Category Archives: jack kemp

Newspaper Article: Moving Forward in 2016 and Beyond

This article appeared in El Republicano, a publication of the Hispanic Republicans of Texas, this past weekend at the Republican Party of Texas state convention in Dallas.
 

Moving Forward in 2016 and Beyond

by Steve Parkhurst

Now that the pageantry of the Presidential nomination process is behind us, it is time to focus on the November elections and the future of our movement and our party.

Twenty years ago this August, Jack Kemp accepted the nomination for Vice President at the Republican convention in San Diego. In accepting the 1996 nomination, Kemp said, “The purpose of a truly great party is to provide superior ideas, principled leadership and a compelling cause.” Kemp continued, “Our convention is not just the meeting of a political party; our convention is a celebration of ideas. Our goal is not just to win, but to be worthy of winning.”

A lot has happened in the last twenty years. The global landscape is remarkably different. After another bruising Presidential primary season, one unworthy of our country and our party, it is time to move toward November united and ready to do battle.

The presidential contest is but one race on the ballot come November. Many people will not be happy with the choice at the top of their ballot. Over the next five-plus months, perhaps feelings will change and a vision will be accepted. Up and down ballots across America, citizens will choose members of the United States Senate and Congress, members of state legislatures or assemblies, and many of the leaders of tomorrow.

In the wake of the presidential contest which will leave some people bitter and disappointed, it is important to identify and support the candidates for other offices who offer the “compelling cause” that our party represents. There are many great candidates worthy of your support.

These candidates view economic growth and opportunity as the best path out of poverty. The candidates rebuke the idea that redistributing income and wealth is the way forward. These candidates are adopting the philosophy of Arthur Brooks to “fight for people, not against things.” These candidates see Washington D.C. not as a reasonable partner who can assist people and communities to find local solutions, but instead as the albatross that it has become, one which stifles innovation and advancement with regulations and obstacles.

As we seek, identify and support candidates who want to embrace this vision of localism, it will be important to assure that we have intelligent, innovative thinkers and policy entrepreneurs ready to work as we devolve power back to states, counties and cities, along with other localities. It will also be vital to have neighborhood healers identified and at the ready, these are the people and organizations who can replace functions previously dominated by governments, with tested methods that get results.

This is the heart of what Alexis de Tocqueville observed about America when his observations were published back in 1835: An America where neighbor looked after neighbor and associations and churches handled many of the tasks too burdensome for any one neighbor, with a speed and efficiency that would be foreign to the bureaucracy of today.

This April, Governor John Kasich presented us with an optimistic vision in which “America’s supposed decline becomes its finest hour, because we came together to say ‘no’ to those who would prey on our human weakness and instead chose leadership that serves, helping us look up, not down.”

This is the sort of vision we now need going into November. This is not the time to buy into the doom and gloom scenarios. This is the time to go into communities that are different from ours and really engage people about the American idea. Some of these might be communities where Democrats own the landscape and Republicans never dare enter. When we never show up to present our case, it is that much easier for the Democrats to label us however they choose. We need to start laying the foundations of trust in these communities right now, today.

The challenge before us now is to put our “compelling cause” on full display for the nation to see. This can be done, and it can be done by each one of us, back home, in our own communities and neighborhoods. Speaker Paul Ryan is a model for us to follow. The Speaker is putting forth pragmatic solutions for the America of today, and doing it with a manner consistent with our timeless principles.

If we had met the challenge of 1996 in a manner similar to that presented above, perhaps fewer of us would be disappointed by what happened in the presidential primary this year, and maybe even fewer of us would be as shell-shocked.

A party “worthy of winning” will take up the Jack Kemp challenge twenty years later and finally start to do the work necessary to advance the American idea.

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Filed under 2016, jack kemp, John Kasich, localism, paul ryan, Uncategorized

I was on The Price of Business to talk about Jack Kemp

I joined The Price of Business and host Kevin Price to discuss the legacy and ideas of the late Jack Kemp. Listen here and let me know what you think.

