Opinion: Kasich deserves our attention

Lucas Misera

Midway through April, the Republican and Democratic races have seemed to reach a degree of inevitability. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is making a last-ditched effort to keep Trump away from the 1,208 delegate count, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has an improbable climb to catch former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

However, amidst the heat of the primaries, one piece of the puzzle has been lost in the shuffle: Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

It’s disappointing that perhaps the most moderate, least polarizing candidate has been cast aside. Kasich has laid out concrete plans, displayed a willingness to critique and commend both parties on an array of issues and exhibited a level of likability and professionalism that’s been absent on both sides. Unfortunately, moderate tactics fail in primaries, and this may be Kasich’s greatest downfall.

In primaries, the goal is simple: appeal strongly to your respective party as a candidate, and solidify your promise to toe the party line. As the general elections approach, however, debates become far less radical in an attempt to appeal both to Republicans and Democrats.

Kasich, by all accounts, has the strongest bipartisan appeal: He has criticized Republican talks of mass-deportation, admitted that climate change is taking place and—despite his deep Christian roots—has taken a less radical stance on abortion and similar civil rights issues compared to his Republican counterparts. He also holds true to base Republican values, striving to cut corporate taxes, localize educational systems and expressed his support for Israel its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Kasich is the antithesis to what the political field has become: He’s displayed genuine compassion and a desire to compromise to further the interests of the United States. Despite being the only Republican with carefully carved-out plans and a relatively successful political background, his lack of success in polls is indicative of the growing polarization that festers within the U.S. government. His attempts to appeal to blue collar Americans is drowned out by Donald Trump’s clamorous campaign that gives those disgruntled voters “a voice.”

What’s perplexing is that his campaign hasn’t been entirely overlooked; Though the delegate count would indicate otherwise, his performances at debates have been well received by both parties. There were several moments during this primary season during which pundits thought Kasich could gain enough momentum to challenge Trump. But hopes of that are long gone.

It’s unfortunate that as the general elections are set and November is fast approaching, Kasich almost certainly will not be on the ballot. President Barack Obama’s administration stalled due to a historically inept Congress, so four years of cooperation would be appreciated. Instead of bipartisan efforts, the U.S. could see a Congress that refuses to work with Clinton or a Trump presidency too radical for most conservatives.

Kasich could be the obvious solution that this country is blindly dismissing.

Lucas Misera is a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].