Monday, May 4, 2009

RIP: Jack Kemp

Conservatives lost one of its most influential thinkers last Saturday with the passing of Jack Kemp.

Kemp was a member of the US House, HUD Secretary, Bob Dole’s running mate in 1996, and a star NFL quarterback.

Kemp will be remembered for his advocacy of supply-side economics, which influenced Ronald Reagan and led to the tax cuts in the Reagan’s first term. He should also be remembered as a Republican who urged his party to not abandon issues dealing with race and poverty. He was an advocate of enterprise zones, for instance, which would provide tax cuts to businesses that invest in areas of high poverty. Now that Republicans are debating the future direction of their party, they would do well to reflect on this part of Kemp’s legacy.

For another eulogy highlighting Kemp’s legacy regarding race issues, listen to Michele Martin of NPRs Tell Me More.

Update: Also, see This Week in Race.

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