As Frum might say (but in a different context), you are “dead right.” I agree with you entirely. Of course, we now have tried Gersonism for 7 1/2 years, and the results are plain for all to see: a president with the lowest sustained approval ratings in modern history. Seems to me that Gersonism doesn’t work. And I say that as somebody who was putting the words “conservative” and “compassion” together, deliberately, in speeches and talking-point notes, half a decade before the current Bush was running for president. I remain enamored with many of Jack Kemp’s urban plans, etc. But that doesn’t mean I think compassion modifies conservatism, as Gerson seems to believe; I think it DESCRIBES conservatism, rightly understood — and rightly understood is certainly not as Gerson understands it. In Gersonism I smell more than a whiff of compulsion. It is a whiff which offends both my politics and my faith.