November 11, 2014

WHEREAS, THE GOP'S BENCH IS DEEP:

From Ohio, a different sort of Republicanism (Michael Gerson, 11/10/14, Washington Post)

[K]asich won a majority of union voters, three-fifths of female voters, a majority of voters younger than 30, two-thirds of independents and a quarter of African American voters.

Politicians are supposed to pretend that a favorable verdict was perfectly natural and inevitable. When I raised the African American vote with Kasich, he responded, "I'm flabbergasted by it." Disarming candor is Kasich's stock in trade. And a decisive electoral victory has liberated someone who already had few inhibitions. [...]

Kasich is an exuberantly orthodox free marketeer who has balanced budgets, reduced business regulations, privatized government services and placed a relentless emphasis on job creation. "Let me be clear," he told me. "Unless you build a strong economy, nothing else works."

This, however, is not a destination but a foundation. "Then," he said, "you reach out to help people. On mental illness. On drug addiction. On autism. Now you are tapping into the real problems of real people, regardless of their philosophy. All are made in the image of God and deserve a chance to be what we are meant to be. Our purpose is not to dwell on infirmity but to recognize infirmity and address it as best we can." Kasich increased state spending on various social issues, as well as accepting the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

But Kasich is most interesting when he is attempting to reframe the values debate, by avoiding culture war controversies and emphasizing broadly shared moral commitments. "I believe it all comes down to fundamental values: responsibility, resilience, caring about your neighbor." He cited an "erosion" of those commitments in sports, business and politics. "Why do politicians keep using the division card? Self-interest."



Posted by at November 11, 2014 1:29 PM
  

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