By: Daniel Luxenberg  | 

The Republican Candidate

As a college student in New York City, I am surrounded by liberal ideologies. I adhere to most of them. However, I do not take part in, and am fundamentally opposed to the movement that bullies those who believe otherwise. The party that prides itself on its ‘open-mindedness’ and ‘respect,’ I feel, has been guilting the more conservative youth, calling for them to ‘change their views,’ or risk being labeled as bigots. What I try to convey to my peers is that those on the right are not the enemy.
I am beginning with this anecdote in order to better define where I stand: conflicted.
The Republican Party has gotten enough (mostly deserved) flack from the media because of the outwardly racist comments of some of their members. To write further on this issue would be an incredible waste of time, as all you have to do for that is turn on MSNBC or CNN. Since I have set the stage of my inner conflict, I will now tell you that the conflict has been somewhat resolved in the recent months. The solution: Governor John Kasich.
Governor John Kasich is running for President of the United States on the Republican ticket. Kasich has an excellent track record as the Governor of Ohio. He has not only decreased the deficit from a potential eight billion dollar hole, but has flipped it to a two billion dollar surplus. Gov. Kasich has expanded Medicaid in his state, yet cut its growth from 10% to 2.5% without taking coverage away from one person or cutting any benefits. “You just need to know how to fix things, reform things, change things,” Kasich preached at a pre-debate rally, “We don’t have to abolish them!” Prior to his governorship, Kasich was one of the few conservatives who successfully worked with Democrats. As head of the budget committee during the Clinton administration, Kasich balanced the budget. Kasich has experience in both the public and private sector, working for Lehman Brothers in the early 2000’s. Although for some that may be a point of criticism, Gov. Kasich is the only candidate that knows what’s up on Wall Street and can combine his experiences there with his knowledge of politics. Socially, Gov. Kasich remains the sole GOP candidate who will not be forced to change his views come the general election. When asked for a response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, Gov. Kasich did not demand a Constitutional Amendment like his opponents, he responded realistically, “The court has ruled … and I said we'll accept it….Issues like that are planted to divide us. I think the simple fact of the matter is…we need to give everybody a chance, treat everybody with respect, and let them share in this great American dream.” Governor Kasich does not want to get bogged down by issues that prevent equality within America. I can go on about Kasich’s social agenda and fiscal accomplishments, but the goal of this article is to send you out there to become a more informed voter. While you may think that the debates are there for our better understanding of the candidates, they in fact only allow for ten second sound bytes, and are not sufficient to help us choose our President.
In a fiery pre-debate speech delivered on October 27th, Governor John Kasich revealed that he, along with most of us voters, was tired of hearing the other GOP candidates offer absurd rhetoric. He’s had it with these people! After campaigning above the fray and strictly promoting his policies, Gov. Kasich realized that this election cycle was about more than policy- it was about Donald Trump. Indeed, ‘The Donald’ is the objective of this race. Take him down successfully, and you’ll win. Take him down unsuccessfully, and you’re Jeb Bush. Instead of directly attacking Trump, Gov. Kasich left out Trump’s name in his speech and went after policy, something he is fluent in. “I’ve heard them talk about deporting ten or eleven [million] people and pick them up…take them to the border and scream at them?!” - of course, a reference to Trump. Governor Kasich continued arguing against other candidates’ policies. “We got people proposing healthcare reform that’s going to leave, I believe, millions of people without adequate health insurance,” (Carson). “One of the candidates said he’s known as Veto Corleone. He’s so proud of the fact that he vetoes everything. You know what vetoes are? Vetoes are a sign you can’t get what you want,” (Jeb!). Following this pre-debate speech, Gov. Kasich soared to the cover of The New York Times tweeted about Gov. Kasich. Jake Tapper, Megyn Kelly, Rachel Maddow, all talking about Governor John Kasich. Kasich’s fiery speech paid off, as people began Googling his name during and following the debate. But at this point he must make it through the sea of candidates.
As a side note, the fad of wanting an outsider as President boggles my mind. Why would we want someone with no experience in this industry, to hold its highest office? Moving on. Senator Marco Rubio is hot right now. I can only assume that is due to his favorability with Latinos, his young appeal, and fundraising abilities. Because it can’t be his record. According to Philip Bump in the Washington Post, Rubio has missed 23 out of the Senate’s 29 votes since the first Presidential debate. He was elected to do a job, and not only is his performance slacking, it seems that he is not even showing up! In response to an attack on this point at the third GOP debate, Rubio cited other Senators with similar track records. I do not think that vindicates his attendance, or lack thereof, but supporters are nonetheless coming out by the millions (of dollars). Senator Rubio is serving his country, and I salute him. But he is a first term Senator:he has no leadership skills, and his record does not compare to that of Governor Kasich’s. If a Democratic Senator, in his or her first term, was running for President, would you (as a conservative) not think twice? For confidence and public speaking will only get this country so far.
In a recent State of the Union, Dana Bash interviewed Gov. John Kasich, and the headline read, “Conservatives attack Kasich.” All things considered, that’s not a bad thing. Rather, it is the hope that if elected, Governor John Kasich will progress our country! The conservative movement is moving further to the right, to the point where Speaker of the House emeritus, John Boehner, has resigned. Boehner mentioned a comment he made about Senator Ted Cruz, calling him a “jackass.” His words, not mine. But let’s ponder that for a moment. Generally, the Speaker is aware of the goings-on within the Senate; how Senators interact and so on. Boehner is not exactly the Democrats’ snuggle-buddy, so if he refers to Sen. Cruz as a “jackass,” one would have to assume Cruz is not a man willing to work with the other side. It’s obvious that the further the parties split, the less our government can accomplish. So Kasich as a moderate conservative voice would be an ideal choice.
On the other side, Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton do not get off the hook. Hillary Clinton, too, is an offender of partisanship in our country. In the recent Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton ‘jokingly’ cited the Republican party as one of the enemies. How is our country supposed to progress if our President is not able to work with Congress? Senator Sanders, I believe, has already won. He entered the race and put issues he believed in at the forefront of Democratic debates: free education, restructuring of Wall Street, and Washington DC’s corrupt ways. He’s The Donald of the Democratic party, but way more qualified.
I conclude with a few notes to the Republican Jewish Council and to the voters of the American public. Electing Governor John Kasich to the general election will secure Ohio. It will secure those who are center-left and do not want Hillary Clinton in office. It has been suggested that if Kasich were elected, the conservative base would not come out to vote in the general election. However, in my opinion, those base conservatives will vote for anyone to ensure there will not be another four years of the current administration. The issue at hand is the primary election. Ironically, this base is on track to elect an un-electable candidate. After reading this article, you must decide for yourself whether you want a President who will accomplish in the White House, or one who won’t. A fellow Kasich supporter, in an attempt to rationalize why Kasich is not leading in the polls, told me that people tend to vote with their hearts, not their head. Let me make clear that along with my head, my heart is very much into Kasich’s candidacy; I believe Gov. Kasich will secure our nation, strengthen our economy, and fulfill the idea of ‘hope’ implanted in us by our sitting President. This will not happen if one of the other GOP (or Democratic) candidates are elected. Gov. Kasich has entered the GOP-filled-net in order to unite this country. He entered so the country can work together and once again, accomplish. We must elect someone who has proven that he or she can work with the other party and exceed our expectations.