by Quin Hillyer at Opportunity Lives:
When New Orleans Saints football coach Sean Payton held a press conference Wednesday to announce, after weeks of public speculation otherwise, that he would remain with the team next season, he also did something extraordinary: In a heartfelt way, he bolstered a sense of community.
It was a completely apolitical message, but a message conservatives would do well to remember and embrace…..
[much later in the column…..]
But — to move away from the Saints, from football, and from New Orleans — the broader lesson here is that community matters. In Charleston, S.C. they take pride in their SpoletoFestival. Saratoga Springs revels in its Performing Arts Center; Savannah, in its historic gardens. And sometimes a special leader (yes, the Ronald Reagan example again) can make very large majorities feel very much like a national community united by a hopeful vision.
Often, though, conservatives — even those who talk about the importance of culture — get so wrapped up in talking about economic growth, or strength, or profits, or individual rights or cutting spending, that they forget not just the language but sometimes also the substance of community. Conservatism can stress individualism while still celebrating the richness of some communitarian values…..