Monday, June 13, 2016

Why would an undecided voter give conservatism a chance when all she’s heard from the Left is how awful Republicans are — and when she’s heard nothing from conservatives to counter it?

Last week... in front of the media and residents of Washington, D.C.’s impoverished Anacostia neighborhood, Republican lawmakers released “A Better Way,” a policy agenda that outlines how conservative principles can be applied to tackle America’s greatest challenges. Led by Speaker Paul Ryan, it is the compilation of efforts from some of the most powerful House Republicans, including Budget chairman Tom Price, M.D. of Georgia, Education and the Workforce chairman John Kline of Minnesota, Texas’s Kevin Brady and Mike Conway, chairmen of the Ways and Means Committee and the Agriculture Committee, respectively, and Representatives Jackie Walorski (Ind.), Andy Barr (Ky.), and Bradley Byrne (Ala.).

The plan focuses on eradicating poverty, bolstering national security, revitalizing America’s economy, creating a patient-centered health-care system, implementing pro-growth tax reform, and returning government to its constitutional parameters. Its stated goals should delight any conservative: Reward work; tailor benefits to people’s needs; improve skills and schools; plan and save for the future; and demand results....

“First, government needs to be humble enough to realize it doesn’t have all the answers,” Chairman Price said. “Second, we need to make sure we’re measuring success by the number of individuals we are lifting up and out of poverty, not by the amount of money we’re putting into a program and not by the number of programs we create.”

For some in attendance, this sadly might have been the first time they had considered that Republicans cared about them. This may have been their first exposure to conservatism, as well as the notion that these policies were a better alternative to the liberal agenda that created such social decay and economic disparity. Perhaps this was even the first time politicians ever expressed to them that they honored their lives’ value and celebrated the joy of their lives’ potential.

It was an absolutely extraordinary day. But most Americans probably never heard about it. And worse, most conservatives probably didn’t, either....