Newt Gingrich famously said this week that Donald Trump reminded him of Jack Kemp. Rich Lowry responds, without mentioning Gingrich’s fatuous statement, that Marco Rubio is the true heir of Jack Kemp, and Lowry is completely right.
Why is this important, you might ask? Well, in the 1970s Jack Kemp began pushing a new theory of conservative thought, which was optimistic and forward-thinking, and which centered upon supply-side economics–the idea that economics was not a zero-sum game, and that through government policy enough wealth could be grown for everyone to have a slice of the pie. When Ronald Reagan began his 1980 presidential run, he pretty much adopted Kemp’s conservative philosophy lock-stock-and-barrel. Prior to this, Reagan had been more of a Goldwater Republican. So, for people who talk about such things, to say that someone is “like Jack Kemp” is pretty much equivalent to saying that he is philosophically like Reagan. Lowry doesn’t make that connection in his article: He stays closer to home by noting Kemp’s profound influence on George W. Bush, another man with whom Trump bears absolutely no resemblance in temperament, philosophy, and personal decency.