Hamlin: John Kasich deserves Republican vote in Tuesday’s NY primary election

As Republican Party candidate John Kasich wraps up his second visit to the Syracuse area, Donald Trump still maintains a firm grip on conservative voters heading into Tuesday’s primary. With the party nomination approaching fast, New York Republicans should look to Kasich, not Trump, when they punch their ballots.

Despite the crew of candidates that have covered ground across the Empire State this month, if you’re a young Republican in New York, Kasich is the man for you. His moderate conservatism is a big step from the other two staunch Republicans opposing him. If you’re sick of Trump’s antics and afraid of Cruz’s rhetoric, Kasich is the safe, sensible, conservative choice.

Kasich, who in all reality is light-years behind Trump in both delegates and in the polls, has proved locally why he’s the best pick for party if Trump crumbles come convention time. But while Trump is remarkably popular downstate, Kasich claims that he is the only candidate capable of maintaining a Republican majority in the New York state senate.

Meanwhile, Cruz is one of those hard-fast Republicans who seeks the dismantling of same-sex marriage while adamantly opposing Planned Parenthood. There are millions of traditional, Christian families in this country who will undoubtedly eat the Cruz cake in search of some strength from their dwindling GOP. But conservatives need to put their faith in a moderate candidate who can appeal to more of the American public, beyond that of registered Republicans.

Though some members of the Republican Party have said he’s “too moderate” to win the party nomination, that same moderation is what makes Kasich the best candidate to face off against the Democrats come November.

Hard-right voters seek a classic conservative candidate who preaches Christian values, opposes abortion and ultimately will stick to their guns when it comes to traditional Republican discourse. Yes, these ideologies are an important part of American politics. But it is imperative for the longevity of the Republican Party that strong conservatives work toward the political center, considering the remarkably popular liberal opposition who could attract on-the-fence young voters.

While Cruz toes the party line, Kasich worked outside of Washington for most of the new millennium. During his tenure at Lehman Brothers, Kasich helped Americans secure the resources they needed to succeed and create jobs — a private-sector experience that would be extremely beneficial to the struggling New York economy.

Kasich also stands apart as the lone Republican candidate with executive experience. Elected governor of an economically struggling Ohio in 2010, Kasich delivered a balanced budget four years running.

While the presidential hopeful does plan to eradicate Obamacare, he has proved to be more than capable of bipartisan delegation within his governing state, as he was instrumental in passing a Bill Clinton-proposed Welfare reform in 1996. His ability to cooperate with both parties is a huge pro in the current polarized political landscape. With both parties standing on opposite sides of almost every issue, having a president who has proven his eagerness and willingness to pursue bipartisan collaboration is crucial.

If nothing else, Kasich’s appeal comes from his humility. He exudes a simple likability that makes Jimmy Carter look like a jerk. Whether or not you have “modesty” on your list of presidential qualities, survey says: If you’re down-to-earth, you’ve got a good head on your shoulders.

Bottom line, Kasich’s potential to create jobs could be huge for struggling New Yorkers, while his moderate policies will definitely bring the parties closer together on many issues. His moderate approach toward executive leadership, paired with his past experience with bipartisan legislature during his time as senator provides him with the tools necessary to bring traditional conservatives into the 21st century.

For New York voters heading to the polls on Tuesday, picking Kasich is a step toward a moderate future for the Republican Party.

Brian Hamlin is a sophomore communications and rhetorical studies major. His column appears weekly. He can be reached at


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