By Sam Mollin
Here in Westchester County, New York, we all live in a bastion of liberalism. From this publication’s own political poll, it can be seen that the majority of the school would vote democrat. But for those holdouts who are still voting republican, Governor Kasich of Ohio is the best choice for a fiscally conservative, socially liberal voter. Unless you;ve been closely following the Republican primaries, you probably haven’t even heard of him. The GOP race right now is dominated by candidates like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump who want to boost military spending up to 11 and institute all kinds of disastrous social policies, but Kasich has been standing tall in his corner the whole time, advocating for less of a focus on divisive social issues and more of a focus on financial issues.
I, personally, identify a bit more with the democratic party then the republican. I also, however, understand that there’s a real chance a republican wins this election, and if we are to be under a republican president for the next four years, at least Kasich will focus on the real issues. Kasich has socially conservative values, but is blessed with the ability to recognize that the tide of social change has come and gone, and there’s no use trying to go back. After the landmark supreme court case that ruled all americans have a right to same-sex marriage, Kasich said “it’s time to move on” in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch. He was and still is wisely in favor of trying to move the republican party away from things that have already happened, and focus on real issues. Unlike other Republican candidates, he isn;t in favor of a amendment to the constitution to either ban same-sex marriage or allow voters to recall supreme court justices in odder to prevent them from making rulings like the aforementioned gay marriage case. I think Kaisch’s way of dealing with this case shows not only his important willingness to put aside personal beliefs to tolerate others, but in his unwillingness to play to the crowd just to get attention, which brings me to my next point.
Kasich campaigning in New Hampshire
John Kasich is an experienced politician, and not just an entertainer. That statement alone should elevate him above at least two of the current front-runners in the Republican primaries, if not more. Kasich is 63 years old, and he was elected to his first office as an Ohio state senator at the age of 26. When Trump was working at his father’s real estate company and Ben Carson was in medical school, Kasich was helping to run a state. Four years later he advanced to the house of representatives, and there he stayed for 18 years before eventually becoming governor of Ohio in 2010.
Another draw for Kasich is his stances on actually helping the people of this nation. The other Republican candidates seem not to much about the actual well being of their voters, and more appeasing donors or pursuing their fantastical and unrealistic plans for the nation. Throughout his career, Kasich has advocated for the well-being of the middle and lower classes in America. One major focus of Kasich’s is addressing the mental health and drug addiction challenges that face America. During his tenure as governor, Kasich moved to make an antidote against opiod overdoses more widely available, and introduced an addiction treatment program into Ohio prisons. He also isn’t afraid to protect the good parts of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, advocating for keeping most of the law because of it’s tangible benefits to the people of his state. He acknowledges that the ACA’s medicaid expansion and ensuring coverage for those with pre-existing conditions were both valuable. Furthermore, Kasich even acknowledged and attempted to solve environment issues within his state. As governor, Kasich supported the environment by attempting to improve the quality of lake Eerie, raising taxes on fracking, and even acknowledging that climate change exists.
Finally, one of my favorite things about Kasich is his proven ability to create a balanced budget. As governor of Ohio, Kasich managed to take a state with a budget shortfall of 8 billion dollars and get it to have a surplus of two billion dollars. There’s a reason he keeps talking about his balanced budgets in every single Republican debate. He even cut taxes while pulling this off, eliminating ohio’s estate tax and cutting taxes on small businesses. Kasich also shows the will to keep this trend going. Part of his political campaign in his re-e;action for governor was to advocate for a constitutional amendment to require the federal government to have a balanced budget. He supports this with a potent battle line, asking why the federal government should be allowed to have an unbalanced budget while states aren’t. I have to agree with his sentiments.
Overall, I’d summarize Kasich as a man who isn’t afraid to be sane. In a political climate where generating scandal and excitement with every word seems to be garnering votes, Kasich seems to be the only politician running for the Republican presidential nomination who actually seems to be interested in running this country. A story about Governor Kasich defimes his candidacy. After accepting millions of dollars in medicaid from the federal government, a wealthy donor confronted him. He responded by saying “I’ll know what I’ve done for the poor when I’m at the pearly gates, but will you?”. This is John Kasich. A Republican who isn’t afraid to help.
With Kasich earning shard-fought second place in the New Hampshire primaries after a disappointing finish in Iowa, he has started to gain momentum. Although defeated by the ever-present Donald Trump, Kasich’s strong showing in New Hampshire shows that voters can get behind his vision of politics focused on issues, and not just outlandish performances. As the race moves on to South Carolina and Nevada, hopefully Kaisch will continue to pick up votes among those who favor the establishment, beating out less meritous candidates like Bush and Rubio. Hopefully, the soul of the Republican party will be reclaimed by the only candidate worthy to wield it.