John Kasich will solve ISIS with a federal program of mass-converting heathens abroad

We’re only two days into the week, and we’ve already gotten about a month’s worth of searingly bad ideas as to how to deal with Islamic terrorism following last Friday’s Paris attacks. Governors have declared that they won’t let Syrian refugees into their states, even though that isn’t how terrorists enter our country and restricting refugee movement is illegal. Senators have proposed passing legislation barring Muslim refugees. House members have tried to strip funding from the federal agency charged with processing refugees. Presidential candidates suggested closing mosques.

If only there were an adult in the room, a moderate Republican who can show us what it means when cooler heads prevail. You know, like John Kasich:

As part of a broad national security plan to defeat ISIS, Republican Presidential candidate John Kasich proposed creating a new government agency to push Judeo-Christian values around the world.

The new agency, which he hasn’t yet named, would promote a Jewish- and Christian-based belief system to four regions of the world: China, Iran, Russia and the Middle East.

“We need to beam messages around the world” about the freedoms Americans enjoy, Kasich said in an interview with NBC News Tuesday.

Setting aside the rather obvious objection that the American government is prohibited from promoting religious propaganda (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” are literally the first words of the First Amendment), this proposal is a hot mess for a few other reasons:

kasich horse

Artist’s rendition of John Kasich spreading the Gospel to Iran

One, as NBC notes in their reporting on Kasich’s proposal, the United States already has a government program, Voice of America, that promotes American culture abroad. Between radio, digital and TV, it reaches 188 million people around the world each week. Kasich’s proposal is superfluous.

Two, Kasich likes to say that he made a name for himself in DC for cutting government programs, and is fond of Reganite orthodoxy that government is always the problem. NBC pressed him on this point, and he dismissed it, saying that not all government programs are created equal. Kasich seems to be implying here that when he says “government program,” all he really means is the social safety net and business regulations, but I’m not buying it. This would amount to a large expenditure that has zero chance of producing his desired result. His program is wasteful.

Three, what makes Kasich think that China, Russia and Iran — countries that are already wary of American meddling in their affairs — are going to take kindly to American-sponsored culture creep? Kasich’s proposal is bad international relations.

Four, scratch the surface of the Islamic State’s religious claims, and you’ll find that frustration with the very American values and culture — and particularly the expansion of said values and culture — is one of their core grievances. How else does Kasich think they interpreted the War on Terror? Kasich may not believe this, but “Judeo-Christian values,” which only ever seem to be championed by Christians, aren’t universally accepted in the rest of the world. Kasich’s proposal would backfire and make us less safe in the long run.

John Kasich is supposed to be the moderate voice in the Republican field. He’s supposed to be this year’s Jon Huntsman — the dad holding the keys to the car reminding the cool kids not to drink and drive. Of course, this was never actually the case, but moderation these days seems to be relative. But responding to the Islamic State with an unconstitutional, backwards, superfluous propaganda program is the opposite of moderate. It’s abject religious fanaticism for religious fanaticism’s sake.

Dear Lord this week is getting out of hand.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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33 Responses to “John Kasich will solve ISIS with a federal program of mass-converting heathens abroad”

  1. Metta Yousa says:

    I was watching Fox yesterday and they were beating the fear drum (as usual) about these refugees. Then this (what I can only assume) small dicked grade A a**hole chimes in and equates it with the mexico border problem. And this guy started yelling and frothing at the mouth like a rabid dog. He then ran over to Brit Hume’s news desk and started humping Meghan Kelly’s leg while Sean Hannity cut his penis with a razor while crying and promising his mother he wouldn’t have any more dirty thoughts.

    It was kind of like that…

  2. Metta Yousa says:

    Plenty of cowboys in Ohio. You must not get out much. And Kasich adding Russia to his ‘Axis of Absurdity’, as if Russia is NOT a Christian majority is hilarious and shows his lack of knowledge about one of our greatest world competitors. What does this goofball think? That the atheistic USSR is still around?

