April 6, 2016
Connecticut Republicans have been frustrated because in the past, by the time our primary rolls around, our nominee has already been chosen. Not this year. On April 26, our opinion will matter. We should firmly get behind the one man who has the best chance of defeating the Democrats and whose rational and humane polices can reunite our splintering country. That man is John Kasich.
Donald Trump has done the country a service by pointing out that our borders should be secure, our trade agreements should protect the middle class and that our intervention in the mid-East was poorly conceived. But his volatile personality, knack for outraging large segments of the population and visceral instinct to insult everyone who disagrees with him is simply not suited for someone who will have his finger on the nuclear trigger. The main job of our president is to prevent nuclear missiles from becoming airborne. Everything else is irrelevant.
Ted Cruz is a solid conservative but some of his positions will simply not fly in the general election. He proposes to institute a flat tax of 10% for those making over $34,000 a year while adding a 17% value-added tax on goods and service. In the process, he plans to abolish the withholding taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare.
Hillary Clinton and the liberal media will annihilate Cruz. He will be portrayed as heartless soul who wants to cut taxes on the super rich, increase taxes on the middle class, gut Medicare and Social Security and leave the poor to fend for themselves. He will spend the entire campaign on defense. And he will lose.
Governor Kasich is the son of a post master and the grandson of a coal miner. He is a social conservative but moderate on economic issues. He has sympathy for those who are down on their luck or were dealt a bad hand. His strongly defended his position to extend Medicaid to the working poor in his state, an Obamacare policy. And he has been savaged by conservatives for doing so. But under his stewardship, the working poor have better access to health care and Ohio has prospered – generating a budget surplus and a thriving economy.
Governor Kasich will probably not come close to winning a plurality of delegates on the first ballot. Because of this, there are those who feel that nominating Kasich is a slap in the face of the voters. But keep in mind two of our first three primaries, Iowa and South Carolina, are dominated by religious conservatives. The other, New Hampshire, is dominated by libertarians. While these voters are wonderful people, those who survive these three states are often too conservative to win a general election. Our convention should adjust for this by allowing delegates from states such as Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania to have a say. Nobody has the right to claim to be the nominee if he does not receive the majority of the delegates on the first ballot. Rules are rules.
Some believe that nominating Kasich will splinter the party rendering a November victory impossible. Kasich could deftly handle this by promising to appoint Cruz to the lifetime Supreme Court position left vacant by the death of Antonin Scalia. Many Cruz supporters understand that the Supreme Court is more important in determining social policy than our elected officials. They may actually prefer this scenario.
But the best thing about Kasich is his tone. He is basically a happy and upbeat guy who tries his best to get along with those who disagree with him. Just watch his interviews with Chris Matthews. This is what the country needs. Regardless on one’s political opinions, the polarizing presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama have torn the country apart. The presidencies of Trump, Cruz, Sanders or Hillary Clinton will make the situation worse and could threaten our democracy. John Kasich is what the country needs and Connecticut Republicans, in the tradition of Yankee independent thinking, should proudly affirm this.