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Bob Inglis: Are you a Jack Kemp conservative?

June 19, 2009

Bob Inglis

June 18, 2009

Dear Friends,

As you can see from these newspaper articles, I’m facing a tough primary election, with five opponents as of last count. Primaries – like family feuds – can get nasty, and campaigning against members of your own party is never fun.
But I’m excited about the upcoming primary contest because it offers an opportunity to define conservatism. Is conservatism about love for country or dislike for our opponents? Solutions that we know will work or wedges designed to drive votes? Is it the ideology of a small and angry sect or the governing philosophy of a majority of Americans?
My opponents will try to paint me as a wishy-washy moderate rather than a true conservative. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have an 84% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union and a 100% rating from National Right to Life. My opponents’ real problem with me is that I deliver conservatism with a smile rather than a snarl.
I deliver conservatism with a smile because I know that it is a winning philosophy. America is a country founded on the conservative principles of faith, family, and free enterprise. If we stick to these principles, making our case with optimism and confidence, the Republican Party will win back the majority.
My opponents would prefer to deliver conservatism with a snarl. They think that the Republican Party should be going on the attack, scoring political points against our opponents at every possible opportunity, using wedge issues to stir up the base, and writing off the votes of minorities, women, and the young.
I think this is a recipe for disaster. If our party is going to win again, we need to show the American public that we can work together with our opponents for the good of the country. We need to show that conservatism is a philosophy that can bring us together as Americans rather than driving us apart. And we need to show that conservatism can work for everybody – black and white, young and old, rich and poor.
We need to follow the example of Jack Kemp, who once described himself as a “bleeding heart conservative.” Kemp was one of the first people to recognize the fundamental truth of supply-side economics: that cutting taxes increases the incentive to work, growing the economy and making everyone better off. Kemp’s ideas helped catalyze the Reagan revolution. He was the driving force behind the 1981 tax cuts that lifted the U.S. economy out of one of its deepest recessions.
Because Jack Kemp had confidence in conservatism, he wanted the Republican Party to be welcoming towards all. Having played professional football with black teammates, he refused to tolerate racial discrimination. He served as George H.W. Bush’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, pushing for free-market, ownership-based solutions to the problems of urban poverty. He wasn’t afraid to form partnerships with people outside of the traditional Republican base.
I’m a Jack Kemp conservative. I believe that conservatism can work for everyone. I believe that the Republican Party has a set of winning solutions for the problems that America faces.
Will you help me drive towards these solutions? Will you help me deliver conservatism with confidence rather than a defensive snarl? Please contribute today.
Best Regards,
Bob Inglis
P.S. Can you give before the end of June? Our second quarter Federal Election Commission report cuts off on June 30th. If you give by then, you’ll build our momentum!
P.P.S. Regular monthly contributions of $5, $10, $25 and $50 are vital to our campaign. Of course, we’re also happy to receive your contribution as a lump sum. Federal election law allows you to give up to $2,400 per individual or $4,800 per couple.
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