Run, John, Run!

KEVIN LEVY, PUSHING FORWARD

Days after the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Donald Trump forcefully condemned, by name, the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis. While the President’s (second) statement was direct and unequivocal, it was not laudable by any means. The founding principles of the United States of America are the rights of all Americans to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Thus, it should not be too hard to say “Nazis are bad” when they begin to march down the streets of an American city holding swastika flags.

And that is why it is so incredulous that the President had to be so publicly shamed to effectively denounce white supremacy.  Common, decent Americans know that Nazis are bad. Full stop. Among those ranks of patriotic Americans was the Republican Governor of Ohio, John Kasich who notably continued his failing presidential bid against Donald Trump last year until the bitter end.

Kasich has been no great friend to the Tweeter-in-Chief. He refused to appear at the Republican National Convention where Donald Trump was formally nominated as the GOP nominee that was hosted in Cleveland. He explicitly non-endorsed Donald Trump because he felt that Trump was a “divider.”   At the close 2016 election, Governor Kasich didn’t even vote for Donald Trump in his own swing state of Ohio; he voted for John McCain who hadn’t run for president in eight years.

Recently, John Kasich has been loudly making the case for a 2020 primary fight against Donald Trump. He appears on television rather regularly to bash the President while still making the case for a conservative America. His harshest rebuke of Trump came right after the President suggested some sort of moral equivalency between literal neo-Nazis and the hard-left (and sometimes violent) group Antifa, which stands for Anti-Fascist. Kasich saw Trump’s quasi pandering to the “alt right” and called the President’s statement exactly what it was: pathetic.

Leaders like John Kasich have stood up to President Trump when it was politically unpopular to do so. He genuinely cares about the people of this country. And that’s why I’m endorsing him for the GOP Presidential Nomination in 2020 and will switch my party registration in New Jersey to help him defeat Donald Trump (if he remains on the ballot).

It should be recognized that John Kasich is no progressive sweetheart. Kasich has opposed pro-choice efforts in Ohio as governor and has actively worked to scale back women’s rights. He generally opposed the Paris Climate Accord (although later rebuked Donald Trump’s complete withdrawal from it). Social Security would likely receive cuts under a Kasich presidency as well in a concerted effort to balance the budget.

But Americans likely wouldn’t be living in fear that the President could ignite a nuclear conflict over twitter (shameless plug). John Kasich, although a conservative, would govern the nation responsibly and would likely place reasonable stewards in his cabinet to effectively serve the country. He knows what the values of this country are and has worked for decades in government to carry out those values. Although he and I have wildly different politics, we have a similar goal: American prosperity. Kasich would inarguably put the nation over his own ego as president.

It should also be stated that this is a temporary alliance. I, along with many other Democrats who fawn over John Kasich, am a relatively staunch partisan. After the primary battle is won, I (most likely) will return to the Democratic Party and support our nominee. Not because the (D) is always better than the (R) following some politician’s name, but because our policies will undoubtedly be more in synch than mine with John Kasich’s.

Is this political sabotage? Kind of, but not really. Crossover voting tends feature members of one party voting in the primaries or run-offs of the opposing party in order to elect the weaker or more radical candidate in hopes of electorally crushing them in the general election. But that isn’t what a Democrat supporting John Kasich (temporarily) should be. John Kasich deserves cross-party primary support for the sole reason that Donald Trump should not be on the ballot in 2020 and must be replaced by someone who won’t further divide the country into uncharted territories.

Donald Trump has shown that he is an ineffective president who, week after week, loses support among his voters. His approval ratings are the lowest of any modern president. He actually botched condemning Nazis. He runs the White House like it’s the Celebrity Appresident instead of the seat of the executive branch.

John Kasich could defeat the Democratic nominee in 2020 and would certainly do better than Donald Trump, but this nation is just too important to risk a second disastrous term of Donald Trump. Americans can, do, and should disagree on policy. But America is now learning the difference between patriots and sycophants. The John Kasichs, John McCains, Lisa Murkowskis, and the Susan Collinses of the Republican Party recognize that an (R) behind someone’s name doesn’t always mean success and are willing to buck the elected President of their own party to do what is right. Americans should do what is right and that means supporting John Kasich for the GOP Presidential Nomination in 2020.

 

[As of Friday, August 25, 2017, news began circulating that Gov. Kasich is “entertaining” a national unity ticket with Democratic Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Levy is #ReadyForJohnxJohn]

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