Nashville Trip: Hillsdale National Leadership Seminar, and a taste of Liberty

Last week, we flew to Nashville (see Photo Challenge post for flight pictures), for a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar, entitled “Educating for National Leadership”.  Now, we are longtime supporters of Hillsdale, and we always look forward to these two-day seminars which include dinner, lunch, a reception, and a range of nationally-recognized speakers.  We combined this with sightseeing in the area, and meetings with a bunch of Ricochet friends.  Sunday night, we met up with our friends the Rustads, who are Ricochet members whom we invited to the conference as our guests.  We went out for dinner at a local restaurant, and had great Cajun food and caught up on our various doings.


The food was excellent, and the conversation better.

Monday, we had breakfast at the hotel, and went for a drive.  The first Seminar activity was a President’s Club reception, where we met and mingled with other Hillsdale folks, and got to meet the speakers.  We were lucky enough to be able to speak with Andy Ngo, the intrepid journalist who has extensively documented his contacts with the anarchist group, Antifa.  He is a wonderful young man, and was happy to speak with fellow Pacific Northwesterners (he is from Portland, which has suffered greatly from Antifa rioting).  I also managed to get a picture of Mark Steyn, but he was too busy to speak with us (as he is usually mobbed at these functions).


From the reception, we went in to dinner in a big ballroom.  There were about 700 attendees at this seminar event.  As you can see from the pictures above, no one is wearing a mask, which was so very liberating!  Just check out the crowd at dinner.


We had discovered at registration that afternoon that no masks were required, and we felt more free than we had in many months.  None of the Hillsdale people were masked, nor were the hotel employees.  The Rustads sat at our table, and we all had an excellent dinner.

Mon-Dinner-StadsWe were all so very happy to see each other, and be able to hear each other speak.  Dinner was filet mignon, and dessert was…well, here it is.


Fruit, chocolate, and vanilla mousse.  Everything on that plate was edible, except for the stem of the strawberry.  It was a minor engineering effort to break up the chocolate shell, though!  The evening’s speaker was Mr. Steyn, and his talk was his usual brand of funny and insightful.  Everyone clapped and cheered.


Unfortunately, our table was way at the back, too far away from the speaker to get a picture, so this pic of the screen will have to do.

Tuesday morning, after a continental breakfast, we filed into the meeting room to hear the next speakers, Abigail Shrier on the “transgender movement”; Dr. Larry Arnn, Hillsdale President on Education, then lunch.  Lunch brought its own excitement.  My husband had been in contact with a YouTube video-blogger named Doug TenNapel, whose videos we have enjoyed, and who just happened to live in Franklin, where the Seminar took place.  He invited Doug to Tuesday’s program, when he heard that Dr. Arnn was an important influence on him and his thinking.  Well, Doug accepted, and met us for lunch, and the afternoon program.  He proved to be a delightful guy, very open, and here we are.


I told him that I might want to put up some videos of me talking about subjects that bother me, and he said he’d help make me a “personality” in my own right.  Stay tuned for “RushBabe’s Rants”, coming soon to Rumble and YouTube (I hope).  After lunch, we heard Andy Ngo describe the horrific tactics of Antifa.


At 3:00PM, we were all done with the Seminar.  Tuesday night, we and the Rustads went out for dinner with another couple from Ricochet, a sort of “pre-meetup”.

That was the start of a fun week for us all.  Our Taste of Liberty was off to a great start.

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