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Center Goes to CPAC

Last week, I had the great pleasure of representing the Center at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with President John Hinderaker. This was the first time American Experiment has been an exhibitor at the largest gathering of conservatives in the United States and it was wonderful to be able to share the Center’s work with the rest of the country. Surprisingly, we were the only state-based think tank at CPAC which made for the unique opportunity to share not only what we do in Minnesota, but also how the Center and our state fit into the national dialogue. We brought...

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Dennis Prager: I was Wrong, Trump is a Great President

On his radio show last Thursday, Dennis Prager articulated a perspective that will no doubt be shared by many conservatives.  You can listen to the audio here.  Trump was Prager’s last choice in the Republican primaries but he strongly supported him in the general election against Hillary Clinton. I was wrong. My opposition to Donald Trump was wrong, in retrospect. I was wrong. I had friends who supported him, and I didn’t understand them. I said, “Are you not aware of what he said about John McCain? Isn’t that enough to disqualify the guy?” They perceived in him what I did...

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I Am Thankful for Many Things: Center Finishes HUGE Year!

    Dear Friends, Thanks to friends like you the Center is finishing our best year yet!  But we both know the stakes are high and there's much more work to be done, so the CAE Board has agreed to match contributions made by December 31 so American Experiment can begin 2018 in a strong financial position and bring our message of policy solutions to every corner of Minnesota. Therefore, I need to ask you to consider making (in the next couple of days) the most generous tax-deductible gift you can to the Center. I Am Thankful for Many Things 1. For our small but dedicated staff who work long hours to create a new Minnesota civic culture where conservative and free market ideas...

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Hugh Hewitt’s spot on advice to the President: Be combative, but not cruel

Hugh Hewitt delivers some excellent advice to Mr. Trump in the wake of his Morning Joe tweet fiasco in today’s Washington Post: Combative, but not cruel, Mr. President.  He argues that most of Trumps tweets and media domination may have the effect of creating valuable space for the agencies to move forward with conservative reforms “without much organized opposition, as the left seems incapable or organizing anything except marches against the president.” Hewitt gives special praise to “domestic policy stars” Tom Price (HHS) and Scott Pruitt (EPA), and Jim Mattis (Defense), John Kelly (Homeland Security), and Mike Pompeo (CIA).  But (back...

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Why Can’t Young People Get Out of Their Parents’ Basements?

Good question! Census data indicate that an unprecedented number of America's young people haven't been able to establish independent lives and are living with their parents. Why is that? This American Experiment video, produced by our friends at Madison McQueen, explains that while there are many factors at work, liberal policies are a huge part of the problem. If we want our young people to enjoy a better future, we need better policies. Here is the video, titled "Parent's Basement": We released the video on Friday, and it has already gotten over 70,000 views on Facebook and the internet. If you...

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Greater Minnesota Is Rejecting Liberalism

Today's Star Tribune carries two articles that echo what we have been saying for a long time: liberal policies have little appeal for small-town and rural voters. The first article is headlined, After two terms of Dayton, DFL losing grip on voters outside Twin Cities. From Dayton’s drive for environmental policies disliked by some farmers and mining advocates, to his stewardship of a state health insurance system that has struggled to function in many rural counties, to his blunt remarks on polarizing issues like racial bias in policing, immigration and transgender rights, the governor’s liberal bearing on a range of...

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Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes and One Shrimp Farm?

Minnesota has lots of water, but all of it is fresh. Shrimp live in salt water, of which Minnesota has none. So the state has never been associated with shrimp, or shrimp production. Until now. As Tom Steward noted a couple of weeks ago, legislation is wending its way through Minnesota's House and Senate that would subsidize shrimp production facilities in the state. The subsidy would be 69 cents per pound of shrimp; in addition, shrimp production facilities would be exempt from sales and use taxes. It's no secret what is going on: a businessman near Marshall wants to grow shrimp,...

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A city-country mice divide in Minnesota? We don’t see it that way

Less government, more freedom is good for rural and urban Minnesota. This op-ed appeared in the Star Tribune March 20, 2017. In “Bridging our city mouse/country mouse divide” (March 5), Dane Smith and Vernae Hasbargen of the liberal policy group Growth & Justice write that they “have witnessed far too much warfare between metro and rural mice. We are worried that it’s getting worse.” Smith and Hasbargen see a cultural divide between urban and rural Minnesotans. They diagnose “metro condescension” in the cities and “rural resentment” in Greater Minnesota. Some metropolitan progressives think “rural people are gullible hayseeds,” while some rural voters have...

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The Truly Celestial Captain Kirk

I’ve been asked to speak later this month at the Roseville Library about the history of American conservatism from Bill Buckley to Donald Trump or thereabouts.  When I mentioned to my host some of the scholars and other writers I’d be referring to she asked, “What about Russell Kirk?”  To which I said (already sheepishly) I had left him off the list because I had never warmed up to him, not that I had ever given myself an adequate chance to do so. It was at that point I realized I better heat up pretty fast as she seemed rightfully amazed...

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Basic Differences Between Left and Right

Popular nationwide talk radio host Dennis Prager has published a very handy Guide to Basic Differences Between Left and Right.  Here are the highlights: Economic Goal Left: equality Right: prosperity   Most Important Trait to Cultivate in a Child Left: self-esteem Right: self-control   Primary Source of Crime Left: poverty, racism and other societal flaws Right: the criminal's malfunctioning conscience   American Exceptionalism Left: chauvinistic doctrine Right: historical reality   Greatest Threat to the World Left: environmental catastrophe (currently global warming) Right: evil (currently radical Islamist violence)   Primary Reason for Lack of Peace in Middle East Left: Israeli settlements in the West Bank Right: Palestinian, Arab and Muslim denial of Jewish state's right to exist   Purpose of Art Left: challenge status quo and bourgeois...

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