The conservative movement needs to bring back Reagan optimism in order to reclaim the moral high ground, says Arthur Brooks, author of “The Conservative Heart.”

“He invented a concept not about fighting against things,” Brooks said during a recent episode of the Matt Lewis and The News podcast. Instead, “he started fighting for people.”

For example, in Reagan’s nomination speech in Detroit, the number one word was “people,” Brooks says. Eighty-seven mentions of the word “people’ evoked a sense of hope that the country needed. “He won because he was the optimistic candidate.”

Despite the negativity we are inundated with, Brooks, who also runs the American Enterprise Institute, argues that today’s GOP field is largely getting the message. If they do, it will be in no small part due to the work Brooks has done to encourage conservatives to embrace an optimistic message.

To hear more, listen to the full conversation with Arthur Brooks here. And download the Matt Lewis & The News podcast on iTunes.