Mark My Words: John Kasich will be President in 2020
Let me start off by saying that I am no prescient being, and many of my predictions in the past have certainly failed to come to fruition (Congratulations, New York Mets, 2017 World Series Champs!). But I am almost positive that I will be right about this one, and Kasich’s ascent has to do with 3 main contributing factors:
1- Orange McTrumpFace is tearing the Republican party into 2 factions, pitting ideological Trump supporters against rational, small government-minded conservatives
2- The Democratic party still isn’t sure who they should anoint to lead their party and doesn’t have an ideal candidate to feature
3- The political climate is so abhorrent right now and polarized that Kasich is in a unique opportunity to run as a middle of the road, rational candidate and win the damn thing
Let’s dive into each aspect and see how these factors came to be and what to expect moving forward:
1- Orange McTrumpFace is tearing the Republican party into 2 factions, pitting ideological Trump supports against rational, small government-minded citizens
During the 2016 campaign (when I was making similar big predictions like Hillary would definitely win in a landslide), I thought that Trump’s rise to the top of the Republican ticket would be a best case scenario for Democrats and split the Republican party in two. I felt that after Trump lost, most Republicans would have a moment of rationale where they castigated the evil, malicious, racist, sexist, and downright stupid ideas of Trumpism and ideological Christianity that leads the far right and realized the error of their ways. Similarly, folks that hopped on the Trump train either because they felt he and Pence espoused their abortion-hating, gun-loving, redneck/Jesus freak ideologies would stay moored to their anchors. This rift would set up the next 8–16 years of clear Democratic victories because the 50% of the population that voted blue would be going against a warring factions that each represented 25% of the population. This all made a lot of sense, except one for one major flaw… Trump won (insert vomit emoji).
However, as President, Trump has not done anything to reconcile the country or make anyone on the left or even on the moderate right feel welcomed- he is representing clearly only this in his base- dancing with the girl that took him to the prom. Also, his approval ratings are historically low, everyone hates him, he’s terrible at his job, and he’s been even worse than anyone could have imagined… as of this day he has still failed to pass a single act of meaningful legislation.
Because Trump is so tethered to his base, finally rational Republicans are starting to speak out. Roll call, please…. (not you, Mitch McConnell… No, definitely not you, Paul Ryan… Chris Christie, please sit down, no one called your name. ) I am talking about Joe Scarborough, who just this past Sunday wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post where he declared he was leaving because “Trump is killing the Republican party.” I’m talking about Shepard Smith, who time and again has called out Trump for his asinine ways. I’m talking about Lindsey Graham, who I never liked or agreed with on anything, but has consistently, even before the election, explained how Trump is absolutely horrible. As more and more rational voices come to the forefront and explain how they can’t support Trump any longer, the seeds of principled thought processes will permeate the Republican party, and more and more folks will come to realize that they, too, must abandon the principles that Trumpism represents and look for a new leader to represent their values.
2- The democratic party still isn’t sure who they should anoint to lead their party and doesn’t have an ideal candidate
I absolutely love Bernie Sanders, but there are a lot of people who are scared of the word socialism, and I completely understand that. An even bigger problem than that is the lack of clear leadership beyond Bernie, most ideological leftists’ number one choice. Elizabeth Warren has said repeatedly that she doesn’t want to run for office, and I think she actually believes she is better suited for Congress and won’t run in 2020. Everyone loves Joe Biden, but will he want to run in 4 years? Cory Booker a progressive ideologue, but he (and I say this with no journalistic integrity whatsoever or research to back this up) is clearly gay and not able to admit that, and that will become a problem during election season. Guys like Gavin Newsome are great (and he also has amazing hair), but still a ways away from the presidency.
The biggest problem within the party, however, is the leadership there now. Nancy Pelosi is STILL!!!!!! the House Minority Leader! How in the world is this possible? We need fresh blood, and she represents all the failures of the 2016 election, both in the presidency and on the local level. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, is simply old and unimpressive- a quality politician but not someone who will be moving the needle whatsoever nationally. Until we have new leadership at the top who we can get excited for, there will be a power vacuum representing the lack of a clear vision and voice that exists within the Democratic party and the progressive movement. This power vacuum will severely hamper progressives, not so much in that they will lose voters, but that they will not have a unified voice to bring them to the top.
3- The political climate is so abhorrent right now and polarized that Kasich is in a unique opportunity to run as a middle of the road, rational candidate and win the damn thing.
Trump has moved the Republican party so far to the right, but it is unmistakable that his views do not represent the totality of the Republican party, let alone the party’s traditional ideology. In response to his disgusting views on leadership and how to shepherd the country into its next phase, the Resistance and #NeverTrump movement has also pushed any ideological progressives all the way to the left. However, I think everyone is aware that this toxic mix is unsustainable, bad for the country’s collective psyche, and not a healthy way to move forward.
This is where John Kasich comes in. He has very cleverly been laying low with regards to national appearances, simply chiming in on occasion like knowing when to voice his displeasure with the Republican Health Care Bill, and refusing to attend an Ohio GOP fundraiser for Mike Jesus Christo Pence. He is not making any over the top, bold claims, nor is he doing anything to make himself a controversial figure. He is simply laying in the weeds, and appearing in spurts so that any person with common sense will say, “you know, that John Kasich seems to be a smart guy.” He is the perfect candidate for any Republican disgusted by the Trump movement, and he’s likeable and affable enough for some moderate progressives who are turned off by The Resistance to vote for him, too.
Kasich is a Republican who isn’t a moron. He believes in climate change, has no interest in changing repealing same-sex marriage, and he believes in less prison time for non-violent offenses. He believes in keeping Medicaid and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. He is certainly not a progressive, but he does check a few boxes that progressives would agree with. If nothing else, his belief in climate change and a path to citizenship shows that he has a moral compass and isn’t someone who believes in the ideological Trump/Pence far right concepts.
He also is a real Republican. First off, he is anti-abortion (I refuse to call it pro-life as that is a misleading term). He believes in cutting taxes, cutting education spending, and has arcane views on drug usage/awareness. He refuses to admit there’s a problem with the gender wage gap. He loves the second amendment and gun rights. Basically, he’s a Republican that I agree with on a ton of issues, but is totally electable and a sane human being. You know, exactly the type of person that could’ve gotten elected before the Orange Devil took office.
Some may say that Trump’s rise and the subsequent move to the polar opposites make someone like Kasich unelectable. But I believe that after what will be 4 years of this monstrosity, people on both sides will just want someone who is as close to the middle as possible, and let us all breathe a little easier every morning when we look at our phone for news updates. And while I disagree with John Kasich on almost all issues, I must admit that he is the perfect candidate to fill that void and bring America back to a place of common sense and common decency. After the horror that is becoming the Trump presidency, in 2020 most people can really view John Kasich as the candidate who can do one thing so many of will need following the Trump Nightmare, and this is to Make America Great Again.