Jackie Gingrich Cushman

The second version is the belief that "the key to our success lies in free enterprise -- the system our Founders left us to maximize liberty, create individual opportunity and reward entrepreneurship. Free enterprise creates the opportunity our ancestors came to America seeking -- the opportunities that allowed them to pursue their happiness in a new land."

The opposite belief system from Obama-Biden and convincing to me (but then I'm a conservative).

Brooks writes that the argument for the free enterprise system must be based on what is moral to be won. "Free enterprise teaches us to earn success, not learn helplessness. It rewards merit, which is the fair thing to do. And in the end, it is the only system that can improve the lives of literally billions of poor people -- here and around the world."

If Brooks is correct, then why is President Obama currently in the lead?

According to a Gallup poll released Tuesday, "56 percent of Americans think Barack Obama will win the 2012 presidential election, compared with 36 percent who think Mitt Romney will win."

This is in contrast to a poll released by Gallup last Thursday where "registered voters are more likely to say Mitt Romney, if elected president, would do a very good or good job of handling the economy than they are to say President Obama would, if re-elected -- 61 percent vs. 52 percent."

Brooks' argument is right, and compelling, but the America people are responding to story more than the moral argument.

Gottschall noted in his book that "if you want a message to burrow into a human mind, work it into a story." Fiction is more than fiction; it is a way to teach morals. "In fact, fiction seems to be more effective at changing beliefs than nonfiction, which is designed to persuade through argument and evidence."

The moral of this column: Conservatives have to do more than make the moral argument; they have to be able to share stories, connect emotionally and persuade through more than evidence and argument.


Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.