The Moral Case for Conservatism
How to talk to America about big and small things


Lee Habeeb

The fact is that the Left doesn’t have much faith in the little guy. Or the individual. Or much faith in the faith community. Indeed, what they really believe about us without ever admitting it is that we are not very smart. We are not capable of making choices on our own. And we are incapable of great and small achievements without them.

What the big-government crowd has faith in is themselves and their ability to heal, help, and guide us along.


Their side may talk about fairness, but how is their version of fairness working in inner cities in America? How does public housing look, and how are those schools working? What if we instead gave all of those families a choice — a voucher — and let them decide for themselves where to live and where to go to school?

How about calling into question a public-education system that rewards teachers only for the amount of time on the job, and not for their performance? Is that fair to the good teachers? Is that fair to the students trapped in bad classrooms?

Does the union monopoly in education promote fair outcomes?

We should start calling the Left’s ideas unfair and their top-down approach insensitive. We should assert that their worldview empowers bureaucracies, not people.

We should then compare their dim view of mankind — and the shoddy outcomes it engenders — with ours.

While they have the heartless bureaucracies on their side, we have the love of the individual on ours. We believe in the power of the individual and in the God-given talents of all people; that the more choices we all have, the better off we all are; that we have more power over our lives than we know; and that our best guide to living productive and decent lives — our standard bearer — should not be the state, but God. Or some guiding light — some North Star — of our own.

We should then propose bold solutions to America’s problems. Show Americans of every race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and class that we care about them, but also that we believe in them and will fight for their right to be happy, productive members of our nation.

Of course we should have safety nets for those in need. But those nets should not become cages. Those nets should lead people to self-sufficiency and the real self-esteem that comes from a good job, hard work, and independence.

The truth is that our side has the moral high ground, if only we have the courage to seize it. And we can win these arguments, if only we dare to make them.

— Lee Habeeb is vice president of content at Salem Radio Network. Mike Leven is the president and chief operating officer of the Las Vegas Sands.


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