There are people that are authentically nice. Authentically nice people perform acts of charity and have the tendency to show courage and bravery when necessary. They aren’t afraid to confront a bully when they witness acts of injustice. They come to the rescue and do what they can out of love, many times self-sacrificially.
Then there are people who are passively nice. Passively nice people may perform kind acts or show courtesy, but they only do so to avoid conflict or for self-gratification. Passively nice people aren’t actually nice; they are jerks. If they see a bully picking on someone, they will ignore the injustice or make excuses for not getting involved.
Enter American politics and 2016.
Passively nice politicians give you a firm handshake and tell you what you want to hear, but then get to Washington or the state capital and refuse to fight on behalf of the people who sent them there. What they deliver is failure at best and betrayal at worst. They will fight against “injustices” but only if there is some benefit — or cost — behind the action or inaction.
These passively nice politicians (read: jerks) read about bakers in Oregon being fined $135,000 for refusing to participate in a gay wedding and say, “If someone wants a cupcake, make ’em a cupcake, okay?”
They hear about the Atlanta Fire Chief who was terminated, after 34 years of outstanding service, for writing one paragraph that dissented from the sexual ideology of the left in a devotional book for his church and say, “Oh jeez, oh man, do we really have to pass a law? Can’t we just chill out a bit and stop suing people?”
They see the bullies literally destroying people’s lives and businesses and say, “Why do I have to help you?”
But, hey, if you’re a kid that has had a rough couple of years, dealt with suicide and drug abuse — you can come get a hug at a John Kasich town hall.
If you’re a union factory worker that has been laid off because your company folded or moved to Mexico — come to a town hall where Gov. Kasich can bring you up to the stage and give you a nice big hug in front of all of the TV cameras and tell you to “believe in America.”
I’m not a #NeverTrump (I get close sometimes), but I am most definitely a #NeverKasich. Trump may be brash and he may be inappropriate, but at least he’s not a jerk (passively nice).
Ted Cruz would do himself and America a service by working hard in the upcoming states to ensure that Kasich, the nicest jerk you know, doesn’t win any delegates in any of them.
Terry Schilling is the executive director of American Principles Project.