Thursday, August 13, 2015

Kasich: Standing for Something

In the first GOP debate, John Kasich, the governor of Ohio, had perhaps the clearest message. He stood for “economic growth,” “unconditional love, “ and a return to “America’s values.”

In his 2006 book, Stand for Something: The Battle for America’s Soul, Kasich listed these American values as: honesty, integrity, personal responsibility, faith, humility, accountability, compassion, and forgiveness.

For these values to be preserved and restored, Kasich believes:

1) We must have economic growth. Without growth, we cannot show compassion for the poor by expanding Medicaid, which he has done in Ohio.

2) We must show unconditional love and respect for our political enemies and for policies we oppose. Kasich opposes gay marriage, but he showed respect for his gay friend, by attending his friend’s gay wedding.
Kasich comes across as a compassionate conservative who believes in open and civilized debate and in accepting what he cannot change, e.g. the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.

Whether one believes in this philosophy or not, for the moment, it plays well among voter. In the 2014 Ohio governor’s race, he won by 64% to 33% and in 86 of 88 Ohio counties. And by virtue of his debate performance, he is rising in polls in the early primary states and is now considered a serious presidential contender.

He had an impressive record during his 9 terms as a congressman from Ohio. He led the fight to balance the federal budget and to reform welfare. Today he stands for expansion of Medicaid, not a popular issue among Republicans but balances that by advocating replacement and repeal of the rest of ObamaCare. On immigration, he is open to a path for legal status for undocumented immigrants but opposes amnesty. He doesn’t oppose Iran deal, but would put troops on the ground to fight ISIS.

Kasich speaks from the gut and from the heart. He believes in confronting the issues head and promoting and accepting change, whether he wins or loses.

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