There should be—there can be—distinctly conservative proposals that improve skills and increase the rewards of work and encourage economic mobility; proposals to reform immigration in productive ways, make entitlements more modern and sustainable, and shape a growth-oriented tax system; proposals that provide conservative approaches to maternal and child and newborn health, and market-oriented methods to address the threat of climate disruption. A distinctly conservative vision of the common good will encourage decentralization, the strength of family and community, the importance of religious education and religious liberty, and the health of a civil society where human beings gain the values that make a life of success and meaning possible.
Others can offer anger and envy. Conservatives should be known for common purpose and respect and civic pride and voluntary associations and personal responsibility and a generous, inclusive spirit. These are not just the foundations of a free economy, they are the substance of a democratic way of life.