Listen up, America
Matthew Kobunski | Monday, February 8, 2016
“We will carpet-bomb them into oblivion. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out!” – Ted Cruz
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” –donaldjtrump.com
Welcome to the Republican presidential race, everyone: where sand is going to glow and xenophobia runs rampant. This election cycle has been plagued by Donald Trump’s bombastic, absurd rhetoric that even moderate candidates have begun to follow in their own diluted way. Although I am conservative, I cannot vote for a candidate who says things simply to get people out of their seats. And I speak to conservatives, independents and Democrats everywhere when I say this: do not be fooled by militaristic rhetoric and xenophobic speeches. There is a rational answer among this haze of ridiculousness and wide range of candidates.
That answer is John Kasich. His credentials are lengthy; his message is positive. The Ohio governor is not going to tell you about how he’s going to “bomb the s**t out of [ISIS]”or how he’s going to tear up the Iran Deal on day one in office. He’s going to tell you that the federal budget will be balanced, that he’s going to work with all parties to solve this country’s issues with rational rather than emotional solutions. His resume includes 10 years on the House Budget Committee, where Kasich was a main architect in balancing the federal budget in the 90s. He’s no stranger to foreign policy, either, with 18 years on the Armed Services Committee.
And in his more recent role as governor, he has found similar success. During his tenure, he has taken Ohio’s $6 billion budget shortage and turned it into an $2 billion surplus. In five and a half years in office, employment under Kasich has increased 6.5 percent, as compared to the 4.1 percent increase of his gubernatorial counterpart Chris Christie. One of the most telling signs of Kasich’s common sense politics was his expansion of Medicaid. Conservatives have chastised him about the acceptance of federal money that allowed the expansion, accusing him of not staying true to conservative principles. But here is the bottom line: a governor’s job is to care for the citizens of his or her state. If that means accepting federal dollars to create a healthier society, then so be it. Kasich contends that the expansion of Medicaid isn’t about politics, it’s about a call to help those who are in need. It’s not politics; it’s common sense. That is what we need in the White House.
But the main point here is not just Kasich’s credentials, it’s his message. He is going to bring unity to this divided country. He’s not going to play off of people’s fears like fellow candidates Trump or Cruz have — Kasich speaks to people’s hopes and dreams. We are a fractured country, and having candidates exacerbate those divisions is not going to help the nation. We need John Kasich. We need a candidate who preaches unity and problem solving. This country has become severely polarized — best emulated by recent Congresses’ lack of progress. If this gridlock is going to end, we need a president who can work with both sides of the aisle. John Kasich is that president. He can break the gridlock and unite this country. Unity will not come overnight, but Kasich is the man who can facilitate this process.
Governor Kasich’s unifying message has been a major topic of his debate performances. Compare this:
“We have to come together as a country. And we have to stop all the divisions. … It’s because I’ve been assembling a team of people who want to be involved in something that’s a little bigger than themselves.” – Gov. John Kasich
“If I’m our nominee, I will unite this party and we’ll defeat Hillary Clinton and we will turn this country around once and for all, after seven years of the disaster that is Barack Obama.” – Sen. Marco Rubio
Now, I concur that they both talk about unity. But notice the context, notice the stark divisiveness that Rubio perpetuates as opposed to Kasich’s clear call for unity. The problem with the GOP — and Democrats themselves are not innocent of this — is the constant need to polarize the parties to the point of no return. Kasich is fully against this divisive movement. If we want real change, real results and real unity, John Kasich is the man for the job.
So although New Hampshire is Kasich’s elimination game, I urge voters to take a serious look at the Governor. Let’s return the Republican race back to sanity. Let’s stay away from the demagoguery propagated throughout the race. Let’s elect real unity. Let’s vote for John Kasich.
Contact Matthew Kobunski at mkobunsk[email protected]
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.