I Stand with This Man

Eighteenth century French philosopher Voltaire once observed, “Common sense is not so common.”

In Washington, it’s virtually extinct.

But if you travel Northwest to Columbus, Ohio, you will find one man who reflects the kind of practical intelligence we need right now.

In case anyone forgot, among the hodgepodge of hopefuls trying to overtake The Trump Reality show in 2016, Ohio Governor John Kasich was the one Republican who insisted on sticking to debating the issues instead of throwing out insults.

John Kasich should not only run for president in 2020, he should win… on common sense, alone!

Kasich has continued his presence on cable by popping up every now and then to offer a fresh cup of good judgment pointed at a Washington that only agrees on one thing: dysfunction. Last Sunday (Oct. 7), was no exception when he was interviewed by CNN’s Dana Bash. And right out of the gate, we realize that he’s not someone who simply recites the conservative talking points. Here is some of that exchange:

BASH: “The Senate has confirmed Brett Kavanaugh. He is now a justice. Are you happy about that?”

KASICH: “Well, I’m not happy about the process, Dana.”

BASH: “Let’s just start with him. Are you happy he’s on the Supreme Court?”

KASICH: “Well, it’s not about a matter of happy.

“I mean, he’s on the Supreme Court. We have to respect the fact that the Senate made that decision. …

“And I would hope that the court will not become ideological. That would begin to erode confidence in the court. In fact, confidence in the court has already been eroded.

“But, Dana, let me tell you what I’m particularly worried about. Our leaders need to stop playing a zero-sum game …. I win, you lose.

“Leaders need to figure out a way to bring people together. Now, they can have a victory, but they can’t leave the person who loses vanquished. And that’s so much of what we’re seeing. … what’s required? It requires leadership to stabilize…

“…perfect example… John McCain, in the middle of a presidential campaign … He was at a town hall meeting, and somebody started viciously accusing Barack Obama. McCain, in the middle of a campaign, said: I don’t agree with you, and knock it off and stop it.

“And, as I recall, there were people in that meeting who booed him. But, you see, it wasn’t, ‘I need to win at all costs.’ …that’s where we’re operating today, Dana. And it needs to stop, and our leaders need to lead the way.

BASH: Governor… you have been talking about this, frankly, as you know, sort of screaming into the wilderness about this need to step up. What makes you think now is going to be any different?

KASICH: “…when people ask, why should they vote, now they have a chance in November to vote and declare their message loud and clear.

“…what has to happen, Dana, and at all levels… if you’re the CEO of a company, because the Kavanaugh situation has got people yelling and screaming at each other… CEOs need to calm it down. …Our religious leaders should be calming this down and offering respect for others. …

“…our leaders need to be bigger than themselves.

“I was [in the House for 18 years], there at a time when I saw leaders who could embrace and make sure that it wasn’t a win-lose situation.”

BASH: “…you’re talking about the midterms. …

KASICH: “…the people in this country are so divided… let me tell you what I think a president should do. You’re going to nominate a Supreme Court justice, and you’re a Republican, you know you’re going to have a conservative. I support conservatives on the court. But it would make sense to work with a Democrat who would say, ‘OK, I know it’s going to be conservative. All right let me help you to pick somebody so that we don’t go through this.’ …

“…look, it’s both sides. A pox on both houses for the way this was conducted. And people in the country are appalled. That’s because it’s like, I got to win, and you got to lose.

“…you have to wonder about the soul of our country.

“…Why are people so unsettled? …Because people don’t feel as though they’re being included. They don’t feel they’re being given a fair shake. People, to some degree, have become tribal. And our leaders have encouraged it. …

“…I got Republican candidates running out here. …they talk about the approach in Ohio, which is include everybody, to make sure people at the top and people at the bottom can be hopeful. They do better when they’re out campaigning door to door. …we have to move beyond that election and try to get this country unified.

“Think about it! The Congress is disrespected. The Press is disrespected. The Justice Department is disrespected. And the court is beginning to lose respect.

“That is a bad place for our country to be. And we have got to stop it. And it starts, Dana, really with you and me.”

Political commentator Morton Kondracke believes Kasich should run as an Independent.

“The nation clearly needs a high-energy, optimistic spokesman for citizens in despair over the vicious, hyper-polarization into which the Democratic and Republican parties have plunged us,” Kondracke writes (May 3).  …But [Kasich] could be the strongest, best-financed and most compelling third-force presidential candidate in decades.”

Now is the time for a reasoned and reasonable third choice. I stand with John Kasich.

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