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Filed under jack kemp, kevin price, price of business

Paul Ryan Talks With Larry Kudlow

Congressman Paul Ryan was on The Larry Kudlow Radio Show this past Saturday to discuss his new plan, Expanding Opportunity in America. Congressman Ryan and Larry Kudlow discuss ideas going back to Jack Kemp, and the Congressman even refers to Outcry In The Barrio, a great program I have written about and observed. Plenty more on that later, but listen to the interview and let me know what you think.

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Filed under jack kemp, paul ryan

Larry Kudlow Speaks at Kemp Forum on True Growth

Anytime Larry Kudlow speaks, people need to listen. Whenever Larry Kudlow speaks at the (Jack) Kemp Forum, people need to study it. Larry’s message on growth is so important.

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Filed under economic growth, economic policy, jack kemp

Neighborhood Healers

This column has been prepared as part of a reading supplement for the Republican Party of Texas convention in Ft. Worth.

By Artemio Muniz and Steve Parkhurst

Across America, many of our neighborhoods are crumbling, in need of renewal and all hope of achieving the American Dream hangs by a thread.Rather than turning away and assuming someone else will pick up the pieces, there are individuals, who have been termed Neighborhood Healers, who work to pick up those pieces and they change lives and communities in the process.And in the spirit of self reliance and self determination that dominates our great party, these Healers work without the help of any government as they are trying to renew their communities or neighborhoods. This can be in the form of a ministry that heals the fallen, or a citizen who is fed up with the lack of attention paid to a worn down neighborhood and decides to act on his or her own, at their own expense. This can be the mentor who offers guidance to a pupil who needs that one person who cares enough to look eye to eye or soul to soul and make a difference.

Robert Putnam in his books Bowling Alone and Better Together, Robert Woodson in his book The Triumphs of Joseph and William Schambra in his speeches and writings, have all touched upon the root of the American character when people in communities work together to improve lives for those around them.

In late 2008, we started working as a group that would eventually morph into what is today the Federation of Hispanic Republicans. Our early focus as an organization was civic renewal; a re-engagement of individuals in their community. All inspired by the likes of Putnam, Woodson and Schambra.

We traveled from Houston to just south of San Antonio to the city of Von Ormy where we joined with Mayor Art Martinez de Vara in a citywide cleanup, led by Republicans. Over the next few months back in Houston, we continued this sort of work. We joined with other people to find projects that needed help. In one instance, a home needed to be painted and a neighborhood church was offering the paint and supplies, they just lacked the manpower. We teamed up with another local organization and while that house was being painted, the rest of us cleared the neighboring lot and cleaned up the yard of a vacant home.

The most interesting thing to see, was after the work was done. Days, weeks, months later, the people who did the work, those who gave up a Saturday to labor, they were still beaming with pride, satisfaction and most important of all, happiness.

Neighborhood Healers are at work across the state of Texas. Most don’t call themselves Healers, they just go about their work. Most only want attention to point out the problems they’re working hard to remedy. If you really think on it, we all know a Healer like this.

In April, Steve Parkhurst ventured out to San Antonio’s famed Outcry in the Barrio ministry. That visit was previously written about here. As was pointed out in the recap of that visit, Outcry, a faith-based organization, has an astonishingly high success rate in getting addicts off of their substance(s) of choice and back in productive lives, often right in their own communities helping others. No government, whether federal, state, county or city, can claim the kind of success rate that a ministry like Outcry can achieve. Mainly because a place like Outcry is steeped in results after an addict leaves, while governments worry about the numbers enrolled, the number cured or healed is less important.

Ministries like Outcry in the Barrio need help. And Outcry is just one of many.

This past March, we were part of a group across the state that sought to include in the party platform a resolution, whereby the Republican Party of Texas would support the creation and/or development of a Neighborhood Healers Initiative.

With this Initiative, we wanted to show support for, and encourage the recognition of such Neighborhood Healers, and we wanted to make sure Republicans across Texas (and the nation) are doing their part to assist these Healers who are putting our conservative principles into practice on a daily basis.

We felt that as part of this initiative the Republican Party of Texas should start finding, identifying, and recognizing these healers and assure that the Republican Party both locally and statewide is assisting as needed in this community renewal. Because when good people apply deeds, and not just words, to the crises in our neighborhoods, our neighborhoods are better and we all benefit.

