Jack Kemp In His Own Words

The ultimate imperative for growth and opportunity is to advance human dignity.

Our definition of compassion is not how many people live on the government welfare plantation, but how many of our people are liberated from government dependence.


The goal of government is not to secure happiness, but to secure the God-given inalienable right to pursue happiness; to live our lives in obedience to conscience, not to government.


Economic freedom is inseparable from political freedom. Government governs best that allows us to govern ourselves.


Unity for our nation doesn’t require uniformity or unanimity; it does require putting the good of our people ahead of what’s good for mere political or personal advantage.


It’s high time conservatives put forth an inclusive agenda that articulates the vision we stand for.

America’s mission is to continue to tell the world that we are for the freedom and human rights of all men and women, for all time – and to do everything we can to transform the ancient dream of hope and freedom into a democratic reality everywhere.


The most revolutionary idea in history is that human progress and prosperity are the result of individual freedom and faith.


Freedom of thought and freedom of economic initiative are the lynchpins of a prosperous society.


There are no limits to what free men, free women and free markets can accomplish.


Our Judeo-Christian values must be nurtured and protected if self-government is to endure. Exporting freedom, growth, and democracy to the world is America’s unfinished revolution. Like the Good Shepherd, America must reach out to the weak and to those who have fallen behind.


No government in history has been able to do for people what they have been able to do for themselves, when they were free to follow their hopes and dreams.


We must end the war on poverty by enlisting the greatest weapon ever invented: free enterprise. Encouraging greater growth abroad is an imperative for us at home. We cannot put America back on top in the world until we put America to work back home.


The greatest threats to America’s national security come not from any foreign aggressor, but from wishful thinking and complacency at home.


Leadership is the ability not only to recognize problems, but to summon the wisdom, courage and determination to solve them before they become crises.


When freedom is reduced for one people, it is inevitably reduced for all. Freedom must be won anew by every generation. The American Dream is the human dream given a chance and a place to happen.


The deployment of strategic missile defenses would do more to shift the course of history in the direction of greater freedom and a more secure peace than all the paper promises in the postwar era.


It’s not enough to be against something; you have to tell people what you are for.

America needs:

  • A safety net below which people should not be allowed to fall but, more important, a ladder of opportunity upon which all people can climb.

  • A tax code that is flat, fair, and simple-one that rewards work and entrepreneurial risk-taking, that sets economic growth for all as its highest goal.

  • Judges who accept the self-evident truths on which our laws are founded.

  • An education system where parents have influence and values have a voice.

  • An anti-poverty agenda based on democratic capitalism, not socialism; on private ownership, not government control.

  • A rebirth of respect and compassion for the dignity and sanctity of human life.

  • A dollar that is once again, an honest dollar, a dollar as good as gold.

  • Not just a more prosperous America, but a better America.

  • An unswerving commitment to peace through strength and the unlimited possibilities that freedom can bring.



Jack Kemp Foundation, 1200 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036

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