I became of fan of Jack Kemp a long time ago. I remember he was one of the loud voices in the GOP who was preaching a realistic immigration approach and above all civility. I wish more people would have paid more attention to this stellar Renaissance man.
He was my kind of Republican. He called himself a bleeding-heart conservative. Kemp was true to the GOP principles and understood the need to reach out and help his fellow neighbor. He was a fiscally conservative congressman, and strong on military defense. He though racism at any level was stupid and wrong and consistently stood up against it. He had great interest in the issues of civil rights, including the plight of America’s cities, outreach to the black community and immigrants. His work as Secretary of HUD won him respect with countless minority groups and veteran associations.
He had a great gut instinct and understood the importance of inclusion. He advocated the GOP to think broader and think smarter. He publicly disapproved of then California Governor Pete Wilson support of the anti-Latino Proposition 187. This stupid ploy, that temporarily help Republicans, had a long term effect in turning Latino voters and many others against the Republican Party.
On “Meet the Press” in 1997 Jack Kemp said:
“I would like to see an America where black and white actually listen to each other. These issues can’t be solved with rhetoric but with sound positive progressive inclusive policies. I want to see the Republican Party lead that debate because we are the Party of Lincoln and we must be an inclusionary party. . . I’d like to see an America where half of all black Americans are voting democrat and the other half are voting Republican.”
May the lord look over him now. I hope people are inspired by his legacy and work to be more like Jack Kemp.