I want to be like Tom Palmer

by Eric Shierman

Do you remember that Gatorade commercial from the early 1990s? “I wanna be like Mike.”

Well I wanna be like Tom. He is to articulating an argument like Michael Jordan is to basketball. Tom can jam. He was last in Portland a year ago, speaking for the Cascade Policy Institute to present his recently released book, The Morality of Capitalism. Palmer arrived in Portland early so he could give a separate presentation to Occupy Portland. Like Daniel in the lions’ den, Palmer has an uncanny ability to defuse tense emotional debate and engage would be hecklers tactfully with reason and humor, turning shouting matches into learning sessions.

When speaking before a friendly crowd, he garners more than just enthusiastic applause; Palmer actually creates moans from his audience as they react with utter ecstasy, pleasantly surprised that their own values can be articulated so well. Seriously, Tom will give you goose bumps.

Tom Palmer will be speaking at this year’s Freedom Seminar at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Lake Oswego this Saturday along with West Point Historian Robert McDonald. Together they will be lecturing on the roots and future of freedom itself, a salient topic given the election results earlier this month. Register here.

Eric Shierman lives in southwest Portland and is the author of A Brief History of Political Cultural Change. He also writes for the Oregonian’s My Oregon blog.