The caricature of cold-hearted and stingy conservatives is common in partisan political discourse, but the track record of economics and public policy tells a much different story, according to Arthur Brooks, president of Atlas Network partner the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Brooks has a new book, The Conservative Heart, in which he explains how fiscal conservatives have the solutions to America’s poverty crisis.
In a recent book presentation at AEI headquarters in Washington, D.C., Brooks had a tall but inspiring order for the free-enterprise movement: To think with our hearts and feel with our minds.
“Billions of souls around the world have been able to pull themselves out of poverty thanks to five incredible innovations: globalization, free trade, property rights, the rule of law, and entrepreneurship,” Brooks wrote in his new book's introduction. “Conservatives have the most effective solutions for human flourishing in our intellectual DNA. Our ideas have lifted up people all over the world. But the American people do not trust us to put those principles into practice to help those who need help right here.”
A primary message in The Conservative Heart, and a point that Brooks made throughout the book launch event, is that our movement should focus on differentiating ourselves from the left and by approaching poverty and people who need a hand from a more principled perspective. Brooks urged us to focus on the message that the movement’s mission is to promote a vision where people are treated as “assets to develop and not liabilities to manage.”
Brooks challenged think tank leaders and staffers to ask ourselves an important question every day before going to sleep: “Did all of my work today go toward people with less power than me?”
View full video of the book launch for The Conservative Heart.
Learn more about The Conservative Heart and purchase a copy.