Editorial: GOP’s doomsday; Kasich’s insight

For many Republicans, Tuesday was doomsday. What no one thought possible just nine months ago — when real estate billionaire Donald Trump entered the race among 17 other Republican leaders — came to pass. Presidential nominee Donald Trump trounced Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the Indiana primary, prompting Cruz, and, hours later, candidate John Kasich, to drop out of the race. The candidate who once was considered a joke, who’s candidacy was a commercial farce meant to build up his personal brand, has bested the best of the Republican leadership.
That’s an incriminating commentary on Republican voters as well as a poor reflection on many of the GOP candidates.
Former Ohio Governor Kasich was one candidate, however, who remained dignified and held out hope that sanity might prevail.
 He was the self-defined “optimistic candidate in a gloomy race.” He was the lone candidate among the Republicans who rejected mudslinging and he repeatedly insisted during debates that they talk about the issues instead of attacking each other.
It didn’t work. Republican voters preferred the entertainers; the mudslingers; the guys willing to duke it out, insult for insult, as if that were proof of the kind of toughness it takes to be presidential. Many have said Trump is the death of the Republican Party, which at this stage in its evolution might be the best outcome — allowing others to rebuild anew.
But before we close this chapter on the Republican Party, Kasich leaves us with an insight worth sharing.  After voting in Ohio’s primary on March 15, according to a piece in the New York Times, Kasich was asked what surprised him most about running for president. The biggest surprise, he said, was finding out “how many people out there are lonely… I’ve come to realize that there are a lot of people who just would like to be made to feel special.”
That’s no doubt true in Vermont, too, and throughout Addison County. How to connect with those who are lonely and make them feel an important part of the community, is also a way to make our towns strong, our state strong, our political parties strong, and our nation more connected to each other. With Trump in the mix, that won’t happen on the national level in this election year, but it’s worth focusing on at the state and local level.
— Angelo S. Lynn

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