The 53% Against the 47%: A Lesson in Leadership

Kasich’s approval rating is at 40 percent just two months into his tenure as governor of Ohio. Doc Thompson was critical of Kasich’s marketing of himself and the confusing messages coming from the governor’s office. Doc also discusses the West Chester Police and Fire Department wages from the article at this site. The overall consensus is that expectation among all federal workers, from the governor all the way to the desk worker expects too much compensation from the tax payer, and many are guilty of taking advantage of the bureaucracy in government to make very good jobs for themselves. Listen to broadcast here.

I’m actually amazed that Kasich’s approval rating is as high as 40 percent considering how bold he has been on many of his policies. There is no question that Kasich’s budget is going to be painful for many people. I would have to say that if I were governor, I probably wouldn’t do things much different from Kasich is doing. I personally wouldn’t think too much on the pain of the moment, because what’s right is right. It’s not Kasich’s fault that so many people have become addicted to public money. It’s like taking the bottle away from an alcoholic while they are trying to get drunk. Of course the drunk will be upset, and they usually protest that they are not alcoholics. I’d probably hire people to serve under me at good business wages so I could get the best people and not the typical “kiss ass” political climbers, I’d probably want to control the video of my presentations so they couldn’t be used against me in the future, and I’d probably be caught numerous times calling police that pulled me over, “idiots” because it would make me angry. I’m a very aggressive guy and I keep my eyes on the end result, and I see in Kasich the same traits.

Now people aren’t used to that. They are used to wishy-washy politicians that spend their own political careers not displaying any real courage. They carefully watch the poll numbers and can be moved from a position within days of stating something, depending on the power of the lobbyist.

I would say that Kasich understands like many people who are in leadership positions that a vast majority of any given group will be lost no matter how much you try to explain it. And those types of people don’t like to waste time explaining their vision to people who won’t get it anyway.

Is that the best way to present material, of course not. But it is a symptom of real leadership. Kasich knows that approximately 53% of all people in America have some leadership ability or at least the ability to grapple with difficult issues. They can see where the headlights are pointed and what’s in the light of the headlights, and they get it. 46% of all Americans can’t even see the headlights without glasses. They need assistance, and these are the people who have a tendency to be attracted to public sector jobs, unions, and welfare. No matter what you do, they won’t understand until they can look at a problem in hind-sight.

It was reported that Kasich’s approval rating is below the levels enjoyed by the last three governors when they were in their start of their administrations. The Ohio Poll registered 68 percent approval for Democrat Ted Strickland in May 2007, 49 percent approval for Republican Bob Taft in March 1999 and 61 percent approval for Republican George Voinovich in February 1991. The reason for this is because those governors spent much of their time pandering to the 47% and therefore accomplished very little as leaders. They mistakenly assume that the 53% will always be there for them, which is unfair because the 53% get overlooked as they are the good citizens that work hard to support the nation. Unfortunately the squeaky wheel does get the grease, and those squeaky wheels are that 47%.

People aren’t used to a governor that has a reversed position and targets his governorship at the 53% that understand, even if they don’t agree. It appears that Kasich isn’t the only governor showing these tendencies. Scott Walker certainly appears to be the same way.

Now of that 53%, there is no doubt that those are the people who are usually on the fence on any given issue, and the number in Ohio appears to be about 13%, which are finding themselves affected by all the negative press surrounding S.B.5. That’s where the 40% comes from.

In the end, when the policies Kasich enacts solves many of the budget problems that Ohio finds itself in, it just might become the model that the greater nation will want to follow. But Kasich really doesn’t appear to be interested in opinion. You know the old adage, “opinions are like assholes, everyone has them.” A leader has to do what they know is right because they have the ability to see beyond the headlights flashing in the darkness. Their fault is that they don’t care to explain themselves to the 47%. Those people will never be happy anyway. But they will jump on the bandwagon when better times come along.

Kasich deserves an elevation of his man card if anything, for doing what many only talk about. He is doing what leaders do, they lead.

Rich Hoffman

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