Arthur C. Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute
In the battle for hearts and minds, conservatives too often forget about the heart. One result of this omission is a widespread perception that conservatives simply don’t care about people, says author Arthur C. Brooks.
In “The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America,” Brooks argues that nothing could be further from the truth. Conservatives actually hold the moral high ground, he says, but have done a poor job of telling their story. Brooks, president of the Washington-based think tank American Enterprise Institute, moves beyond standard conservative talking points to encourage an approach focused on fairness and compassion for society’s most vulnerable. Brooks’ case for conservatism is rooted in a conviction that the conservative values of free enterprise and self-reliance provide the best framework for fighting poverty and inequality. He prescribes seven habits conservatives should develop to better communicate the humanitarian side of their philosophy. “We need to stop focusing just on what we are against and boldly proclaim what we stand for,” Brooks writes. “We need to put forward a hopeful, optimistic governing agenda.”
“Arthur Brooks understands not only that the way we think shapes the way we speak, but that the way we speak about social problems such as poverty and opportunity conditions the way we act. A thinking person’s primer for a conservative politics of human flourishing,” writes columnist George F. Will.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Arthur C. Brooks is president of the American Enterprise Institute, a nonpartisan public policy think tank in Washington, D.C. He also holds the institute’s Beth and Ravenel Curry Chair in Free Enterprise. Previously, Brooks was the Louis A. Bantle professor of business and government policy at Syracuse University. Before pursuing his work in public policy, Brooks spent 12 years as a classical musician in the U.S. and Spain. He is the author of 11 books and hundreds of articles on topics including government, fairness, economic opportunity, happiness, and the morality of free enterprise. Previous books include the New York Times bestseller "The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise." His other books include "The Battle," "Gross National Happiness," "Social Entrepreneurship" and "Who Really Cares." Brooks has a Ph.D. and an M.Phil. in policy analysis from the RAND Graduate School.