  3. Metta Yousa says:

    What a pinhead. So Russia isn’t Judeo-Christian? The country isn’t…I don’t know…Russian Orthodox? I mean, Russia definitely has all the fear mongering xeno/homophobia that is so often the ‘Christian’ calling card.

  4. Humming Birder says:

    Ha ha! I had to upvote you. Still looks like a cowboy, though.

  5. rwlorenz says:

    Pathetically, Kasich is this year’s Jon Huntsman. That is a clear comment on the level of delusion among current Republicans. Imagine what 2020 will look like if anything close to the current trend of behavior continues.

  6. Bomer says:

    That’s not a cowboy. The painting’s title is Equestrian Portrait of Prince Balthasar Charles by Diego Valazquez (1635)

  7. Humming Birder says:

    I respect Gov Kasich. He really is a moderate Republican. Actually, my comment was a knee-jerk reaction to an article clearly intended to malign him *because he is running for President*. If he wasn’t, the author wouldn’t have bothered.

    It also bothers me that Gov. Kasich is photoshopped as a cowboy. He’s an Ohioan. I don’t mind a little parody, but that picture sure as heck reminds me of someone from say, Texas, like GWB. And that’s not a fair comparison.

    The only true concerns I have about harboring more refugees is ensuring we do it right. We have to make sure to provide adequate housing, jobs, education, health care, transportation, food until they get jobs, and help them assimilate. Refugees don’t come here because they want to. It’s a last resort. But if we’re going to take them in, we have to do it right, and we have to treat them with the same respect we hope they afford us.

  8. nicho says:

    OMG — don’t forget the smiting. The god of the OT was always smiting someone — lots of someones. Guys would go out and smite and the big guy would tell them they needed to smite more and more. Kill the women, the children, the babies. Smash their brains out. The god of the OT makes Al Qaeda look like a bunch of wusses.

  9. 2karmanot says:

    I would humbly add to your good list: talking snakes, Immaculate deception, and angels on high, who trapped by gravity approximately in the vicinity of Jupiter do magic stuff for humans, especially around X-Mas.

  10. 2karmanot says:

    Not to worry. I have obtained the precious metals salvation rights and plan to set up a socialist co-operative so all of us can benefit and celebrate when all the A’holes rapture.

  11. 2karmanot says:

    “—–about the freedoms Americans enjoy,” Goebbels’ bones just rattled.

  12. Buford2k11 says:

    wasn’t this the guy who wanted his own, Governor controlled media? what is his hangup? oh, the truth must be suppressed….

  13. Buford2k11 says:

    They haven’t figured out who the Anti-Christ is yet…unless it is Bennie the Blade with a NUKE?

  14. goulo says:


    “Ben Carson Defends Himself Against Allegations That He Never Attempted to Murder a Child,” wrote New York magazine, in perhaps the single funniest headline presidential politics has ever seen.

    Trump commented during a rally in Illinois: “You can say anything
    about anybody, and their poll numbers go up. This is the only election
    in history where it’s better off if you stabbed somebody. What are we
    coming to?”

    We are coming to the moment when Trump is the voice of reason, that’s what.

  15. nicho says:

    Matt Taibbi has a brilliantly hilarious column on the GOP field

  16. goulo says:

    What in the world do Obama’s anti-terrorism policies (many of which I disagree with, BTW – just because someone criticizes a Republican doesn’t mean one blindly supports a Democrat) have to do with whether Kasich’s anti-terrorism idea is ridiculous and stupid?

    I’ve never understood this impulse to respond to criticism of a member of one major party with criticism of a member of the other major party. It’s like a kid trying deflect blame “But, mom, why are you criticizing me?! Bobby was stealing cookies too!!!”

    In any case, bringing war refugees to the US does not have a primary goal of fighting terrorism. So the question makes about as much sense as asking whether, e.g., improving garbage recycling, or adding bike lanes, will be more effective at fighting terrorism. That’s not what they’re for.

