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John Kasich Talks About His Book

John Kasich, former Republican congressman from the state of Ohio and currently a popular television host on the Fox News Channel, is the author of a new book, Stand for Something: The Battle for America’s Soul. In it, Mr. Kasich laments the erosion of values such as honesty, integrity, personal responsibility, and humility, and he proposes how to reclaim these fundamental American values and apply them to the world of politics, business, sports, and education.

John Kasich says that in America today as well as in many other places, too many people are willing to exchange their integrity for success, money, and fame. Speaking with host Carol Castiel of VOA News Now’s Press Conference USA, Mr. Kasich says that in politics, for example, we have a choice – partisanship or principle. Mr. Kasich says the greatest problems the Republicans have had, including the current administration, is that they seem to have forgotten that they came to Washington to reform government.

And the Democrats, he suggests, lack a cohesive program of their own and seem to focus mainly on what they are against. That’s why, he says, politicians are not dealing with the fundamental issues, such as health care and social security. When he was in Congress and chairman of the House Budget Committee, Mr. Kasich says, he often worked with Democrats to get the legislative job done. He says the best part of politics is when you are fighting over ideas, and the worst part is when you are fighting over power.

According to John Kasich, what really matters in life is how you are grounded, and not how many cars you drive. The lessons that we teach our children and that our parents taught us come from the scriptures, and they are about humility and teamwork and persistence. And parents need to direct their children to the right role models. John Kasich says this philosophy has implications for foreign policy.

He praises the rock star Bono for supporting debt relief in Africa and the Peace Corps volunteers for their service. However, he criticizes some aspects of U.S. foreign aid policy, which he calls “corporate welfare.” He says he is also concerned about a “lack of humility” in approaching other societies.

John Kasich says he sees a “deflated” Republican base and an “energized” Democratic base in the 2006 congressional elections. He predicts that 2006 will not be a good year for Republicans, but doesn’t know if it will be “bad enough” for them to lose both the House and the Senate. In hindsight Mr. Kasich criticizes the war in Iraq because it turned up no weapons of mass destruction, and he says it’s not Washington’s job to “create democracy in the world through the barrel of a gun.” However, he thinks leaving Iraq too quickly would “send the wrong signal” and might endanger the United States in the future. On the other hand, he is optimistic about Iraq’s new government, and he suggests that Iraqis need to “put their children’s future ahead of sectarian violence.”

For full audio of the program Press Conference USA click here.