law, but wishing for more. It will provide me material and new sources, which I believe will improve my reporting.
I will have more about the Colloquium in the days ahead as I continue to contemplate what I learned. For example, I intend to write about Berkowitz's new book as soon as I finish reading it. You can get a peek at Berkowitz's conclusions in his recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Conservative Survival in a Progressive Age.
As I mentioned above, I've long-been aware of but unfamiliar with the Hoover Institution. My participation in the Colloquium not only enlightened me as to the wisdom of some of the Institution's fellows, I also got to know and respect the staff. If you are in need of information the Institution might have, I would encourage you seek assistance from the appropriate Hoover Institution contact. They are good people.
Finally, in the interest of full disclosure, I received an honorarium for my participation.