BY: B. Keith Plunkett | UCF Staff @Keithplunkett
Presidential hopeful John Kasich was visiting the Magnolia State today to tout his budget prowess in the nineties during his time as a member of the House and an “architect” of the balanced budget. But, while he’s talking about his involvement in political decisions 20-plus years ago, there are a few questions about his more recent record and stated positions that conservatives should hope to get answered.
Kasich is attempting to pass off some of his policy positions that rub conservatives the wrong way as based on his Christianity, as if that takes those things off the table and we aren’t allowed to question them, lest we be not as “Christian” as Kasich.
1. ObamaCare – While Kasich is talking about a balanced budget, someone may want to ask what kind of shape the projections of the budget in his native Ohio looks like. As governor of Ohio, Kasich decided to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare citing his Christianity, as if the majority of Americans who oppose the increased welfare state are somehow un-Christian.
But, while Kasich may have bolstered Ohio’s bottom line in the short term using taxpayer funding of ObamaCare, the mess he is leaving will be a budget busting nightmare to clean up for taxpayers, future governors and legislators in his state.
Is it “Christian” to force people off of private insurance and into a government system that is shown to provide health outcomes worse than those who have no insurance at all?
Kasich worked behind the scenes with progressive activists to generate positive headlines and editorials in Ohio supporting ObamaCare expansion to limit the political fallout from conservatives, and he and his progressive alliance used PR to pressure hospitals to accept it despite the fact that Ohio hospitals would lose more via the government expansion than they do by giving services away for charity care.
All of this, and Kasich still has the temerity to tell voters that he is against ObamaCare? Medicaid expansion IS ObamaCare.
2. Planned Parenthood – While Kasich has always taken a pro-life political position, his dedication to life stops short of cutting off the spigot of taxpayer funds to cronies in Washington. It appears Kasich’s Christian love only goes so far.
Kasich says under no circumstances would he shut the government down over funding of Planned Parenthood despite the organizations felonious use of the unborn as merchandise in a for-profit meat market. Kasich instead supports “vigorous investigations by Congress”.
Yeah. That’ll show ’em.
It’s further insulting to Christian Conservatives intelligence when you consider that a shutdown of the federal government results in a shutdown of only 20% of government functions referred to as “non-essential services”. If these services are “non-essential” why are we funding them to begin with?
3. Religious Liberty – Maybe one of the more revealing aspects of Kasich’s brand of political Christianity is how quickly he “moved on” following the ruling of the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage. In fact, two months before the ruling he was already suggesting that whatever the Supreme Court ruling was going to be then Americans should accept it and “move on”.
The Supreme Court Roe v. Wade ruling was over 40 years ago. Have we moved on from that? Is the supposedly “pro-life” Kasich suggesting we should? Does this fit with his stated position of fighting for life? Does he expect the people to “move on” from our religious liberty and the freedom of our convictions because of a few judges?
Since the ruling there have been numerous instances of Christian business owners coming under attack for practicing their faith. The promotion of same-sex marriage and the freedom to practice a persons religious convictions are incompatible. Regardless of where you stand on same-sex marriage, we all know that. Some are willing to say it and face it, others like Kasich would rather we “move on”.
The question for Kasich is this: Do you believe, as a Christian, in the guaranteed Constitutional right to the freedom of religion? Do you think we Christians can just “move on” from this?
4. Iran Deal – Still considered by State Dept as a state sponsor of terrorism, Iran held the annual “Death to America” day yesterday to celebrate the 36th anniversary of the invasion of the American Embassy. Yes, that is a real thing in Iran.
Kasich agrees with Obama’s Iran policy, a policy that will allow Iran to continue simultaneously working towards becoming a nuclear power and calling for “Death to America” at the same time.
The question is simple: Should we, as Kasich says, allow Obama’s diplomacy to work? Or, should we accept the fact that a nation so bent on our destruction, and the destruction of Christians, and who still celebrates “Death to America” day, maybe isn’t really showing a desire to negotiate in good faith?
What John Kasich doesn’t understand is that social conservatism, that is Christian conservatism, and fiscal conservatism are connected, deeply connected. One can’t simply say my position is the “Christian” position and expect that questions about controversial positions disappear. One has to prove it by presenting facts.
The facts don’t support Kasich’s “Christian” political position.
The conservatives of Mississippi expect a candidate and his political supporters to stand for something other than politics of personality. Does Kasich’s Mississippi team understand this? Or will they, like Kasich, dismiss questions and disagreements as being un-Christian?
Keith Plunkett is Co-Chairman of the Cruz Campaign Mississippi Leadership Team. He is also the Policy and Communications Director for the United Conservatives Fund. He has worked on communications and policy issues with a range of public officials from aldermen to Congressmen, and a variety of businesses, government agencies and non-profits. He serves or has served as a board member of several non-profit, civic and political organizations. Contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Keithplunkett