…At Republican conventions they express sympathy for this woman, as they do for those who are entrepreneurial, who start businesses and create jobs and build things. Republicans have, that is, sympathy for taxpayers. But they don’t dwell all that much, or show much expressed sympathy for, the sick mother with the uninsured kids, and the soldier with the shot nerves.
Noonan misses the point. Republicans have as much sympathy for people who are sick, poor or troubled as anyone does. Where Republicans and Democrats differ is in their opinions about how best to help such people. Democrats tend to believe in direct government action as a remedy. Republicans tend to believe that government is often part of the problem, and that better remedies are available through private charity and by pursuing government policies that encourage personal responsibility and economic development.
Noonan is correct, however, that Democrats, particularly national politicians, tend to lack sympathy for entrepreneurs, particularly small-business people who in many areas are victimized by high tax rates and excessive regulation. Government action to reduce such burdens would boost productivity, and therefore wealth, jobs and tax receipts. But Democrats as a group tend to be indifferent or hostile to business people other than those in regulated industries who make large political contributions.