It’s fair to project that John Kasich will not win the Republican nomination for president. He nonetheless continues to enjoy the pulpit of candidacy, and has taken the opportunity to offer a contrarian narrative in the wake of Tuesday’s ISIS attacks in Brussels. From the New York Times:
Gov. John Kasich of Ohio on Tuesday cautioned against monitoring Muslim-Americans after the attacks in Brussels, saying that such a step would create division and harm the country’s ability to gather intelligence.
His comments came after one of his rivals, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, called for law enforcement “to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”
Mr. Kasich told reporters in Minneapolis, “We are not at war with Islam; we’re at war with radical Islam.”
“In our country,” he said, “we don’t want to create divisions where we say, ‘O.K., well your religion, you’re a Muslim, so therefore we’re going to keep an eye on you.’” He added that “the last thing we need is more polarization.”
It seems unlikely that such moderation will earn the Kasich campaign any traction. While blanket targeting of an entire religion may prove impractical, immoral, and illegal, Republican primary voters clearly respond to tough talk about taking the fight to terrorists. An appropriate response to Kasich’s assertion that we are at war with radical Islam might be to ask: really? Because war between the world’s largest superpower and literally anyone shouldn’t take that long. Why have we been at it for 15 years? What would he propose to secure victory?