If you are John Kasich, which means you are a GOP POTUS candidate with a campaign that is pretty much dead in the water, a candidate that got booed at the last debate, what do you do? Well, sparking up a conversation is a good way to get some traction. And Kasich sure as heck has accomplished that goal. Politico quotes a Kasich speech to the National Press Club Tuesday:
“U.S. public diplomacy and international broadcasting have lost their focus on the case for Western values and ideals and effectively countering our opponents’ propaganda and disinformation,” Kasich said. “I will consolidate them into a new agency that has a clear mandate to promote the core, Judeo-Christian Western values that we and our friends and allies share: the values of human rights, the values of democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of association.”
Commentary on this idea runs from the Left screaming “Church/State violations” to yawns from some on the right who see it as a Radio Free America redux – but everybody is talking about it. It reminds me that the biggest moneymaker in professional wrestling is almost always the heel, and Darth Vader is the biggest character to emerge from Star Wars. Whatever you think of the idea, everybody has something to say about Kasich today, which puts his campaign on the map when it was in danger of falling off.
Personally, every time I hear Kasich speak he strikes me as a died-in-the-wool Evangelical that is working very hard to keep his normative “Evangospeak” out of his vocabulary. I think the “Judeo-Christian Western values” phrase is just a point where his Evangospeak filter failed. The phrase is entirely reminiscent of James Dobson from 15 years ago. Absent that phrase it really is just a Radio Free America redux.
But I’m thinking maybe Kasich ought to let the filter fail a little more often. Suddenly he matters.