Our View: Not just ‘programs,’ but a life

Posted: January 31, 2014

So what, if anything, can conservatives do to reverse this decline? For starters, as Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah., said in his rousing “Tea Party response” to the State of the Union, they can rush to the rhetorical ramparts. “Americans,” Mr. Lee said, “have a natural instinct to stand up and speak out when they know something is wrong.”

But merely “speaking out” is not enough. Message is critical; it must be simple, and it must resound. And so what we would say is this: “President Obama and his party can offer you program after government program — food stamps, unemployment benefits, even an increase in the minimum wage — but, come day’s end, these yield nothing but the soul-sapping reality of mere existence. We can offer you so much more — namely, opportunity for the sort of self-fulfillment that ultimately leads to genuine happiness. Or, in short, a life.”

Have we reached a point in our nation’s history that “mere existence” is preferable to a life well-led? We sure hope not, but we may be poised to find out.