Conservatism made compassionate once again

6 Jan

Three people do not a mass movement make. But when the three are the American Enterprise Institute’s Arthur Brooks, the renowned scholar Gertrude Himmelfarb and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), it is enough or should be enough of a trend to make conservatives perk up. Each in their own way is making the case that conservatism has become too aseptic, too abstract and too divorced from the real lives of real people.

On Friday I wrote: “One other note: ‘Economic mobility’ is an abstraction; people are real. Republicans must remember that the reason they favor economic mobility is because they care about the people it will help. Republicans recoil against the language of empathy because they imagine it goes hand in hand with the expansion of the welfare state. But that is conceding the playing field to the left. Republicans need to construct their own message of compassion tied to effective policy (not the fuzzy sanctimony of noble intentions) and apply it to real Americans in all walks of life. And yes, that will eventually entail treating illegal immigration with a mix of compassion and realism, acknowledging there is no way we are going to deport millions of people.” That perspective, or a readjustment in perspective, is now beginning to catch on, or at least we should hope it does. More…

via Conservatism made compassionate once again.

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