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I have come to a major decision and with a lot of soul searching I have decided to endorse John Kasich for President of the United States. He was the only Republican candidate who shied away from Obama bashing, who openly criticized Trump, and relentlessly focused on the deficit, mental health and criminal justice reform. These are all very important issues to me and it was wonderful seeing a Republican talk about them. He has been the only candidate on the GOP side who has been optimistic about our future, and who doesn’t act like we are in a state of civil war. It made me want to support him not just out of the Republican field but support him over either Democrat. I have been a loyal Democrat during the Obama years so supporting a Republican over a Democrat for President is a big deal for me.
So let’s talk about the Democrats for a moment. I have huge problems with both Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Though ideologically I am closer to Hillary, it is so very hard for me to support or defend her. The email scandal makes me seriously question her judgement. She sent State Department documents through a private server, and while those documents were not classified at the time they have since become so. It is true Washington has a tendency to go crazy with classified information but this is still highly unusual. While it doesn’t seem like anything criminal has occurred the slogan “didn’t technically commit a crime” is far from Presidential. She is also hated by the entire Republican party and I do mean hated. Regardless of whether this is justified, can anyone rationally see a way for her to work with the GOP led House or for her to lead the Democrats to retaking it? These two things led to an inescapable conclusion that she would be four more years of gridlock, and possibly scandal.
Then there was Bernie Sanders. First off, I am not in love with him nor do I think he heralds a revolution. He has given voice to the long dormant left in this country and that is not a bad thing, but to me he looks less like the second coming of FDR and more like the liberal Ted Cruz. Honestly, Obama is a fairly center-left President and the GOP can’t find any common ground with him. How in the heck does anyone expect the GOP to work with a Socialist? “Oh no” Say Sanders supporters “He will energize the left and bring in new voters and Democrats will retake the House and the Senate!” Cute…really? Never mind that turnout was down in Iowa for the Democrats compared to eight years ago, but it would take a massive wave of liberal voters all across the U.S. to do that. These people must think there are secret liberals just waiting for the chance to come out and vote. In the 20th century, the two biggest political coalitions that formed were the New Deal Democrats and the Reagan Revolution. Both worked because they had an ideological core that reached out to a massive stretch of the electorate and united their own party. Sanders is having trouble appealing to minorities and they are a staple of the Democratic party. Hows does he expect to grow the party if he has such deep trouble pulling from this very important group in his own party. Never mind that he has been elected as an independent and not a Democrat for most of his career so he doesn’t even have a lot of experience building a working political machine anyway. Neither Clinton nor Sanders has any bipartisan appeal and has dubious prospects of expanding the Democratic party. Regardless of their intentions, a vote for either is a vote for gridlock.
Then we come to the Republicans. I don’t want to go into details with the entire field so I will just focus on Rubio, Cruz, and Trump. Both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have so thoroughly alienated a majority of the country it is shocking to me they are even being considered viable candidates. Trump has insulted Women, Fox, Muslims, Latinos, Blacks Iowans…honestly I don’t think there is a group in America he hasn’t insulted needlessly. Cruz for his part has built his career on calling any Republican that disagrees with him a Republican in name only (R.I.N.O.). Heck, even his only friend in the Senate, Mike Lee, won’t endorse him. How in the world can either of these men be expected to govern when so much of the country already dislikes them?
Marco Rubio is a different animal though. He came to the Senate in the Tea Party wave of 2010 and then attempted to work with Democrats on immigration while staying friendly to the far right. He has attempted to be all things to all Republicans and it has led him to a third place win in Iowa. Here is the thing that bothers me about him. He is a first term Senator from a large state, who is nonwhite, charismatic, good looking and seems to represent a new generation of American politician. Sound familiar?
I voted for Obama twice but I will be honest, I somewhat regret it. I still think most of his policies are correct but he didn’t have any executive experience. He had no experience building the party up, and as a result he is partially to blame for nearly a decade of gridlock. Do we really want to put another leader who is totally unproven just because he seems to be the man of the hour?
This is why I am supporting John Kasich. Its not because I believe he is right about everything. It is because I have zero faith in any of the main candidates that they CAN do anything they have said the will do. We have a 600 billion dollar deficit, the highest prison rate in the world, a crumbling mental health system, a failed war on drugs and an increasingly unstable world. I am tired of looking for candidates who talk a good game but have nothing in their resume that says they can make this country work.
Kasich has balanced Ohio’s budget and helped Bill Clinton balance the federal budget in the 90’s. He has shown a nuanced understanding of the Middle East, unlike the rest of the GOP field, and he has shown a willingness to reach across the aisle. Aren’t these the qualities we need in our next President? Sure, he would have trouble with the far right but so would any President who could win a general election. I don’t know what will happen this election season but I do know, that this country doesn’t need another four years of gridlock and dysfunction. I am sure the rest of the field means well, but honestly, do you see anyone else who has the experience, and temperament to lead, who is scandal free, and has a proven track record of getting things done? For these reasons, I am endorsing Governor John Kasich as President. I do not agree with him on everything, but I do think he is our best chance at creating a functional government in Washington.
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