Here's an informative little snip from a Michael Novak column for your reading entertainment:Show Democrats a problem, they look for a new state program — always costly, usually inefficient, and probably counterproductive in the long run. Republicans look to see what people, pulling together in associations, can do for themselves.For the Republicans, "liberty" is the powerful and dynamic social ideal. For the Democrats, "security" is the most powerful organizing tool. Crying "security," they seek to attract majorities, and to direct the flow of history toward the construction of an ever more watchful and solicitous state. The Democratic style suggests motherliness, the caring nanny. The Republican style suggests manliness and the valiant woman.It is a kindergarten error to think that Democrats represent a social vision, whereas Republicans represent the lonely individual and a vision of "individualism." The Democrats represent a statist vision; with them, it is always the state that cares, acts, regulates, watches over its helpless flock. The Republicans represent the "mediating institutions" of civil society — all those social forces that mediate between the individual and the state, and that turn a "mob" into a "people," as Tocqueville observed in contrasting the France of 1789 with the America of 1776. "The first law of democracy," he wrote, "is the law of associations." Where the French, facing a problem, turn to the state, Tocqueville noted, Americans turn toward one another and form associations, local, national, and international. This vision of mediating structures is the social philosophy that President Bush named "compassionate conservatism." It is a direct rebuke to the statist vision of compassion promulgated by the Democrats.Another difference between the philosophy of "compassion" pursued by the Democrats and that pursued by the Republicans is that, in words President Clinton made famous, Democrats emphasize "feeling your pain," sensitivity, caring intentions. (The left presents itself as a kind of parallel to, or substitute for, religious feelings.) This emphasis on the heart also accounts for the disdain which leftists express for those on the right, whom they regard as either stupid or evil, or both, and decidedly beyond the pale of human decency.By contrast, the Republicans define compassion in view of results achieved. Good intentions don't count. (The road to hell is paved with them.) They don't much admire sensitive feelings, or delicate expressions of solicitude. "Talking the talk" doesn't count — they think Democrats do altogether too much of that. What counts is results: actually improving the daily lives of the purported recipients of compassion. Europeans may have noticed how often Bush describes himself as a "results-oriented guy."For example, the War on Poverty launched by President Lyndon Johnson (a Democrat) in 1965 authorized immense federal expenditures to reduce poverty. It made Democrats feel better, even morally superior. But what were its results? Mixed, at best. A boon for the elderly, whose lot was on the whole much improved. But for young adults and their children, immensely destructive. Between 1965 and 1980, rates of violent crime, mostly among those the War on Poverty meant to help, soared from 200 per 100,000 citizens to 581 per 100,000. The percentage of children born out of wedlock exploded from 40 per 1,000 live births in 1965 to 110 per 1,000 in 1980. Why not? The state paid for it. Thus did the nanny state produce the fatherless family. By 1985, some 80 percent of black children in areas of concentrated poverty were born into a home from which fathers were absent; and the number (but not the percentage) of white children born out of wedlock surpassed that of blacks. To his credit, President Clinton signed the Welfare Reform legislation of 1996, pressed upon him for years by a Republican Congress, and this reform brought results that stunned the social science elite