“Free enterprise has done more to bless humanity than any other economic system not only because it is the only system that creates a prosperous middle class, but also because it is the only system where the individual enjoys the freedom to guide and build his or her own life,” Romney said. “Free enterprise cannot only make us better off financially, it can make us better people.”
He also made the case for America’s Exceptionalism – finally.
“Ours is a compassionate nation. We look around us and see withering suffering. Our hearts break,” he said. “While we make up just 4.5 percent of the world’s population, we donate nearly a quarter of all global foreign aid — more than twice as much as any other country. And Americans give more than money.”
He meant time and energy, of course. But he noted, as many presidents have failed to do, that results matter.
“Too often our passion for charity is tempered by our sense that our aid is not always effective,” he said. “We see stories of cases where American aid has been diverted to corrupt governments. We wonder why years of aid and relief seem never to extinguish the hardship, why the suffering persists decade after decade.”
And he laid out three very wise goals for our foreign aid.
“First, to address humanitarian need,” he said. “Second, to foster a substantial United States strategic interest, be it military, diplomatic, or economic.”
The third goal stands in stark contrast to the current Obama administration’s policies.
He listed them, adding “We feel that we are at the mercy of events, rather than shaping events.”
No longer, he says. Aid must be aimed at programs that promote work.
“That must be at the heart of our effort to help people build economies that can create jobs for people, young and old alike,” he says. “Work builds self-esteem. It transforms minds from fantasy and fanaticism to reality and grounding. Work will not long tolerate corruption nor quietly endure the brazen theft by government of the product of hard-working men and women.
Romney’s speech was replete with things we once thought of as foundation, even unquestionable virtues. In coming weeks, we’ll see if anyone was listening.