IT'S UP TO US by John Kasich


Ten Little Ways We Can Bring About Big Change
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The former Ohio governor and Republican presidential candidate urges readers to get their own houses in order.

It’s nice to be nice, and even if the man to whom Kasich lost the 2016 primary isn’t very nice, he counsels “that we shouldn’t be investing all of our emotions in that one office in the White House.” Quoting the likes of the Who and the Kings of Leon, he reckons that it’s up to us to change the world in smaller ways, telling uplifting stories “that remind us that everything we do accrues to the good—and, inversely, that everything we don’t do lines up against us.” That is, assuming that what we do is do good in the first place, such as the young woman who, in the absence of the person employed to do the job, donned a Chuck E. Cheese costume to save the day for a young man on the spectrum who would otherwise have been shattered by a missed hug. Kasich proffers a list of 10 principles, and, within the chapters devoted to them, he sometimes offers surprises, as when he defends Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee “as a way to call attention to racial justice and oppression.” Many of Kasich’s homilies are rather pointedly Christian, but by way of Mr. Rogers and not Franklin Graham: “We need to care for each other, love each other…acknowledge each other.” We also must “get out of our silo” and start listening to each other’s points of view, quizzing our sources of news in the same way that we would test the claims of a used-car salesman, said occupation being perhaps the only one held in less esteem than that of a politician. There’s nothing objectionable about the author’s 10-point program, though some farther to the right than he might not be happy with all of his examples.

A be-nicer-to-each-other program that’s worth considering though unlikely to take shape in a time of growing division.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-335-01220-3
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2019