Koch-loving, anti-union, enthusiastic participant in the Republican War on Women, Ohio Governor John Kasich, who, back in April, was waiting for God to tell him whether he should run for president or not; who in December of last year launched “A new mentoring program funded with taxpayer dollars” that “required ALL Ohio school districts to become partners with a faith-based organization (church) and a corporation in order to have access to the public school money,” claimed yesterday on CNN that “I don’t read a Bible to figure out what I think.”
Before you laugh, it is probably true he does not read the Bible. Many Evangelicals seem to suffer from this trait of not reading the text they are trying to shove down all our throats. That doesn’t mean they don’t also use it to lend their petty bigotries an aura of sanctity.
We are told,
Instead, he said his push on issues like improving mental health care are driven more by his “heart for people,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash in an interview that aired Sunday on “State of the Union.”
“I care about them,” Kasich said. “I’m not saying other people don’t, but it touches me specially.”
That must be why he believes he has a mandate, in a country founded on the idea of freedom of religion, to force his religion down other peoples’ throats. Because he cares about them.
That’s the old story of conservative Christianity. And it was done with fire and sword, often enough. Frankly, we could do without that kind of care. What Kasich really cares about, like all his fellow Republican leaders, is finding new ways of making money for his rich friends by privatizing everything in site.
If he can do it in the name of his god, all the better.
In fact, as Right Wing Watch reported in June, Kasich kicked off his presidential bid at a Religious Right gathering Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition.
Yet he told State of the Union‘s Dana Bash, “Conservatism is giving everybody a chance to be able to be successful. That’s the way (Ronald) Reagan was. I mean, that’s common sense.”
Right. That’s why Status of Women in the States, a project of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, gives Ohio nothing but Cs and Ds on their report card, including a “C-” on “Poverty and Opportunity” and a “D” on “Health & Well-Being.”
That’s why he opposes same sex marriage. That’s why he wants to regulate women’s reproductive rights (not because he cares about women’s health and safety). That’s why he cut taxes for his rich friends and raised them on the poor. That’s why he embraces voter suppression. Because, why ever would you need to vote?
You know. Unless you’re a Republican.
To illustrate just how much Kasich believes in everybody having a chance to succeed, ThinkProgress reported in 2011,
Delivering on his vision for a “new way,” Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) “is on pace to be the first governor since 1962 to have an entire Cabinet without any racial diversity.” Every one of his 22 full-time agency head appointments has been a white person. Only five are women…when the caucus [Ohio Legislative Black Caucus] offered him help in finding qualified minority applicants, Kasich told Turner, “I don’t need your people“
That’s the measure of Kasich’s love for the masses. He says he only wants the best people, and of course, as we all know, in Republican-speak that means white folks, preferably male.
So no, “giving everybody a chance to be able to be successful” is not conservatism. Conservatism is tied to tradition. To the status quo. Conservatism does not and has never cared about giving everybody a chance – only maintaining the right of the rich to keep that opportunity to themselves.
You would think this guy, to listen to him yesterday, had never said “failure to incorporate a faith-based non-profit (Christian church) will eliminate a school district’s eligibility for the taxpayer funding.” This is what he told Dash:
I think (abortion) is an important issue, but I think there’s many other issues that are really critical. Early childhood. Infant mortality. The environment. Education. I think we focus too much on just one issue, and now that the issue of gay marriage is kind of off the table, we’re kind of down to one social issue.
That would be a completely unbiblical attack on Women’s Reproductive Rights.
And this is just another example of the vast gulf which exists between what Republicans say and what Republicans do. The two have very few places of intersection. We have had others who have tried to sound moderate – Chris Christie and Jeb Bush to name two – but like Kasich, they are wolves in sheep’s clothing (with all due apologies to wolves).
If you’re in doubt as to exactly where this pretend-moderate stands, just think about the fact that Jeb Bush and John Kasich are Pat Robertson’s presidential dream team.
That should tell you all you need to know.
Photo: CNN screen capture
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.