And this isn’t about spending money. This is about growing our party; it’s about growing our cause. Raising awareness and encouraging people to look a little deeper into their communities won’t cost one cent.

We want to challenge all the delegates at the state Republican convention to get involved when you return home. Find an individual or organization locally that is putting principles into practice, and help them. Help however you can, with time, money, sweat equity, or even with a little social media promotion.

As Deuteronomy 15:11 tells us, “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’”

So many Neighborhood Healers have opened wide their hands, they all could use an extra set of hands.

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Filed under jack kemp, paul ryan

Five Years Without Jack Kemp

It’s hard to believe it’s been five years.

I remember hearing late in the evening on May 2, 2009 that Jack Kemp had passed away. I was out of town that weekend.

On Monday, May 4, I awoke to hear Bill Bennett Mornings playing loud and clear on my radio. I listened to guest after guest join Mr. Bennett to pay tribute to Jack Kemp as the week began. I was still somewhat groggy when Congressman Paul Ryan was on the show to remember Jack Kemp. I can remember that interview like it was yesterday. I remember Bill Bennett pointing out that Jack Kemp would note that Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations, not The Poverty of Nations. Kemp wanted the focus to be on what worked, not on what failed. Solutions oriented folks operate that way.

Jack Kemp has been in my thoughts a lot lately. As I have gotten a little older and have started to realize that in politics many of the arguments never find resolution, I have been looking closely at some of the work Kemp did to improve the lives of the less fortunate.

Jack Kemp was compassionate, a bleeding heart conservative, and this may have been his greatest gift. Kemp was able to apply a humanitarian view to many of the problems that ailed society simply by showing up. Kemp spent countless hours in places modern Republicans rarely tread. Kemp believed in the American Dream, the belief that in America, every single person had the capacity to reach for the stars, and get there, if they simply wanted it and worked toward it. Kemp wanted a level playing field, rather than viewing America as red or blue and taking a “every man for himself” approach, Kemp wanted to make sure that being trapped was an option, not a predetermination.

I’ve written recently about Congressman Paul Ryan and Robert Woodson, founder of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise. I won’t rehash that work here, you can read it on your own if you like, but it’s worth noting that Bob Woodson worked closely with Kemp, and in turn some twenty years later is working with Congressman Ryan as they both look to address some of the same issues on which Kemp had begun to work. Kemp is no longer with us, but that certainly does not mean his work does not continue.

Finally, Jack Kemp wanted economic growth. Serious, unlimited, no-holds-barred, through-the-roof, economic growth. He figured cutting taxes would spur entrepreneurs and development. Sure, he wasn’t as worried about the deficit side of things, the logic of the day was, if you cut taxes and more people went to work, there would be more people paying in to the government till, and deficits would go down just by their nature. And we have to remember, Jack Kemp helped introduce tax cuts to the Republican platform, tax cuts were not always part of the Republican mantra. If you read a little history from the late 1970’s, you’ll see that Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp had some pretty fierce arguments about tax cuts. Kemp ultimately won the debate, Reagan adopted Kemponomics as Reaganomics, and the 1980’s saw a great economic recovery. The rest is history.

Anyway, on the five year anniversary of Jack Kemp’s passing, I wanted to add my two cents. It may be closer to fifteen cents, and you loyalists will get that and laugh. It’s a hodgepodge of thoughts, but that’s rather the point.

It’s hard to believe it’s been five years…

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Filed under jack kemp, Ronald Reagan

Newt Gingrich Addresses The Republican Jewish Coalition

This was a particularly good speech Newt Gingrich gave Wednesday before the Republican Jewish Coalition. Toward the middle of the speech (about 18:00) is what I consider to be one of the better lines from the former Speaker, with regard to appointing Ambassador John Bolton to e Secretary of State, along with new guidelines for the future State Department to follow.

The final few minutes of the speech where Newt talks about his work with Jack Kemp and the issue of getting people out of poverty was absolutely tremendous.

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Filed under 2012, 2012 election, barney frank, jack kemp, john bolton, newt gingrich, republican jewish coalition