    Bringing war refugees to the US is about doing the right thing and helping people whose lives are in severe danger. Living up to the supposed ideals of the US, you know, about the tired, the poor, the huddled masses. Not once again just refusing to accept war refugees like we did with German Jews fleeing the Nazi terror.

    (Especially since the US’s gratuitous war adventure in Iraq created much of the ISIS chaos. If you burn down your neighbor’s house, you could at least have the decency to help him find a new home…)

    However, if you want to consider the effects on fighting terrorism, I would say that showing goodwill to Muslims by accepting war refugees, instead of treating them as terrifying pariahs and clearly demonstrating that the US does not want to help Muslims, probably would indeed be helpful in reducing Islamic terrorism. Certainly more helpful than trying to convert them all to Christianity.

  17. Indigo says:

    Meanwhile, praying for peace among the nations with Blessed Emperor Charles of Austria . . .

  18. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Huh? That’s like asking what the price of corn in Iowa has to do with terrorism.

  19. nicho says:

    Exactly. If we’re going to have terrorism, it should be Christian terrorism. They’ve had so much more practice at it.

  20. nicho says:

    I love the smell of Fox News non sequiturs in the morning.

  21. mf_roe says:

    Idiot Christians don’t know that the Koran places Jesus second to Muhammad in terms of being Prophets of God. The teachings of Jesus are in Islam with the exception that he is not considered a God.

  22. Humming Birder says:

    And what ideas has Obama come up with? Will bringing Syrian refugees to the US be more effective at fighting terrorism?

  23. goulo says:

    Terrorist attacks seem to really reduce the average IQ of the human race.

    The really sad scary thing is that there are probably very many people nodding along saying “Yes, he is right! If we convert all the Moslems to Christianity, then there won’t be any more Islamic terrorism! We should do that!”

  24. crazymonkeylady says:

    Oh, by all means let us start a Crusade to Save the World for Jeebus!

  25. shpilk says:

    Too few choirboys ..

  26. shpilk says:

    What’s really freakish about this is that Daesh believes that the Apocalypse will come when Westerners try either to attack or convert them.

    Even more freakish – Jesus will reappear – yes, *Jesus* will reappear, and end the World.

    Now, talk about your Mutual Rapture.

  27. Indigo says:

    Maybe so, but they’re not American Protestants and that’s what he’s talkin’ about.

  28. igd93 . says:

    Judeo-Christian Values? What does Mr Kaisich think Islam is composed of? A very brief but useful way to think of how Islam feels about any given thing is to take the Jewish and Christian positions and split the difference. The notion that Islam is this alien and outlandish creed serves the interests of xenophobic reactionaries, not the public at large.

  29. Outspoken1 says:

    Judeo-Christian values – hmmmm…., well that includes homophobia, oppression of women, required thought control to not question the religion, a sacred book (The Bible with a capitol ‘T’), indoctrination of children into their proper roles as deemed by ‘God’ and interpreted by man, quoting scripture out of context and quoting the various translations to further their goals, rigid adherence to religious rule which is to be above the rule of law (humanity’s laws-not the Law of God)… yep sounds just like the solution – or … sounds just like the Islamic extremists. Huh!?!?

  30. fry1laurie says:

    The Department of Crusades, courtesy John Kasuck. (just another Ted Croooooz can kill when HE becomes president).

  31. PrahaPartizan says:

    Russia, John? Seriously? Russia is already a member of the Judeo-Christian club, as anyone knowledgeable about the world knows. Hell, Moscow’s the The Third Rome. Go talk to the Russian Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. He’ll confirm that in a heartbeat. But you have to know that Orthodox Churches are Christian, something most of America’s “Christians” have never bothered to learn in their fundamentalist megachurches. We’ve tried taming ignorance but there’s no curing stupid.

  32. Doug105 says:

    Ya, what could go wrong with that.

  33. Indigo says:

    Yeah, that’ll work great. General Douglas MacArthur had the idea that the Occupation of Japan would be an ideal time to convert the Japanese to Catholicism. That’d solve their aggressive personality disorder. Uh-huh.

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