Sunday, May 3, 2009

Jack Kemp

Jack Kemp, Star on Field and in Politics, Dies at 73 - Obituary (Obit) -

"Mr. Kemp was secretary of housing and urban development under the first President George Bush and the Republican vice-presidential nominee in 1996. But his greatest legacy may stem from his years as a congressman from Buffalo, especially 1978, when his argument for sharp tax cuts to promote economic growth became party policy, one that has endured to this day."

I'd add that it was Kemp's outreach to African Americans in particular that set him apart from many in his party then and now. His constant focus on economic opportunity that crossed racial lines offered a chance for a Republican party that could appeal to black, and white and now-a-days to Hispanics. That could have transformed the party. The GOP could do worse than look back to Kemp for inspiration on tent building. Alas, he never won over a majority of his party to the promise of economic opportunity for all rather than mere tax cuts for their own sake. I have a soft spot for Jack Kemp.

P.S. From Kemp's "Letter to my grandchildren":

"The party of Lincoln, (i.e., the GOP), needs to rethink and revisit its historic roots as a party of emancipation, liberation, civil rights and equality of opportunity for all. On the other hand, the party of Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and now Obama must put forth an agenda that understands that getting American growing again will require both Keynesian and classical incentive-oriented (supply-side) economic ideas"

1 comment:

  1. It is great to see a person who has served under a Republican President reach out to the African American community. Specifically, to see someone who can appreciate the historical significance of President Obama being elected despite his own personal ideology. It is critical for the people of the US and the elected officials embrace Kemp's suggestions of a blend of economic policy, and to try and have a successful bipartisan administration. Though it is clear that everyone has a different agenda or different opinions, it is important to work together and to recognize that working together is extremely important for success. Kemp's last line quoting President Obama and how we are never finished moving forward was especially important, because we must never forget the strides the US has made with electing Barack Obama. Many might disagree with new policies being implemented, and it remains important to question things and to propose possibly alternatives. Overall, it is most important to remember that we are all Americans that are trying to do what is best for our country. We will only be successful when we recognize this and continue to move forward.

    - Luke D


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