This is the first American Spectator cruise undertaken with National Review. The editors and writers at the National Review are old hands at conducting cruises, and so I am watching them closely for instruction and wise counsel. How is a landlubber like me to conduct myself on a cruise? When do I put on my life jacket? Do I wear it at meals? When do we abandon ship? When do I speak? John Miller, the national correspondent for NR, and Jay Nordlinger, a senior editor for NR, are sage mentors and very knowledgeable speakers. Along with them are AmSpec writers Grover Norquist, John Wohlstetter, and John Fund, whom AmSpec shares with NR. Giving even more heft to our discussions of politics is George Gilder, an expert on practically everything.
Then there is the audience. They are erudite readers of both magazines, joined by a leavening of bystanders along for the lectures and the sun. It is cool here on Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes and the deepest by far. Deep water makes for cool temperatures. The rest of the country may be sweltering, but here we are cool and relaxed. Great transport ships ply these waters with iron ore and other commodities as we hold forth, basically on politics. If our bystanders have learned anything, they have learned that we conservative readers of AmSpec and NR believe that the election this autumn is a mere formality. President Barack Obama is destined for one term. President Mitt Romney is destined for two. Another way of putting it is that Liberalism is Dead.
I got the proceedings off to a brisk start by delivering a lecture on the topic of my recent book, Liberalism Is Dead. In policy terms, the Stealth Socialist in the White House has gone well beyond Liberalism and spent money like a Greek prime minister. He has governed like a particularly extravagant European socialist, nationalized a sixth of the economy (healthcare), and threatened the financial system (Dodd-Frank). He thinks America is just another failed colonial state. He is headed for defeat.