The Stewardship Report – Three Presidential Endorsements

New York, N.Y. The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness herewith Endorses in the Democratic Primary U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, in the Republican Primary Ohio Governor John Kasich, and as an Independent, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In the Democratic Primary: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders

Most of the American public has only gotten to know Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders over the past nine months. But his career represents a decades-long struggle for economic and social equality, first as a student marching with MLK on the National Mall, then as a Mayor of Burlington VT, and finally, serving eight terms in the House of Representatives and two in the Senate. To this day, the man who grew up in the wake of the New Deal is the most steadfast of believers in the government’s ability to help make the American Dream possible to all, and not just the privileged few. Sanders’ career in Washington is characterized by humility, consistency, and most of all, integrity. He bears all of these qualities in his run for the Democratic nominee for President, and would carry those qualities with him into the White House.

21581179719_5ec5445633_oU.S. Senator from Vermont, the Hon. Bernie Sanders. Photo: Phil Roeder.

Sanders is calling for a “political revolution” which involves reducing the influence of money in politics, eliminating chronic student debt and underemployment among young people, fighting for an energy reform policy that will help reverse past environmental irresponsibility and dependence on the planet’s shrinking supply of fossil fuels, and ending the perpetual quagmire of corrosive military intervention in the Middle East. Sanders’ proposals – in particular his Medicare For All initiative and his job-creating initiative of fixing public infrastructure – build upon President Obama’s successes, and maintain the momentum of progress towards long-term prosperity.

Both Sanders and Hillary Clinton share a similar progressive view of America’s future. Their distinct differences lie in the means of achieving that ideal. Clinton’s “work within the system” Progressivism is commendable, and she has a solid record of using partisan politics to her advantage. As the public’s burgeoning disillusionment with the “status-quo” incites, however, profound change is needed to the systems that have proven disadvantageous for the middle and working classes.

There is a need for profound change to a corporate taxation system that allows the rich micro-minority to get richer as everybody else’s wages stagnate. There is a need for profound change to a criminal justice system that puts more people in jail than any other country on Earth, and devastates minority communities through unfair profiling and brutality. There is a need for a profound change to an education system that leaves the average college graduate $30,000 in debt after graduation. These issues demand a candidate who is willing to take bold action to achieve bold results. That candidate is Bernie Sanders.

But his brand Progressivism does not mean a lack of ability to compromise, which is perhaps the most important characteristic a President must possess in today’s divisive slog of Washington politics. His bipartisan achievements include working with Senator John McCain to write legislation reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs, expanding healthcare access to vets, and serving on the Senate Budget Committee, earning the respect of conservative colleagues like Republican Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions.

It’s undeniable that, if elected, Bernie would have a hard time getting a lot of his programs through Congress, but that challenge is bound to confront any President so long as at least one house of Congress is controlled by the opposite party. Bernie has proven again and again that he is utterly unafraid to face any challenge, and has the will to strike constructive deals while staying true to his progressive values.

Whether you agree with him or not, Sanders promotes a brand of civil discourse unprecedented in recent years, based on respectful attention to what brings us together rather than what tears us apart. He has never run an attack ad. His campaign relies solely on public donations, and he has no SuperPac spending millions of dollars on his behalf to claw at his opponents. His rhetoric, although sometimes blunt and curmudgeonly, is consistently aimed to forward the discussion of resolving national strife.

This is no small feat in modern politics. In Barrack Obama’s final State of the Union Address, he admitted that one of the “few regrets” of his Presidency was that “the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better.” Will Bernie be able to reverse this trend single-handedly? Of course not. No one person can. But Sanders, more than any other candidate, is a figure that has the vision and grassroots momentum to reinvigorate constructive civil discourse on a broad scale, empowering every American – across all ideological or political factions – to dispel the notion that we are incapable of taking collective action towards the common good.

In the Republican Primary: Ohio Governor John Kasich

John Kasich is an anomaly within the Republican race. For a field of candidates so intent on equating themselves with Ronald Reagan, Kasich has been the only one who has promoted a brand of quiet, inclusive conservatism akin to Reagan’s. In a race that has been centered around stinging sound bytes of demagoguery, Kasich proudly outlines a platform based on “bringing people together” and “lifting people up.” His commitment to that attitude of governance, and his extensive experience to back up his idealism, is what makes him the fittest and most qualified candidate for President in the GOP field.

600-1b0_oOhio Governor John Kasich. Photo: Marc Nozell.

Kasich hasn’t gained much traction so far, primarily because of how hard it is to be heard above the stifling noise from many of his opponents. Kasich has shown remarkable poise sifting through the chaos, and has maintained an optimistic message, highlighting his past record of successes as precedent for responsible conservative policy implementation in the White House.

Much of that record is related to his lifelong service to the state of Ohio, first as state representative, then as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (where he was a ranking member of both the Armed Services and Budgetary Committees), and most importantly, as Ohio’s Governor. Anyone who has followed Kasich knows he’s a bit of a broken record when it comes to touting his accomplishments in Ohio, but those accomplishments are solid. As Governor, he was able to balance Ohio’s budget, improve police-civilian relations, and grow opportunities for certain small business owners, all in a notoriously finicky swing state. He even signed off on expanding Medicaid in Ohio under the Affordable Care Act, because he felt that the government “cannot take healthcare coverage from people just for a philosophical reason.” Regardless of political ideology, that’s bonafide experience in good judgement – something that many of the GOP candidates lack.

Furthermore, when it comes to electability, Kasich offers the finest alternative to Trump and Cruz, who would both be disastrous nominees for the GOP. After disappointing results in Iowa and New Hampshire, he is still somewhat of a long shot. But as the Republican field continues to thin out, and the so-called GOP “establishment” zeros in on a David to defeat the two Goliath front-runners in Cruz and Trump, they would be wise to consider Kasich. He is their best shot at the White House, and his message of hope in the midst of political anarchy has the potential to quell the anger of the far reaches of his party, while satisfying moderates and independents as well.

As an Independent: Former N.Y.C. Mayor Michael Bloomberg

3465791787_669cee5a75_oFormer N.Y.C. Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Photo: Ralph Alswang.

Owen Alderson has written this publication’s 2016 Presidential Endorsements.

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The Editors
The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness is the communications platform of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org). There are now more than 100 contributors around the world to this publication.

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