Progressives now appear too willing to cede the mantle of individualism to conservatives. Candidates on the left should speak more forcefully about individual liberty. Why do Democrats aspire to strengthen the safety net, extend educational opportunity and provide health care to all? President Barack Obama's answer is at times anemic.
Mr. Obama recently described the American Dream as a "bargain": "If you work hard, your work should be rewarded; if you act responsibly and put in enough effort, you should be able to find a job that pays the bills, have a home you can call your own, count on health care when you get sick, put away enough to retire with dignity and respect, and, most of all, give your kids an education that allows them to dream even bigger than you did and do even better than you did."