January 31, 2016 by Chris Kite
The last few Presidential election cycles have been particularly bad for the Republican party. As they have seen tremendous success in their strategy of creating unprecedented levels of fear and uncertainty, they have driven the party significantly further to the right. They have helped bring racism and xenophobia to the surface. They’ve created an entirely knew level of Islamophobia. They’ve created a love affair with the gun. An attraction to overthrowing the government if it does anything they don’t like. A worship of money and greed. A move toward a theocracy.
And the result has been predictable. They’ve brought out lunatic fringe candidates like Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Michele Bachmann, and Donald Trump.
The choices leave me with a feeling that if I were to vote in the Republican primary, I would have to chose between death by cancer, drowning, or being burned to death. The choices are almost universally bad and it feels like there really isn’t a possibility to vote for the one that would be least bad for country.
With two exceptions. In 2012 that candidate was Jon Huntsman. He never really registered with Republicans because he was, well, fairly normal. In 2016, that relatively normal candidate is John Kasich. He is a far right candidate. But with the selection this year, he is pretty much a moderate. And by moderate I mean he is not off the scale to the right. But more importantly, he at least understands what it takes to run a government. He understands the great complexity that exists in international relations. He understands that sometimes you must compromise.
So I find myself wondering which is the better outcome. Were Kasich to win the nomination, he might stand a chance of beating Clinton or Sanders. Clinton is still carrying some significant political baggage. Most of that baggage has been invented by the GOP and has little bearing to reality. But they seem to have been pretty effective in making it stick, despite the inability to have any actual investigations turn up any wrong doing. And Sanders is pretty far left for a mainstream candidate. I know this because any candidate I’ve ever found myself agreeing with on most issues is generally far enough left to be a long shot in a general election.
So if Kasich somehow pulled off a win in the primaries, he might stand a chance in the general. We would have a far right politician that would be undoubtedly bad for our country if you’re not in the upper percentile. But he would be the least bad GOP candidate.
Were Trump or Cruz to win the GOP nomination, the general consensus is that either Clinton or Sanders beats them in a general election. I like the idea of Sanders or Clinton winning. But the fear of the tremendous harm that would be done to our country leaves me terrified of a Trump or Cruz primary victory.
The editorial in the link below makes the case for reset of the GOP with support and promotion of Kasich. As much as I hate the idea of a Republican President taking us back to an anti-union stand, hawkish approach toward international relations, and trickle down economics, I am much more fearful of the insanity of a Trump or Cruz Presidency.
So I guess their constant hammering of fear, uncertainty, and doubt has worked on me. Just not quite the way they expected it to. Kind of like it also has worked to bring extremists to the forefront of the GOP Presidential contest and they are not at all happy about that.