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John Kasich -- and Fellow Republican 'Never Trumpers'

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, just announced his decision.

For his presidential vote on a mail-in ballot, he wrote in the failed 2008 Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Apparently, Kasich found Wendell Willkie too difficult to spell.

For the umpteenth time, Donald Trump, out of 2016's 17 Republican candidates, placed 20th on my list. He is a populist -- not a fiscal conservative -- with an assortment of views, some conservative, many centrist and even liberal. Has there ever been such a blatantly protectionist modern Republican candidate? Has any former Republican presidential candidate ever promised six weeks of paid family leave? One expects his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, to say nothing about reforming entitlement programs that even President Barack Obama called "unsustainable." But Trump offers no plan for reforms, blithely asserting that we can grow our way out of debt.

But as to Hillary Clinton, goodness, where to start?

Through the Clinton Foundation, Hillary and Bill Clinton took advantage of her job as Secretary of State to sell influence and access. Hillary clearly wanted to avoid scrutiny and to control what information would be released and how it would be released. So she set up a private server in her basement on which she conducted official business -- and on which, despite her initial denials, she sent and received classified information. Now she steadfastly insists her server was not hacked. Yet FBI head James Comey found, at the very least, the email accounts of people to whom she sent information had been hacked. It is, therefore, highly probable that our adversaries obtained classified information that could be used against us in ways we perhaps may never know.

Then there is the Iran nuclear deal, which Hillary Clinton touted. WikiLeaks reveals that John Podesta, Clinton's campaign chair, replied "Yup" to an email sent to him calling the deal "the greatest appeasement since Chamberlain gave Czechoslovakia to Hitler." Inexplicably, Clinton urged the U.S. to join the British and the French in bombing Libya -- a country with no WMDs -- for humanitarian purposes, which resulted in a bloody civil war that made the humanitarian crisis much worse.

As to the economy, Clinton maintains that things are great because Obama dashed into a phone booth, put on his Superman costume and rescued the economy by raising taxes, imposing hundreds of billions in new regulations, signing Obamacare, spending nearly $1 trillion on a so-called "stimulus," and signing off on an assortment of other tax-and-spend gimmicks like "cash for caulkers" and "cash for clunkers." Clinton criticizes none of this. Indeed, she wants to "build on" Obama's economic policies.

As to Obamacare, contrary to promises made, premiums are going up -- over 60 percent in at least two states, along with higher co-pays and deductibles. And no, families did not, as Obama promised, "save" an average of $2,500 per household.

As for Kasich's voting dilemma, he mirrors the same angst experienced by many of my never-Trump Republican friends. One recently sent me the following email:

"My sons -- early 30s -- are in town. I did not bring up Trump, or push. They know I am politically conservative and lean Republican. They said, Dad, you won't vote for Trump, right? I said, no way. They said, whew. They find him disgusting. I said, right, I raised you well. I said, Hillary is horrible, but she's only there for four years, way better than letting a moron in the White House. They agreed -- will vote in Florida and Colorado, swing states. They said, Dad, you won't be upset if we don't vote for the Republican? I said, no, vote for who you want -- but Trump is not even close to being a Republican. Not even close. He is a Democrat/populist. I hate Hillary, but know Trump is a complete idiot. Glad I raised my sons to recognize a carnival barker. They would not even consider voting for Trump. They feel he is racist, sexist and just plain stupid."

Why bother responding, right? But I did:

"Right, Trump will reenact slavery ('racist'), end women's suffrage ('sexist') and make decisions dumber than setting up an unsecured basement server on which to send and receive classified information -- then lie about it and delete emails after getting a subpoena. He'll support Obamacare, the Iran Deal, stimulus, cash for caulkers, cash for clunkers, unleashing the EPA, and pulling all the troops from Iraq ('just plain stupid.')"

My friend replied: "Just saying my sons are just young businessmen, lean Republican. But they cannot fathom Trump. Just think he is a bloated cartoon nut job. If that is where the Republican Party is headed, kids like my sons will not be on board, that's all."

Me: "Well, one would think young Republican-leaning businessmen would not want their taxes raised, regulatory agencies unleashed, and Obamacare turned into single-payer. But what do I know?"

Only days to go...

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