Three pieces, the first one before the Jack Kemp Foundation’s tenth anniversary dinner, the last two written afterwards. All three are about how we should think and talk about politics: aspirationally, positively, and long-term. (For each full column, follow the links embedded in the headlines.)

Kemp Foundation embraces free enterprise’s creative disruption (Nov. 19): Jimmy Kemp sounds a whole lot like his eloquent father, the late Republican official and idea man Jack Kemp, and this is a very good thing. The U.S. political world needs to start rehearing the Kempian message…. I am convinced the public would respond well to his vision if only political leaders would promulgate them with energy and focus….

The goal of the Jack Kemp Foundation, he said, is to “build a network of people who care about other people, in order to get people to care about the policies in which we believe.” ….

Ben Sasse warns of major Chinese threat (Nov. 20): Ben Sasse, a Republican senator from Nebraska, gives the vibe of an ideas man rather than a typical transactional politician. If there is substance behind the vibe, along with some political practicality, then American politics needs more elected officials like him.

I interviewed Sasse on Tuesday in his Senate offices, hoping to get a better sense of how Sasse the excellent big-picture author operates as Sasse the political officeholder…. Sasse said that while he certainly believes in the importance of “nuts-and-bolts politics,” he recognizes today’s Washington atmosphere makes it unlikely that nuts and bolts will lead to many real legislative accomplishments in the next year or so. Thus, he is focused on longer-term, but very real concerns. Chief among them, he said, are threats posed by China….

Lessons from Sasse, Kemp, Paul Ryan, and others (Nov. 22): My trip to Washington, D.C., earlier this week produced columns about the late Jack Kemp and about current Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, but those columns left out some worthwhile odds, ends, and ideas. Those odds and ends may not combine for a cohesive column, but they are worth memorializing….



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