One party trusts Americans to make our own decisions, to see to our own prosperity, to honor our own obligations. This party wants to see a smaller government that is less intrusive into our business’ and our private affairs, wants to reform, and so to preserve the principles underlying, Social Security and Medicare—including privatizing significant portions of them, trusting us to make our own decisions wisely—wants to foster an economic environment that restores our equality of opportunity so that, in the Theodore Roosevelt’s words, each American can “show the best that there is in him.”
The other party says we Americans are not able to make the right decisions; we need government to see to our prosperity for us, to assume responsibility in our place. This is the party of affirmative action, insisting that some of us must be carefully sheltered and nurtured (and based on the color of our skin and not on the content of our character) because the best that there is in us just isn’t good enough. This is the party of wealth redistribution because some Americans are inherently incapable of working toward our own, in John Adams’ terms, “safety and happiness;” we cannot make wise decisions on our own accord. This is the party that says government must take our wealth and redistribute it in particular ways to particular groups of us because the party does not believe we can—or will—honor our own duty to take care of those around us who are less fortunate.