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Jack Kemp, RIP

The conservative movement sufferred a significant loss today with the passing of Jack Kemp at age 73. He was, of course, a great conservative leader, the chief architect of the historic Kemp-Roth tax reform bill. He was also a friend to me and an encourager of my work when I really needed one. Few men in his position would have spent the time and energy that he did to help a relatively young and unknown conservative with not much more to offer than an idea. But then the former quarterback never lacked for energy; sometimes I got tired watching him. When BreakPoint published my column, “The Cost of Abandoning Great Things: Why Republicans Lost Conservative Trust”, he took the time to send me a note congratulating me for its “powerful reasoning about the power of great ideas”. We shared the same view of tax policy as a moral issue, and I was humbled and honored when he offerred to endorse my book Slaying Leviathan: The Moral Case for Tax Reform. He told me he was one of my “fans”; well, I was one of his. I’m crushed that he didn’t live to see Slaying Leviathan published, and I mourn for this great loss to our conservative movement.

6 thoughts on “Jack Kemp, RIP

  1. Leslie,

    Thanks for the wonderful tribute. We have all lost a great man, and I wish the best for his family and friends. I went to high school with Kemp’s kids and had the opportunity to meet Jack Kemp in 1994 when he was helping Bill Brock’s Senate run in Maryland.

    Kemp was indeed a visionary and could reach out to many different people. Sometimes I wonder if the Democrats’ race baiting that got going in 1998 was a direct result of their fear of people like Jack Kemp and the appeal of his ideas to minority communities.

  2. We have sorely missed a man who is responsible for more things in history than taking credit. If it were not for the great vision of Chicago school supply economics inspired by Kemp that Reagan in 1978 and again in 1980, 81 would not have championed it. He proved it and without bravado as was his service in government one of great ideals and betterment and not to his pocket as current voices are.
    Many times he could have championed himself, but instead he worked with others to create better ideas, missions, goals and all were truly better for it. Surely he deserved it though, and a lot of people know that – during his run in 96, many including myself asked if the spots could be reversed or even in the last slew of candidates if he could try again. I had the chance to meet him at the Air Force Academy during a speech he gave to cadets and I thank him for his realizations as well as his candor; it made me and my family better for it.
    Without him many would have lost an important voice of reason, intellect, humility, dedication and most of all a true reason to do one’s best for his country instead of others that would only put their finger in the air to change votes, parties, affiliations or their souls.
    We have truly lost a good man with this passing, I hate to say that there are few if any who could replace him and the current lot of voices in our capital are truly a vipers nest of pork, egotistic press releases and shame compared to him.

  3. Truly, we have lost a great man. Thank you, Leslie!

    And, for those who might be interested, I believe Leslie’s BreakPoint article can be found here.

  4. Hi Leslie, Dear, I am so sorry for your personal loss of Jack Kemp. He was truly a great conservative American. Many are morning his untimely death. Just learned something new about you by reading this blog. How proud you must be that he was a part of your upcoming book. Please let me know when it is to be published. I can’t wait to read your work. My heart goes out to you and all that knew and loved him. It is truly a sad day for the conservative movement. But, know this, he will be watching over all of the work we continue to do to bring America back to where our forefathers meant it to be!!! Congrats on the book! May God Bless you and yours~
    In Him,
    Disa Albanese (seasidesoul)
    a twitter buddy~

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