Kathryn Lopez

Romney has promised to help families like Chad's. At the convention, he provided an important philosophical background: "All the laws and legislation in the world will never heal this world like the loving hearts and arms of mothers and fathers. If every child could drift to sleep feeling wrapped in the love of their family -- and God's love -- this world would be a far more gentle and better place."

Helping create an environment where families can flourish, this is at the heart of public service. This is what a president and a Congress can make happen.

I had all of this in mind while at a dinner celebrating -- and raising funds for -- the Consortium of Catholic Academies, some of the poorest schools in the poorest areas of Washington, D.C. (These are schools, by the way, whose existence is threatened by the president's health-insurance mandate.) "My dad's from Nigeria; he came to this country seeking a better future for this family," Obi Mbanefo told the audience. A sophomore at Gonzaga high school, Mbanefo wants to go to Ohio State or Princeton.

Mr. Mbanefo got a solid education because of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program that the president had to be arm-twisted by Speaker of the House John Boehner and outgoing Senator Joseph Lieberman into reauthorizing, despite its bipartisan support. But it's the dreams of Mbanefo's father and voters like Chad that are at stake in this election.

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.