|Kasich in Medford|
John Kasich is an old school Republican.
Kasich kept the faith, and he is still preaching his message.
Kasich is the Republican alternative to Trump. That is his problem. GOP voters and media have embraced Trump.
Americans may not have noticed, but Trump has an active opponent. John Kasich is doing what people do when they are planning a primary campaign to unseat a sitting President of the same Party. Team Kasich is sharing a message, and raising money.
He was in New Hampshire in April. "All my options are on the table. But I don't know. . . . I'm trying to be a voice that brings about stability and objectivity in our country."
That is what people say when they want to run. The question is whether Republicans like him and his message.
John Kasich, Governor of Ohio and former candidate for president, promotes a message of familiar Republican thinking, the policies of Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bob Dole, Mitt Romney, and most GOP officeholders until the Era of Trump. His tone is earnest, not angry. He is religious, anti-abortion, fiscally and socially conservative, free trade, pro-business, lower deficits, pro-gun rights Main Street Chamber of Commerce Republican. Kasich is conservative, not populist. He is internationalist, not nationalist. He strikes a tone of inclusion not exclusion. He sounds nice--gentle even--not cruel.
By the May, 2016 Oregon primary election, voters saw both candidates and overwhelmingly chose Trump over Kasich.
|Click: Kasich described: "loser."|
Kasich lost access to the usual conservative and Republican organs of GOP-Republican publicity, Fox News, talk radio, and conservative websites. Fox News is not all-GOP; now it is all-Trump. There is no place for Kasich on Fox except as the story of the outsider looking in. Fox's website calls Kasich a "Party Pooper", and illustrates the story with video of Trump. Click.
Kasich is getting media, but in all the serious places, not the places that excite the GOP voter base: Foreign Affairs magazine, PBS's renewed Firing Line, NPR's Weekend Edition, CNN's Smerconish, NBC's Brian Williams show. Trump has pre-warned Republican voters those news sources are fake.
I saw him in 2015 in New Hampshire and 2016 in Medford. I am on his mailing list and get three emails every week. He is campaigning and he is anti-Trump.
Family separation at the border, June 20: ". . . the President reversed his misguided decision and taken some steps to end his policy of separating children from their parents."
Trade, July 5: "This is a huge mistake. This is a disastrous decision that has been resoundingly condemned by both Republicans, Democrats and major U.S. businesses who know that this will only lead to American job losses."
Foreign engagement, June 10. "We're in a dangerous time [because of the]. . . 'America alone' strategy. [We must] uphold our international alliances."
Neighbor relations, June 8. "Global security suffers when Trump snubs America's trading allies."
What about 2020?
John Kasich may not be selling what Republican voters want. This blog has maintained that Donald Trump's position on immigration only motivates a portion of the GOP coalition. The more powerful element is his tone and authoritarian demeanor of frank, brutal decisiveness and unapologetic desire to break rules to win. He convinces the various parts of the GOP coalition that he will be decisive in court nominations, on border enforcement, on asserting American greatness. His manner confirms it is possible to dismiss changes in demography and culture. America can be great again.
Return to civility. Kasich leads with an entirely different tone, calling himself a father, friend, person of faith, who has "called for a return to civility, truth and governing with not only our hearts, but with good, bipartisan public policy that actually improves the lives of all Americans." (June 29, 2018 fundraising letter.) After four years of Trump drama maybe America will want a return to "normalcy."