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June 05, 2009

Looking Up and Over One’s Fence

OBIT_KEMP_011_r350x200 Lanny Davis is about as enthusiastic a Democrat as one can find. An effective communicator and lawyer, he may be best remembered as one of Bill Clinton's chief defenders during the Lewinsky scandal.

But he found in his diametrical political opposite, the late Jack Kemp, a good friend, one who could vigorously disagree with him on issues while still enjoying him and caring for him as a person. This article by Davis shows wonderfully that the feeling was mutual.

John Wesley once encouraged his followers to note how even a cow will look up over the fence in front of it to see what is beyond it, if only out of curiosity. He encouraged his followers to hold fast to their cherished faith and beliefs while being secure enough in them to investigate what might be worthwhile in another person.  

Lanny Davis and Jack Kemp were able to find common ground on several issues, despite their different vantage points--all because they saw in each other something more than just an opponent.

(Image courtesy of the Washington Times)

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Democrats and Republicans as "diametrical political opposite"?

Wish I could see a little more of that.

Jason Taylor

I've seen enough of it.

Ben W

Seriously. I remember the days that Republicans stood for small government and fiscal conservatism.

Jason Taylor

Did they Ben? Actually they still do. The crowd over at NR, more forgives then approves W's spending because it prioritizes other issues.

In any case the classic conservative position is that the proper sphere of government is security and anything else is an indulgence at best and an unnecessary encroachment at worse. The need for a "safety net" is sometimes reluctantly conceded, but never without fear of dependancy.
For this reason conservatives often do approve of spending on emergency services and don't approve of domestic. This is not a contradiction, it is a logical extention of that.

It is libertarians who are for small government, no ifs ands or buts. Conservatives are really more concerned about the form of government though they are also for small. Small government is one of the goals of conservatives. It is the goal of libertarians.

And while you may not feel it answers your question Ben, that in fact gives a reasonable explanation.

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