By WILLIAM KRISTOL
The English poet Thomas Gray described poetry as “thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.” The Republicans could use some thoughts that breathe. Soundbites and factoids only go so far. Speeches that paint a colorful but credible picture of our present situation, how things would continue to get worse under Obama, and how things might get better under a Republican, would be welcome.
They could also use some “words that burn.” Republicans tend to ask, “Where’s the outrage?” instead of actually expressing justified outrage. Religious liberty under assault, the military being wantonly gutted, debt accumulating, free markets distorted to reward cronies, citizens being treated as wards of the nanny state—there’s plenty happening that calls for words that burn.