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For too long, conservatism has been a movement of the head and not the heart. Now New York Times bestselling author Arthur C. Brooks offers a bold new vision for conservatism as a movement for happiness, unity, and social justice—a movement of the head and heart that boldly challenges the liberal monopoly on "fairness" and "compassion."
Many Americans today see two dispiriting political choices: ineffective compassion on one side and heartless pragmatism on the other. Progressives have always presented themselves as champions of the poor and vulnerable. But they have not succeeded—more and more people are hopeless and dependent on government. Meanwhile, conservatives possess the best solutions to the problems of poverty and declining mobility. Yet because they don't speak in a way that reflects their concern and compassion, many Americans don't trust them. Americans know that outmoded redistribution yields poor results and does little for the pursuit of happiness. But there seems to be no conservative alternative that looks out for those struggling to get by.
Arthur Brooks, one of the country's leading policy experts and the president of the American Enterprise Institute, has considered these issues for decades. Drawing on years of research on the sources of happiness and the conditions of human flourishing, Brooks presents a social justice agenda for a New Right. Proposing a set of practical policies firmly grounded in the four "institutions of meaning"—family, faith, community, and meaningful work—Brooks describes a government safety net that actually lifts people up, and offers a vision of true hope through earned success.
Brooks argues that it is time for a new kind of conservatism, one that fights poverty, promotes equal opportunity, and extols spiritual enlightenment. It is an inclusive, optimistic movement with a positive agenda to help people lead happier and more fulfilling lives.
Clear, well-reasoned, accessible, and free of vituperative politics, The Conservative Heart is a welcome new strategy for conservatives looking for fresh, actionable ideas—and for politically independent citizens who believe that neither side is adequately addressing their needs or concerns.