In response to No, John Kasich, I don’t want Taylor Swift Tickets

As the hundreds of people who attended the event know, Ohio Governor John Kasich visited the University on Monday to participate in a town hall meeting with Richmond students and members of the Richmond community. The event was a tremendous success and I am incredibly proud of the hard work that everyone put into it in order to make it happen. The questions from Richmond students were thought provoking and impressive. Governor Kasich, whom I do not support for President, shined and really interacted with the audience as he addressed their questions and concerns. However, there is one person who apparently disagrees. Earlier today there was an opinion piece published in this same publication that was very unfortunate and weakened the reputation of the said publication. I am referring, of course, to “No, John Kasich, I don’t want Taylor Swift tickets.”

This article paints a delightful story in which a student, who is also the author of the article, raises her hand to ask a question and is ridiculed and belittled by Governor Kasich. This didn’t happen. It is a fallacy, plain and simple. Don’t believe me? I have the video to prove it. In reality, the author rose up and waved her arm back and forth to get attention. The Governor eloquently responded to her by joking, “I don’t have Taylor Swift tickets” because the level of excitement being exuded by the author was that of a teen Taylor Swift fan trying to get tickets to a concert. This was an accurate comparison. The response by Governor Kasich was a lighthearted jab at the author's inappropriate hand waving for attention, which he handled with grace. He then proceeded to allow her to ask her question.

Her question was poorly constructed and she then proceeded to badger the candidate and to put words in his mouth. In total she asked three questions which contributed heavily to a problem posed in the article: that some people didn’t get to ask questions. They didn’t get to ask them, because she took that opportunity. He answered those questions, and every other question, in a very genuine, friendly way, which is more impressive considering the fact that, although the author disagrees, none of the questions were softballs. Explaining why you expanded Medicaid to a room full of Virginia Republicans is no easy task.

Governor Kasich has a national reputation as a kind person who stands out as the nice guy in the Republican field, which makes the author’s claim that he was supposedly condescending even more shocking. I challenge you to find someone who was in that room, and wasn’t with the author, that found him condescending. I guarantee that no one’s jaw dropped when he responded to her question. Again, the video is available. The student’s behavior was far more surprising.

Then the sexism card was played in her article. I haven’t the slightest idea as to how anything the Governor said could possibly be interpreted as sexist. Yes, there was a question about Planned Parenthood, but he answered it in a gentle way by explaining his differences of opinion with other people. He certainly didn’t rush through the question and dismiss the asker as the author claimed. Far too often, people make claims that Republicans are sexist because they have a little (R) next to their name. The world can see that today in the media treatment of Carly Fiorina versus that of Hillary Clinton. Republicans care about women and unless someone makes a sexist comment, such as Donald Trump, it is libelous and inappropriate to call someone sexist.

We spend so much time worrying about how people feel. There is nothing wrong with caring about others, but there is something deeply wrong when there are people going out of their way to be offended. The most troubling, however, is the ability of those people to post their thoughts on a public forum where those who were not present will be unreasonably influenced. The world is harsh and will not always be accommodating to everyone’s sensitivities and we are doing ourselves a disservice by allowing others to censor us and to make false reasons to be upset. I am tired of defending my beliefs. I am tired of people not being allowed to show their faith, to hang the American flag, and to use gender specific pronouns. It is important to be considerate, yes. But being considerate does not equate to not having a backbone and to abandoning your values. Nothing happened at the Kasich event. The article is untrue and should be taken down. For too long, conservative groups have been targeted by this publication with baseless accusations and it is time for it to stop. It’s easy to sit behind a computer and tear apart the character of others, but it’s hard to stand by your values. I am ready to take that stand.

Contact contributor Dylan McAuley at dylan.mcAuley@richmond.edu