Who is the scariest Republican running for president? A pretty good case can be made for all of them. Donald Trump is running a hate-filled campaign that blames minorities for all the problems of this country -- and it seems obvious that a Trump presidency would divide Americans and enthuse the hate mongers. Ted Cruz is creepy, a liar, and a religious bigot -- and his presidency would re-impose a terrible religious bigotry on this country. Marco Rubio is just an incompetent -- and would be a tool for the Republican Congress to impose its will on the country.
Those are all pretty scary scenarios, and the country would be seriously harmed by all of them. But my choice for scariest GOP candidate is John Kasich. How can I say that? Because he does a better job than any of the others in hiding the evil policies he believes in. Let me explain.
I watched an in-depth interview of Kasich on cable news a couple of days ago. And I was surprised. He struck me as a very nice man -- a man you would like to have dinner or a beer with, a man you wouldn't mind living next door to you. He gives the impression that he really wants a better country for all Americans -- the new face of that oxymoron, "compassionate conservatism". And I don't think it's an act.
So, why would I find this man so scary? Because behind his nice demeanor is a true believer in the failed GOP "trickle-down" economic policies. He truly believes that the cure for our economy is to give more money to the rich, and cut benefits for the poor. He wants to cut taxes for the rich (in spite of the fact they are making more money than ever) and the corporations (many of which don't pay any taxes and at, and none of which pay the "high taxes" he wants to cut).
His policies would further stagnate the wages of workers, while exploding the incomes of the rich -- which would expand the already huge wealth and income gap between the rich and the rest of us. He would deregulate Wall Street and the financial industry -- making it easier for them to abuse consumers. He would weaken unions (further shrinking the middle class) and continue the flow of good American jobs to low-wage countries. And he would refuse to raise the minimum wage -- forcing more workers into poverty.
In short, he is just a nicer-seeming version of George W. Bush -- and would continue all of the failed Bush economic policies -- which would be disastrous for our already faltering economy.
At this point, you may be thinking that he doesn't have the ability to become the GOP nominee. But while it's true that he can't get the number of delegates to go to the convention with the nomination in hand (even if he wins Ohio, which I think he will), that does not necessarily mean he can't wind up as the nominee.
With each passing week, it's looking more like the Republicans will have a brokered convention -- a convention where no candidate has the required number of delegates to win on the first ballot. In the ensuing ballots, the delegates will be free to support any candidate -- and it is not out of reason that they could wind up nominating the "nice" candidate (Kasich) -- the candidate who ran a positive campaign, and could possibly bring the party together.
And that's the truly scary part. If nominated, I think Kasich would have a better chance of defeating the Democratic nominee than any of the other Republican candidates -- and that would be very bad for the economy (possibly even leading to another Bush-like recession).
That's why I think John Kasich is the scariest Republican presidential candidate.