Conservatives know the value of faith, community, and work. Heaven knows they know the value of family and of education—look at the efforts they have made to promote various non-governmental solutions to the problems in these areas. And their proposal for Social Security is not to abolish it but to privatize it. Brooks may think that conservatives have been insufficiently articulate, and given their presidential and policy track record, he has a point. But is his point augmented or diminished by Gallup’s finding that 72 percent of Americans describe themselves as either conservatives or moderates? Have conservatives done well, and would they have done better flying a social justice banner? Or worse? . . .
Perhaps, as Oliver suggests, conservatives might try re-thinking how we speak in the idiom we know: “Maybe, just maybe, the way to capture the public’s attention is to fly a freedom banner…”