Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hayek, Kemp and Ryan

I once met Paul Ryan's mentor. Not Ayn Rand's book, or Hayek, or Reagan, the other one. A man called Jack Kemp. It wasn't like a formal introduction with handshaking and napkins. I was delivering flowers to the kitchen entrance of a large country house, the old mansion type with stone and the oh so inviting portcullis, a white gravel driveway, Boxwood, Azalea's of the South, a massive lawn that needed attention, a uniformed staff, and a "Sold" banner across the "For Sale" sign. The note on the flower arrangement read "Welcome." Nor was I delivering flowers from a fancy white van with a happy plant on its flanks and some kind of suitable logo offering the correct suggestion of subservience. It was a green pickup with the kind of dents in it that tell of a hard working vehicle, it's bed contained the shovels, the wheelbarrows, the flotsam from a dead stand of Dogwood, and I hadn't shaved for a bit. It was hot, my neck red from the sun, no front tooth and a whole range of easy assumptions could have been made about me.

On the way back down the long driveway, I had to relieve myself. It's the sort of thing that does happen and spotting a very dense Star Magnolia I leapt at the opportunity. Then, while returning to my weary steed a very smart Detroit type car with air conditioning and the electric windows pulled up the driveway. An energetic looking, large older male with military hair, a long sleeved white shirt, a red tie, and a most defensive attitude that suggested he was the new owner of an expensive country property that may or may not have had horse stables.  His question "What are you doing?" might have been easier to answer had he not got out of his vehicle. My answer "What are you doing?" didn't really help. A moment like that does stay with a person and more recently I have come to the conclusion that Jack Kemp might have persuaded himself I was a potential supporter of supply side economics. And it's just as well the political class are more interested in power than anything else, otherwise the land would be awash with bodies turning in graves, it would be scary, instead of polite rows of dutiful crosses were the prayers are said and the tears are shed. All the same, Jack Kemp had a bigger heart than Ayn Rand could fit in her pocket book.

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