Four years after dropping his rival presidential bid in 2016, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich has remained one of the Republican Party’s most vocal critics of President Donald Trump.
Kasich easily could have found a seat on the Trump bandwagon, singing Kumbaya like so many others in the GOP. But doing so would have been so un-Kasich-like.
“You know, the worst thing in life is not to lose an election; the worst thing in life is to serve yourself instead of others,” Kasich said in the months after leaving the governor’s office.
On Monday night, he’ll be walking the talk when he crosses the aisle to join a host of speakers at the Democratic National Convention touting the need to oust Trump.
“I will be speaking at the DNC because I think America needs to go in a different direction,” Kasich told Fox News.
Kasich said his conscience drove his decision to take more of an active role against Trump’s campaign for reelection.
“The reason I didn’t support Trump the last time is I was afraid that he would be a divider and not a unifier — and our best leaders historically have been unifiers, Republicans and Democrats. But unfortunately, as I’ve watched him over the last 3½ years now, he’s continued to do that and I don’t think the country does well when we’re divided,” Kasich said.
While this newspaper is not by any means waving a Joe Biden for presidency flag, we find it refreshing that Kasich is following his conscience instead of kowtowing to his political party. It’s a rarity.
Too often in political races, be it the local level or the national level, we hear the words “it’s just politics.” Beware when you hear those words. They are the paint that both Democrats and Republicans use to gloss over the contradictions inside their respective parties.
They’re being used right now by political pundits to put a positive spin on Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate on the Democratc presidential ticket. Harris was one of Biden’s harshest critics during the Democratic primaries. The two now magically sing the same tune, putting their differences aside as if they’ve never happened. Doing so is for the good of the party, Democrats proclaim.
“It’s just politics,” they say.
It’s what is wrong with politics today, we say. Too many people are too quick to set aside their convictions. Serving their party comes before standing up for their beliefs.
Be assured Kasich is taking heat from Republicans. You won’t find him, however, hiding behind the “just politics” banner. He kept from doing that when he was elected as Ohio’s youngest state senator in 1978, and during 18 years in Congress as well as two unsuccessful presidential bids. He’s not changing now.
“I had to search my conscience when the Democrats asked me to speak, I had to think about it, and I believe we need a new direction. We just can’t keep going the way that we’re going.”
It’s not just politics for John Kasich.
“I’m a Republican, but the Republican Party has always been my vehicle but never my master. You have to do what you think is right in your heart and I’m comfortable here.”