Please note, this article is part of a larger series, the aim of which is described in detail here. The series attempts to examine why someone would vote for a particular candidate, and in doing so, attempts to don the persona of a supporter of said candidate. As a result, some of the statements in this article may not necessarily align with the author’s own views or opinions. The author requests only that you respectfully consider viewpoints that contradict your own instead of outrightly dismissing them, as they will be presented in the most informed, eloquent, and free from bigotry, manner possible. Today’s article focuses on presidential hopeful John Kasich.
I suppose the first thing to address is the fact that it has become impossible for Kasich to obtain the required 1237 delegates by the time of the convention. Kasich currently has 148 delegates (even less than Marco Rubio had when he dropped out over a month and a half ago (173). Since this date, there have been eight more primary contests, in which Kasich picked up a measly five delegates (in New York)). According to 538, at this point in the primaries, Kasich is at 19% of his delegate goal. With only 620 Republican delegates remaining up for grabs, it is impossible for Kasich to reach the required number by the convention. Kasich knows this, but is banking on none of the other candidates reaching the number either: “He’s not going to get to 1,237,” Kasich said of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump in an interview on the Kelly File on Fox News (interview starts at 20:50ish). “That’s like saying what if a spaceman lands tonight? That’s not going to happen.”
538 has Donald Trump at 95% of his target delegate count at the moment, and Cruz 57% of his. Actually, as of 4/20, Ted Cruz cannot meet the delegate count either. This means that the Republican nomination is still very much so up in the air, and that a contested convention is very likely. This is where Kasich comes in.
The reason Kasich has not been taken more seriously up until this point is because he cannot reach the 1237 delegate mark. However, if people were to consider Kasich more seriously, they would find him to be a highly qualified candidate who is capable of attracting a large and broad range of support. In fact, as Kasich’s campaign will quickly point out, he is the only candidate who is able to to defeat Hillary Clinton in a head to head match up based up on polls. So if your main concern as a voter is preventing Hillary from taking the white house come November, Kasich is your guy.
Let’s talk about Kasich’s qualifications. Kasich served nine terms as a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Ohio’s 12th congressional district from 1983 to 2001. His tenure in the House included 18 years on the House Armed Services Committee and six years as chairman of the House Budget Committee. He was a key figure in the passage of both welfare reform and the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Then there was this weird period of time when he kind of had a midlife crisis and hosted a TV show on Fox News (?) called Heartland with John Kasich from 2001 to 2007. Then Kasich worked as an investment banker, serving as managing director of the Lehman Brothers office in Columbus, Ohio. In the 2010 Ohio gubernatorial election, Kasich made his triumphant return to politics, defeating Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland. He was re-elected in 2014, defeating Democrat Ed FitzGerald by 30 percentage points.
So what that all means, is that Kasich has real experience in both the legislature and as an executive. Besides his brief TV stint, Kasich has had a very successful and popular career in politics. Between his great successes in Congress, and his obvious popularity in his home state of Ohio, having won the Gubernatorial election by wide margins and the Ohio primary, it is altogether vexing that Kasich has been outrightly dismissed as a candidate. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s been going around hugging people; I don’t know. But the main point is, Kasich is not a joke candidate. He has very real qualifications; far more than Trump or Cruz do.
But now that we’ve established Kasich’s credibility, let’s talk about his policies. Many have branded Kasich as the “moderate” in this election cycle, and in comparison to Ted Cruz and Donald Trump’s proposals, some of Kasich’s plans are moderate. But make no mistake, Kasich is a conservative. His economic policies are reminiscent of Reaganomics, advocating for the deregulation the free market and the downsizing of the role of government in people’s lives. Kasich supports tax cuts, and pursing an all of the above energy policy. These are fairly typical conservative economic positions, and would actually benefit many people–especially most of the people I know, and most of those who will be reading this blog.
Another conservative positions Kasich harbors is that the government should not micromanage education. In Ohio, he has worked to put in place Education related programs like The Third Grade Reading Level Guarantee. He is strictly pro-life, however supports abortion in the case of rape and incest, and helped create a $500,000-per-year Parenting and Pregnancy support program that provides counseling to pregnant women, meets practical needs of new mothers such as cribs and formula, and connects new mothers to additional help. On Feb. 21, 2016, Governor Kasich signed House Bill 294 preventing any taxpayer funds going to organizations that perform abortions like Planned Parenthood. These funds have been streamlined to organizations like the Parenting and Pregnancy support program and state funded rape centers.
Kasich supports repealing Obamacare. On his site, Kasich says, “it has driven up the cost of health insurance approximately 80 percent in Ohio’s individual and small group market and raised taxes to help subsidize health insurance coverage for families making up to $94,000 annually.” Finding these price increases unacceptable, Kasich proposes a new healthcare system based largely off of Medicaid, which he has expanded the role of largely in Ohio, much to many of his colleague’s displeasure. However, Kasich says that the expansion was aimed at helping those battling drug addiction, and those with mental illness. His own brother has battled depression for many years, perhaps influencing Kasich’s expansion. Because of the Medicaid expansion, Ohio has insured 609,000 people in the Medicaid program, compared to only 188,000 that have become insured in the Obamacare insurance exchanges. Kasich calls himself a “compassionate conservative” for taking the package even though it may go against some party principals. One thing’s for sure, it helped a lot of people, and isn’t that what matters most?
Furthermore, Kasich supports rebuilding our military and standing up for our allies, standing up for what we believe in. He calls for increased cyber defense, which is actually very smart considering where the battlefield has turned to in recent years. Kasich plans to completely defeat ISIS, and stand up to China and Russia, the international bullies of the age.
However, all of his policies, of which I have not touched on all, read more here, relate back to the economy, Kasich’s main deal.
Kasich has pledged to send Congress a comprehensive plan to balance the federal budget in eight years by reigning in regulations, tearing down barriers to increased energy production, and returning major federal responsibilities back to our states and communities where they can be performed more efficiently and responsively to serve Americans. He will work to reduce spending, reform entitlements, and encourage economic growth. The last time the federal budget recorded a surplus was in 1998, the year after Kasich worked to get the Balanced Budget Act passed. Since then, we have slid into a mind numbing $19.3 trillion of debt.
So perhaps the most compelling reason to vote Kasich 2016 is this: John Kasich has experience balancing the federal budget, and will do so again. While some of his social issues may be contentious to a voter, one should be reminded that the president has very little authority over social issues: that power remains largely in the hands of the courts. And another reminder: the President cannot create laws. That is the job of Congress. He can only sign or veto laws. Here is an article that can link you the actual powers of the president: http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2011/12/06/presidential-power-explained/. So actually, more than social or economic policy, a voter should be concerned with foreign policy, the area where the president has the largest power, as Commander in Chief. And on National Security, there is no candidate stronger than John Kasich, with 18 years of experience on the U.S. House Armed Services. If you are looking for someone with strong experience in both National Defense and Balancing the Budget, two crucial areas that the president actually has the power to influence, Kasich is the only candidate that qualifies.
I’ll leave you with this:
Also, I’d just like to point out this, which I found on John Kasich’s campaign site:
Doesn’t even matter what the rest of that thing said, the fact that he wants to #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.