Saturday, May 02, 2009

Jack F. Kemp: 1935-2009

August 15, 1996:

"Democratic capitalism is not just the hope of wealth, but the hope of justice. When we look into the face of poverty, we see pain, despair and need. But, above all, in every face, we must see the image of God. The Creator of All has planted the seed of creativity in us all, the desire within every child of God to work and build and improve our lot in life, and that of our families and those we love.

And in our work, in the act of creating that is part of all labor, we discover that part within ourselves that is divine. I believe the ultimate imperative for growth and opportunity is to advance human dignity.

Dr. Martin Luther King believed that we must see a sleeping hero in every soul. America must establish policies that summon those heroes and call forth the boundless potential of the human spirit. But our full potential will never be achieved by following leaders who call us to timid tasks and diminished dreams.

Every generation faces a choice: hope or despair - to plan for scarcity or to embrace possibilities. Societies throughout history believed they had reached the frontiers of human accomplishment. But in every age, those who trusted the divine spark of imagination discovered that vastly greater horizons lay ahead.

Americans do not accept limits; we transcend them. We do not settle; we succeed. I learned this lesson as a child growing up in Los Angeles. My dad was a truck driver. He and my uncle bought the truck, started a trucking company, and he put four kids through college. From him and my mother, a teacher, I learned to never give up. To me, faith, family and freedom are the greatest gifts of God to humanity."