There are many reasons why this is so. But I think the biggest is that in this city, conservatives often fall into a trap – defining ourselves by what we are against: Big government, debt, higher taxes and regulations, Obamacare.
But we haven’t invested nearly as much time and energy in communicating what we conservatives are for. I’m talking about more than simply the policies we advocate. Conservatism is not about the bills we want to pass, but the nation we want to be.
The real goal - what conservatives are really for - is not an agenda for government. It’s a vision of society. A view of the world we want to build, together. “Together.” That word, “together,” is an essential – and too often overlooked – part of what we conservatives believe. We’re all committed to bedrock principles of individual liberty, individual rights, and personal responsibility. But the reason we fight for individual freedom is the strength, vitality, and value of the communities free individuals form.
The alternative to big government is not small government. The alternative to big government is a thriving, flourishing nation of cooperative communities – where your success depends on your service. It’s a free enterprise economy where everyone works for everyone else, competing to see who can figure out the best way to help the most people. And it’s a voluntary civil society, where free individuals come together to meet each other’s needs, fill in the gaps, and make sure no one gets left behind.