Being Right: Experience Matters

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Considering Kasich as the Republicans’ candidate.

Noah Nardone, Maroon-News Staff

As a lifelong Republican, I am frustrated with the current state of the GOP.

With proposals ranging from deporting Mexican immigrants and barring Muslims, to slapping a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports, bombastic billionaire Donald J. Trump is destroying the image of the Republican Party. Senator Ted Cruz is equally objectionable. Whether it’s threatening to “carpet bomb” Syrian villages or pitching a phony “flat tax,” Cruz’s policy positions border on ruthlessness and absurdity. The greater worry is that, unlike Trump, he’d actually follow words with action. Even Senator Marco Rubio has retreated to the doomsayer views of the front-runners, leaving his more positive “New American Century” campaign, based on helping the middle-class, in the dust.

The GOP is in trouble. Without expanding the tent – reaching out to a wider and more diverse pool of voters – the GOP will likely lose in November.

Trump and Cruz have damaged the GOP’s prospects in the 2016 presidential election. Their xenophobic rhetoric has alienated voters in critical swing states like New Mexico and Colorado, complicating the Republicans’ path to 270 electoral votes. In the face of a critical election year, there is only one candidate who has the leadership and experience to unite the country: Ohio Governor John R. Kasich.

Kasich is a pragmatic leader with experience as both a congressman and governor. In Washington, Kasich was an eighteen-year member of the House Armed Services committee. His experience in national defense and oversight of the armed forces gives Kasich the strong command of national security and foreign policy issues that a president needs in order to be an effective commander in chief. Kasich was also the ranking member on the Budget Committee. As its chairman,  Kasich helped negotiate the plan that balanced the federal budget for the first time since 1969.

As a veteran of partisan battles and bipartisan deals in Washington, Kasich is capable of working across the aisle and believes in the ability of government to improve lives. He supports a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants and speaks of the government’s duty to protect the poor, the mentally ill and others “in the shadows.” Facing immense opposition from members of his own party, Kasich bypassed the Ohio Legislature to secure a $13 billion Medicaid expansion to cover more people in his state.

And Kasich is no moderate. As governor, he’s gone after public-sector unions, fought to limit abortion rights and reduced state spending. A self-proclaimed “fiscal hawk,” Kasich inherited an $8 billion deficit, which he managed to churn into a $2 billion surplus while cutting taxes in his state.

Kasich has long demonstrated throughout his political career that the country’s prosperity is far more important than adhering to Republican Party ideology. “The party is my vehicle,” he said, “not my master.” The public has too often been hurt by the partisanship that paralyzes government, wastes time or blocks meaningful improvements, and Kasich offers a refreshing change from the status quo.

Without casting a larger tent and embracing a positive message, the GOP’s prospects in the 2016 presidential election are grim. Kasich is the GOP’s most electable asset. It is time for the Republican Party to unite behind a pragmatic, compassionate conservative. As a proven leader who has delivered results, it’s safe to conclude that Kasich is the only candidate from either party who can unite the country.