“Data-driven, empirical and low-key in tone” – today’s unorthodox crop of center-right thinkers

by Ryan Streeter on November 26, 2012. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

By and large, these diverse writers did not grow up in the age of Reagan and are not trying to recapture it. They disdain what you might call Donor Base Republicanism. Most important, they matured intellectually within a far-reaching Web-based conversation. In contrast to many members of the conservative political-entertainment complex, they are data-driven, empirical and low-key in tone.

That’s David Brooks on a rising crop of conservative thinkers. I didn’t deserve inclusion, but I was honored to have Jack Kemp’s name in the same sentence as mine.

I’ve said for awhile that we conservatives don’t know Jack. That is, we don’t have in our midst an updated Jack Kemp who blended a love of the rough-and-tumble free marketplace with a deep concern for those on the lowest rung of life’s ladder who hope to realize their dreams. More than ever, I’ve come to believe we need an entirely new policy framework to realize the age-old principles and values that lie at the heart of the American success story. And a new Jack Kemp to champion that framework.