When delegate rich, winner-take-all Ohio cast its votes for favorite son John Kasich, it may have given the Republican Party a chance to save its soul. While there is still a long way to go and Donald Trump has a commanding lead and while Ted Cruz is still ahead of Kasich in delegates, there are at least two paths to a possible upset.
First of all, Republican voters in the remaining states could recover their senses and reject both Trump and Cruz as disastrous, and even dangerous, choices for President of the United States. Or, more likely, these three finalists will roll into Cleveland to a contested Convention where more thoughtful and committed Republicans will give the nod to “the only grown-up in the room” on the second, third, or fourth ballot after a deadlocked first one.
John Kasich may only look like a moderate because of the frightening competition he has had to face in this election cycle. Certainly his record in Ohio is a mixed one from my point of view. But he is a decent human being, does seem genuinely to care about the poor and the marginalized, and has a proven record — especially when he was a Senator in Washington — of being able to reach across the aisle and make compromises for the common good.
A contest between Hillary Clinton and John Kasich would likely feature a real debate on substantive issues, free from the vile and vulgar campaigns we have seen on the GOP side this time around. Certainly, a clear choice would be provided for the American people between Democrat and Republican values and approaches to solving our nation’s problems.
Readers of this blog may be concerned about Kasich’s membership in the breakaway Anglican Church of North America, but my understanding is that he found The Episcopal Church, as a lapsed Roman Catholic, after the tragic death of his parents and simply followed the parish to which he was committed, and which had been such an important part of his healing, into the schismatic group when they decided to join it.
This does not mean that Kasich does not share the conservative values of ACNA. Only that he may not be some rabid fundamentalist but, like perhaps many in these breakaway groups, primarily loyal to the local parish church in which he was formed and not all that interested in our fractious Anglican global politics.
After all, he has enough of that in his own party!