Kasich follows a simple concept

Gov. John Kasich made his last state-of-the-state speech Tuesday, taking the show on the road as has been his custom, this time going to his longtime home, Westerville.

He spoke at length of honor and courage, especially in light of the recent shooting deaths of two Westerville police officers who died simply doing their jobs, but he also spoke of values that used to be a core of life as an Ohioan and an American.

He spoke of caring for others, of personal responsibility, of the personal cost that one who stands up for what’s right might face in his or her life, knowing the right thing must be done.

It was a most unpolitical politician’s speech, a look at the meaning of life according to John Kasich, governor, politician, commentator, husband, father, man.

He wasn’t, after all, pushing an agenda for the next budget cycle but looking back on his time as governor, if not at his political career, depending on how his aspirations to run for president in 2020 really lie.

He spoke at Otterbein University, and much of his talk seemed in the tone of a graduation speaker rather than a statewide speech by a governor or potential presidential candidate.

Yet, he revealed what he believes in, what he tried to base his decisions on, and what he thinks it takes to make a community, a state and a nation starting with the individual.

No, it’s not often that a politician quotes Plato and Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas in a state-of-the-state address. Those fellows and their followers, after all, can’t fix school funding or a declining infrastructure.

But they do point the way to consider how and why action is necessary and how sometimes action isn’t going to be popular but still serves the greater good.

It’s a concept that’s often lost in Columbus, or Washington or our local city halls.

Kasich either set the tone for a presidential run or made a valedictory that needed to be heard as a reminder in rancorous times. Figure out what the right thing is to do, then do it, and do not worry about the personal consequences.

It kept Kasich in the state senate, in Congress and in the governor’s seat during his career.

He must be onto something.

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