August 29, 2018
Dear Governor Kasich,
I want to thank you for the way you carried yourself during your 2016 presidential campaign and since. In light of John McCain’s passing in the past week, more hopeful, principled advocates for unity have never been more needed than now. It is shameful that legislators in Washington principled enough to rise above groupthink and political tribalism are rare enough to stand out as “mavericks.” We need leaders with balanced perspectives (not to mention term limits) who can motivate Americans to meet in the middle. Compromise has become a dirty word associated with weakness in our polarized political climate. I am grateful for the work you’re doing to change that along with the tone of debate in our country.
I personally couldn’t stomach the idea of helping inject the White House with a vulgar, imbecilic bully in 2016. His opponent was a no-go in light of the policies prepaid for by the sources of her campaign funding. Many who showed up at the polls wrote in candidates, or held their noses as they cast ballots more out of distaste for the opposition than confidence in their choice. Barely 25% voted for our sitting president. I symbolically wrote in your name on Election Day, but many just stayed home. In fact, almost half of America’s eligible voters didn’t even bother. That should be seen as a landslide vote of no-confidence in either party, or the system itself.
Not all Americans are turned on by bluster and empty promises. A fair-minded majority wants a principled leader who offers transparency, diplomacy, honesty, congeniality, humility, and poise. A leader who can still make a difficult decision without alienating or shaming those who disagree. From what I’ve seen, you refuse to get sucked into a shameful sphere of conformity for the sake of power in the short-term, unlike much of the GOP. Thank you for being the antithesis of our sitting president.
**Fluff that didn't make it into the final draft follows**
Electing a unifier as POTUS poses a monumental challenge. The news media needs ratings to survive, and the sensationalism that lures viewers lies at the extreme ends of the political spectrum, not the center. The day after a debate, the buzz seems more centered around who most creatively “burns” or “slams” opponents, rather than policy positions. Candidates who try to explain things realistically often put people to sleep, while ears perk up to unfounded promises that the candidate wouldn’t have the authority to fulfill on their own if elected. This is why it’s easier to elect a car salesman than an economist.
In Washington, deep stacks of bills that would take months to read are scripted by special interest groups, and then given the green light by legislators whose campaigns were funded by the authors. The tax code is so complicated that those with the most money can afford lawyers to find loopholes and save them millions, while the common man has to pay H&R Block a large chunk of his return just to help navigate the process of filing for one.
America is simply losing faith in our government, the press, and our ability as citizens to affect change for the better. When that happens, it’s easier just to believe what we want to believe when we hear it from a news spinner of our persuasion than to sort out which ideas on both sides of the isle are truly best for our nation and the world in the long-term.