I would like to take this opportunity to address some of the concerns expressed by fellow citizens in recent letters to the editor regarding The Steamboat Institute. It is interesting to note that we are criticized by “liberals” for being “too conservative.” At the same time, we are criticized by many Republicans for being “too conservative.” Yes, you read that last line correctly.
Frankly, this tells me that we must be doing something right (pun intended).
The mission of The Steamboat Institute always has been to educate the public on the founding principles of the United States and to inspire people — whether they be conservative, liberal, Libertarian or some other description — to be involved actively in their implementation. We have been successful in this regard, bringing some of the top public policy thinkers and voices to Steamboat Springs, beginning with our inaugural Freedom Conference in 2009.
Let me provide a few examples:
■ One of our crowd favorites at our annual Freedom Conference has been Dan Mitchell, an expert on tax reform and tax policy with the Cato Institute. If you believe that Dan is Republican, then I suggest that you give him a call and ask him for yourself. I also suggest that you hold the phone a safe distance from your ear, as the response may well be loud and boisterous. Dan expresses a decidedly independent point of view on tax policy and tax reform.
■ Yaron Brook, president of the Ayn Rand Institute, promotes the philosophy of Ayn Rand — known as Objectivism — and then applies that philosophy to current political and economic trends in America and throughout the world.
■ Hal Scherz, M.D., practicing physician and founder of Docs 4 Patient Care, is a concerned physician who founded this organization to help preserve the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship, promote quality of care, support affordable access to all Americans and protect patients’ freedom of choice. I have no idea whether Dr. Scherz is Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or anything at all. You will have to ask him.
There are plenty of other examples I could give, but I am limited by space. I encourage you to visit our website or to visit with those who attend our Freedom Conferences and monthly 1773 Club meetings. You will find that our discussions are vigorous and challenging and that everyone, regardless of political persuasion, is welcome to attend. You will be treated with respect, and in turn, we expect everyone who attends our events to show courtesy and respect to all others who attend or speak.
Feel free to contact me or any member of our board of directors with any questions or concerns. And we hope to see you at the “Dinner on the Mountaintop with Ann Coulter” on Feb. 17. I can assure you that the Q-and-A following Ms. Coulter’s speech will be lively and challenging.
Chairwoman, The Steamboat Institute