[*TMR debut at Examiner.com – see at bottom]

With a little help from the Gipper and his Laffer friends, of course

We bid farewell this weekend to a man that was instrumental in the Reagan Revolution that produced Reagan Democrats, a 25-year economic recovery, brought down the Evil Empire and eventually led yours truly to a 2000 conservative epiphany.

I had always loved Jack Kemp (while I was still a Democrat) in the 1980s, even before all the evidence of the revenue and recovery producing power of supply side tax cuts was in, because the former Buffalo Bills quarterback was so zealous in his efforts to reach out to blacks and minorities (see pictured at MLK Memorial). Race had been a defining issue in my Southern life due to integration efforts by my parents and later in my own way in hiring practices at my law firm.

But it wasn’t until my 21st century epiphany, after I was finally won over to the GOP due to the proven results of Kemp-advocated conservative policies, that I fully realized the power of Kemp’s reach out efforts. Kemp went into black communities with the same message he brought to all humans of every hue, i.e. that conservative policies are best for all races and income groups as they create more wealth and opportunity for all to achieve the American dream.

I was won over by that message.

One of the main reasons I switched after 18 years a Democratic Party activist and official was that I cared about the poor and lower income families that my old party seemed intent on keeping as victim dependants.

I had seen the Laffer Curve work with more revenue coming in from cutting tax rates, especially at upper income levels where the investor class lives. I saw the investors create the jobs that led to greater prosperity for all. I saw the revenue that funded Reagan’s victory in the Cold War.

I saw a Bill Clinton run barely touch the Reagan tax rates and then saw him later team with Newt to continue the Kemp philosophy on capital gains tax cuts.

DeVine continually perplexed that Democrats opposed tax cuts

But all during this time, I saw something else that was greatly disturbing to me about the Democratic Party. They would never admit that supply side tax cuts actually did increase tax revenues. They insisted they cared about balancing budgets and that to do so they would have to raise “taxes”. I began to see the obvious lie.

Most Democratic Party leaders cared not for balancing budgets. It was obvious that the reason we had deficits in the 80s was due to increased spending, not a lack of revenues. The Democrats claimed to care more for the poor and lower income and for minorities, yet continued to oppose tax cuts that worked and let people keep more of their own money.

I began to see my former party as vile and morally and intellectually bankrupt.

Kemp showed GOP the way to victory

By contrast, there was a smiling and cheerful and optimistic Jack Kemp advocating policies that helped all Americans and especially Black and minorities and lower and middle income families.

Then after my switch to the GOP I came to see some flaws in the spine of the GOP. They would win elections based on Kemp-like economic policies, but then fear the Drive-by media and PC police on the issues they had just won on and fear being called racists if they dared to treat blacks as equals.

They wouldn’t go into the black neighborhoods with the message of truth. No, they either didn’t go to the ‘hoods or they went with race-tailored messages that look like Dem lite.

I have always said that to win over Reagan Dems and blue dawgs we have to be bold leaders. We see that in 2006 and 2008 we lost mainly due to moderating our proven effective conservative policies.

The same goes for race.

Kemp showed the GOP the way on the main reasons for our 2008 losses: the economy and race.

Let us please learn the Kemp lesson now and going forward as we mourn the loss of one of the great Americans of our time.

Minority Reports are DeVine columns related to the purpose for the creation of The Minority Report by Steve Foley and Dave Hinz in 2006, soon after the elections that relegated the Republican Party to minority status in the House after 12 years in power. That purpose is to return the levers of power in the United States to its conservative/center right majority. I have been blessed with frontpage priviledges at TMR since it was launched.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer, Examiner.com and Minority Report columns

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

Originally published @ Examiner.com, where all for verification links may be accessed