Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher argued that "socialism itself -- in all its incarnations, wherever and however it was applied -- was morally corrupting," Claire Berlinski wrote in "There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters" (Basic Books, 2008). "Socialism turned good citizens into bad ones; it turned strong nations into weak ones; it promoted vice and discouraged virtue ... transformed formerly hardworking and self-reliant men and women into whining, weak and flabby loafers."
Republicans are currently debating the surface arguments about the Obama administration's programs -- they cost too much, they are not paid for and there is too much government intervention.
The core of the matter is the same today as it was in Great Britain in the 1970s.
The system President Obama is championing is morally wrong.
In order to win in November, Republican nominee Mitt Romney must win the argument, and thereby win the vote.
The argument is that the system Obama is promoting is bad and that it creates a weak society. Romney needs to articulate what it is to be an American; why we must defend America's core values; why they are good values.
Romney's speech this week at the Clinton Global Initiative reverberated with these themes.
He talked about "the incomparable dignity of work."
"Free enterprise," he said, "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. Free enterprise cannot only make us better off financially, it can make us better people."
Romney recounted the story of Muhammed Bouazizi of Tunisia. "He was just 26 years old. He had provided for his family since he was a young boy. He worked a small fruit stand, selling to passers-by. The regular harassment by corrupt bureaucrats was elevated one day when they took crates of his fruit and his weighing scales away from him.
"On the day of his protest, witnesses say that an officer slapped Bouazizi and he cried out: 'Why are you doing this to me? I'm a simple person, and I just want to work.'"
"I just want to work," Romney repeated.