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.
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