Contrary to what readers familiar with my columns might conclude, I’m not incapable of voting for a Republican — including for president.
Trouble is, the kind I’d consider voting for can’t even win a primary.
Take John Kasich, for example.
His opening statement in Tuesday’s debate criticized the divisive, argumentative dynamic between Republicans and Democrats.
Intelligent debate is good, but the loud fighting Kasich criticized is useless. Healing that divide wouldn’t be easy, but recognizing its existence is important.
Kasich isn’t perfect — no candidate from either party is — but he does seem to have an understanding of what is feasible with compromise and what isn’t.
Senate Bill 5, for example, was one of Ohio’s bad ideas. It limited the collective bargaining rights of public employees like police officers and teachers — groups that deserve all the benefits they get and that shouldn’t be messed with.
As governor, he signed it into law, but then more than 60 percent of voters showed they were against it in a referendum. Kasich, realizing what his constituents wanted, dropped the issue.
If I’m going to vote for a Republican, it’s going to be one who is a reasonable person, willing to compromise and listen to everyone. It’s not going to be one going so far to the right they’re adding new ground to the spectrum.
But reasonable options like Kasich, or maybe Rand Paul, are polling around 2 or 3 percent.
Instead, Republicans flock to Donald Trump, who wants to ban Muslims from entering the country.
How would that even work? How would anyone accurately figure out who is a Muslim and who is not?
And how would that help unify peaceful Muslims and non-Muslims against Muslim extremists?
They flock to Ted Cruz, who apparently thinks it’s possible to carpet bomb only ISIS.
If that were possible, it would be happening. But ISIS simply doesn’t occupy large areas with no one else present. Either the U.S. carries out carpet bombing, knowing it is destroying people and places not tied to ISIS, or it bombs strategically.
Cruz’s option isn’t rooted in reality. It would be nice if eradicating ISIS was that simple, but it isn’t.
They flock to the candidates who would have to work the hardest to win next November.
To be fair, this isn’t just a Republican issue. But on the Democratic side, the spectrum ends with ideas like free college for everyone, which is impractical but not damaging in the way policies based on stereotypes and racism would be.
So I keep leaning that way without feeling overwhelming support for any particular candidate. At least when I watch their debates, I don’t have an overwhelming feeling of not wanting the frontrunners to become president.