By Gary MacDougal in today’s the Wall Street Journal
To the credit of Democratic strategists and candidates, many average voters, and especially minorities and suburban women, assume that Democrats care more for disadvantaged Americans than Republicans do. It is a myth that is dangerously close to becoming conventional wisdom.
Yet the reasons for caring about the poor are bipartisan, among them empathy (“that could have been me”), human compassion, faith and economic common sense—and Republicans have a long record in this regard.
Abraham Lincoln —a Republican, as some seem to forget—risked his country’s future to free the slaves. Republicans led the passage of the seminal 1964 Civil Rights Act over the bitter opposition of Southern Democrats.
More recently, Republicans led welfare reform in 1996 that resulted in record employment and poverty reduction for minority women, with record outlays also being added to child care, job training and other supports that helped people move from dependency to self-sufficiency. Over the protests of teachers unions and Democrats, Republicans are leading the charge on school choice and charter schools, crucially important opportunities for inner-city children,