Compassion and the Republican Party.

Understanding and helping other people is the essence of compassion. Most politicians say they are compassionate, but that's debatable because most politicians don't understand what true compassion really is.

Tonight, First Lady Laura Bush (search) and California Governor Schwarzenegger (search) will address the nation on the topic of how the Republican Party helps us, just as John Kerry and John Edwards made their case on the same subject in Boston.

So who are we to believe? True compassion is not just about giving people stuff. That can be a short-term help to someone in need, but ultimately people must be taught to help themselves.

The Democratic Party historically has avoided that key point. It's big on giving Americans entitlements, but often liberal Americans will not attach discipline to those giveaways, thus trillions of dollars have been wasted on programs that provided no long term solutions.

Now the Republican Party has adopted the same kind of approach, promising Americans healthcare, drug subsidies, more money for education, and on and on and on.

But the truth is that the federal government can't afford to pay your health bills. And it's also impossible to improve education simply by throwing more money into a corrupt system.

Many Americans don't want to hear it, but true compassion is telling people the truth about their situation. So I'm going to be really compassionate right now.

If you fail in school, you'll fail in life. The government will not help you. If you smoke, take drugs, or drink to excess, your health will fall apart and no amount of healthcare will prevent it. If you give birth at age 14, you'll be poor and so will your children. And no politician is going to change that.

For decades, the American political parties have misled us. The federal government simply cannot afford to drag you through life. And it is not competent enough to do it even if the money was available. A compassionate politician will set up programs that encourage self-reliance, hard work, and personal responsibility in all areas.

That is true compassion. And that has been missing in political campaigns for generations. And that's a memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Our pal Michael Moore (searchhas had enough. He is signaling no mas, and will not return to the Republican Convention here at Madison Square Garden. Now, last night, Moore was mocked by John McCain (searchand jeered by the crowd, so he got a dose of his own medicine, didn't he?

USA Today, the newspaper, has hired Moore to write about the Republican Convention, and Editor Ken Paulsen said, "We had hoped to put Moore in a place where he would not disrupt anything." What place is that, Mr. Paulsen? The Arctic Circle? Ridiculous? You bet.

—You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com