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There are those who mouth pieties about compassion. Former president George W. Bush comes to mind, perhaps because he made such a point, with his father, of distinguishing himself from that mean man (according to all the best sort of people) Ronald Reagan. Bush 41 touted “a thousand points of light,” and backhanded Reagan with his inauguration address. Bush 43 proclaimed himself a “compassionate conservative.”
“I call my philosophy and approach compassionate conservatism. It is compassionate to actively help our fellow citizens in need. It is conservative to insist on responsibility and results. And with this hopeful approach, we will make a real difference in people’s lives.”