For years (and years, and years, and years) I've listened to people mindlessly bleat out "BOTH SIDES SUCK!!" arguments against Democrats and Republicans, and 99 times out of 100, those arguments are rooted in two things: intellectual laziness, and complete, unadulterated bullshit.
It's not hard to see why we're mired in this 'facts don't matter' hellhole. Americans have been inculcated with the idea that blaming both sides of an issue – regardless of what the issue is, regardless of what the two sides are saying, and regardless of whether or not either side has any grasp on any semblance of reality – makes them sound like an intelligent, rational, non-partisan, independent-minded centrist. "QUICK, EVERYONE PAT ME ON THE BACK FOR BEING THE REASONABLE ONE HERE!!!!"
Take this particularly egregious example:
He is not saying this because it's true. Which party wants to expand Medicaid, which explicitly helps the poor afford health care, and which wants to destroy it? Which party supports food stamps for struggling families, and which wants to slash them? Which party wants to make college tuition free for all students? Which party wants to raise the minimum wage, and which wants to abolish it? Which side wants to keep the Earned Income Tax Credit for the poor and raise taxes on the rich, and which side wants to abolish those tax credits and cut taxes on the rich down to almost nothing? A huge chunk of the Democratic Party's economic platform is dedicated to helping those in need, while a huge chunk of the Republican platform is all about crushing the poor and shoveling more money to the super-rich.
Kasich is saying this because he knows that a majority of the audience watching and reading CNN is gullible enough to have the knee-jerk reaction that automatically equates blaming both sides with being a rational, thoughtful moderate who should be taken seriously.
The most common form this argument takes is that "both parties are too extreme!!" Really? REALLY? "Both parties are too extreme"? Fucking explain to me how the Democrats are "extreme" in ANY CAPACITY AT ALL. They're pushing for moderate tax increases on the super rich at a time when the super rich have iron-fisted control over the US economy and government; they pushed for a centrist, market-based solution to health care (which is what Obamacare always was, and anyone who called it "socialized medicine" is pushing deluded right-wing bullshit); the DNC even sided with Hillary over Bernie because they were afraid that Bernie's telling of hard truths would make them come off as "too far left". The fact of the matter is that the Democrats are a center-to-center-left party, and always have been. Most of the policies I listed above in the paragraph about Kasich are taken as simple common sense in most other developed nations. As Andrew Sullivan once put it, if this were England, the Democratic Party would actually be considered conservative – not "wildly leftist". If you think the Democrats represent radical left-wing liberalism, YOU. ARE. NOT. PAYING. ATTENTION. TO. REALITY.
This is hardly the first time I've railed against this sort of pseudo-intellectual centrist peacocking. I have called bullshit on this over, and over, and over again. I go after people who pull this crap almost as hard as I go after Republicans and misandrists. But the result is that I, and others like me, come off as a hyper-partisan broken record. "OF COURSE he's attacking the centrists, that's only because he's such a left-winger! Ha ha!"
Except we were not crying wolf. We never were. We were desperately trying to get people to wake up to the fact that blaming an extremist party and a reasonable party in equal measure amounts to a de facto win for the extremist party. And when that perpetually-mindlessly-regurgitated "both sides!" rhetoric has allowed Republicans to get away with bloody murder over and over and over and over again, how the fuck can you be even remotely surprised when it's the rhetoric Trump turns to when his supporters start waving Confederate flags and swastikas en mass?