Former Congressman Jack Kemp, historian David Kennedy, Harvard professor Michael Sandel and Aspen Institute vice president Elliot Gerson weigh the value of dissent and the efforts of such past patriots as Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
Elliot Gerson is an executive vice president at the Aspen Institute, responsible for Policy and Public Programs and relations with international partners. The Institute’s policy programs focus on important domestic and international issues and improve decision-making by providing neutral venues, nonpartisan analysis, and candid dialogue among leaders. The Institute’s public programs—including the Aspen Ideas Festival—open the Institute’s doors to a broader audience. The Institute also has international partners in France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Prague, Romania, and Spain. Gerson is the American secretary of the Rhodes Trust and manages the US Rhodes Scholarships. Previously, Gerson was a US Supreme Court clerk, practiced law, held executive positions in state and federal government and on a presidential campaign, and was president of leading insurance and health care companies.
Jack Kemp is Founder and Chairman of Kemp Partners, a strategic consulting firm which seeks to provide clients with strategic counsel, relationship development, and marketing advice in helping them accomplish business and policy objectives.
From January 1993 until July 2004 he was co-director of Empower America, a Washington, D.C.-based public policy and advocacy organization he co-founded with William Bennett and Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick.
Mr. Kemp received the Republican Party's nomination for Vice President in August of 1996 and since then has campaigned nationally for reform of taxation, Social Security and education.
Prior to founding Empower America, Mr. Kemp served for four years as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He was the author of the Enterprise Zones legislation to encourage entrepreneurship and job creation in urban America and continues to advocate the expansion of home ownership among the poor through resident management and ownership of public and subsidized housing.
Before his appointment to the Cabinet, Mr. Kemp represented the Buffalo area and western New York for 18 years in the United States House of Representatives from 1971-1989. He served for seven years in the Republican Leadership as Chairman of the House Republican Conference.
Before his election to Congress in 1970, Mr. Kemp played 13 years as a professional football quarterback. He was captain of the San Diego Chargers from 1960-1962. He was also the captain of the Buffalo Bills, the team he quarterbacked to the American Football League Championship in 1964 and 1965, when he was named the league's most valuable player.
He co-founded the American Football League Players Association and was five times elected president of that Association. In 2005 Mr. Kemp was recognized by Sporting News as one of the Top 50 Best All Time Quarterbacks.
David M. Kennedy
David M. Kennedy is the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History at Stanford University, where he teaches 20th-century U.S. history, American political and social thought, American foreign policy, American literature, and the comparative development of democracy in Europe and America.
A scholar whose work integrates economic and cultural analysis with social and political history, he received the Pulitzer Prize for his book Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945. His other books include Over Here: The First World War and American Society, The American People in the Depression, and Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger.
He is a co-author of the textbook The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, now in its 13th edition.
Michael J. Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he has taught political philosophy since 1980. His latest book is What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets. Sandel’s other books include Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? and Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, among others. His work has been translated into 19 foreign languages. In 2010, China Newsweek named him the most influential foreign figure of the year in China. In 2009, Sandel delivered the prestigious BBC Reith Lectures, broadcast in the United Kingdom and worldwide on the BBC World Service. In the United States, Sandel has served on the President’s Council on Bioethics and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; he is also on the Council on Foreign Relations.