What the Hell is a “RINO” Anyway???

I have serious problems understanding the definition of the term ‘RINO’. The term is supposed to mean a Moderate Republican, i.e. a Republican that shares views with a Democrat. However, the term is used by so many contradictory parties that it lacks real meaning. Many people hold up President Reagan as the hard definition of a true conservative, with his quote of “the soul of conservatism is libertarianism”.

In the 2012 election, the four Republican candidates each represented a key demographic of the current Republican base. There was Mitt Romney, a Mormon westerner who had become merged with the moderate eastern Money Trust Rockefeller establishment. There was Rick Santorum, a right-wing Catholic obsessed with social issues and ready to wage a Christian jihad. There was Newt Gingrich, a Baptist-turned-Catholic career politicians who’d passed centrist legislation throughout the Clinton administration. And of course, Ron Paul, a libertarian carrying the youth vote, ironically carrying views of a politician born in the 1890s, who would have been a member of the bipartisan anti-Roosevelt Old Right coalition.

The idea of a RINO came into existence around the campaign of Barry Goldwater, an Arizona Senator, who won the 1964 nomination instead of Nelson A. Rockefeller, the grandchild shared by John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil and Senator Nelson Aldrich, who pitched the original idea for the Federal Reserve. Even though he won the nomination, Goldwater was written off as an “extremist” by many, and Rockefeller was considered a “moderate”. But what does this really mean?

As America was still very homogenous in 1964, most regions had a strong local culture. At the time, the Republican base was comprised of Midwestern Lutherans, Western Mormons, wealthy New England Episcopalians, and transient career military families. At the time, most Southern Baptists and Catholics were still largely Democrats. Goldwater winning Southern states in 1964 did not permanently secure the Solid South as red states, despite the widely toted myth. (Third party Wallace of 1968 and Democrat Carter of 1976 prove this.) As a general phenomenon, the lower-middle-class flyover demographics were known as the extremists, while the upper-middle-class city and suburban folk were known as the moderates.

Despite being categorized as a “right-wing extremist” in 1964, Goldwater still had little in common with the heartland evangelicals of today. Goldwater had no connection to fundamentalist Christianity like Governors Perry or Palin. One side of his family was Jewish, and the other side was Yankee Episcopalians, and Goldwater was an Episcopalian his whole life. Goldwater supported no legislation in regards to gay marriage, drugs, or abortion. Goldwater is directly quoted as saying, “Mark my words, if and when these preachers get control of the Republican party, and sure they’re trying to do so, there’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly these people frighten me”.

Everything Barry Goldwater predicted about the Christian fundamentalist hijack eventually came true. Now the term RINO has a whole new meaning than when two socially liberal Episcopalians were vying for the nomination in 1964. Many Republicans referred to John McCain (a career military man with no regional ties) and Mitt Romney (a flip-flopper from the far left state of Massachusetts) as RINOs or moderates. But when Obama ran against them in 2008 and 2012, his campaign spent countless efforts painting the two candidates as right-wing extremists

Since 2008, the mainstream liberal media outlets have generally painted all Republican candidates in the same stereotype: old, uncool, racist, sexist, cranky, corny, money-hoarding, miserly Mr. Scrooges, obstructing Obama’s hip-and-groovy “CHANGE”. It mattered little how moderate McCain’s and Romney’s records were, the media rhetoric implied that anyone running against Obama had a closeted agenda with the same motivations as the Thurmond, Wallace, or Duke campaigns. Vice President Biden shouted out to an audience during a debate with Paul Ryan, “Romney is gonna put you all back in chains”. The MSM saw no problem with this.

So what are the concrete issues that make or break the difference between the RINOs and a non RINO? Is it the military, war, and foreign policy? Is it economics? Is it Christian social issues? (a dead horse, as far as I’m concerned) Are the rants espoused by Limbaugh, Hannity, and other Fox News anchors the policies that anyone who runs as a Republican are “supposed” to have? Fox anchor Ann Coulter referred to libertarians as “pussies”, and implied that supporting drug legalization was RINO/moderate, by mashing  different ideologies from left and right. Everyone has different definitions of RINO.

So this brings up the question: Was Ron Paul a “RINO”? Fox News certainly said so in the 2012 election. Were Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater “RINOs”? Many Democrats who hate the Tea Party would say so today. Although one must acknowledge Ron Paul’s ultraconservative personal views, one should realize he would give power back to the fifty state governments, with the intention that each American demographic can carve out a haven. There is no point pretending that Ron Paul is a hip guy with young libertarian social ideas: his views have changed little since he was a medical student in the 1950s.

Despite this, Ron Paul had the potential to represent a purge of many issues that the left hates about the Republicans; policies relating to drugs, gays, abortion, corporate bailouts, but most importantly, the wars in the Middle East. This was only exacerbated by Rick Santorum’s extremist Christian authoritarian rants, and his comment that he wanted to “fight against libertarian influence in the Republican party”. Despite the Obama administration’s continued drone warfare allover the Middle East, the Obama 2012 campaign repeated the same 2008 rhetoric that this was Bush’s personal, Republican, corporate, Islamophobic war. Simultaneously, the other three Republicans called Ron Paul an isolationist coward for his foreign policy. Ron Paul could have been the perfect moderate with ideas compromising from both sides, and yet they trashed and defamed him every possible chance.

Unfortunately, it is the Tea Party, and not moderate Republicans or Democrats, who have been blamed for the government shutdown. Personally, I think the Republicans handling the shutdown is a poorly planned reactionary idea. This kind of political activism only works if the libertarian-leaning Republicans were to shut down the government about the wars in the Middle-East, or the incarcerations of non-violent drug offenders. Otherwise, the MSM will just paint them as quintessential obstructionist right-wing cranks, as they have done so far.

McCain’s machine of moderate Republicans have marched in lockstep behind Obamacare, in an attempt to make Ted Cruz and other libertarian-leaning Republicans look like the “extremists”, Obama-haters, and Confederate secessionists. Despite the fact that libertarians are supposed to share a good bit ground with progressives, Democrats and moderates are together pointing to libertarianism “the far right fringe”. Moderate Republicans need to keep in mind that when is all over, the liberal media outlets will put all Republicans, moderate and conservative, in the same category as tongue-speaking, back-alley-abortion-causing, end-of-times, Limbaugh-hypnotized, warmongering, theocratic neo-confederates no matter what.

If liberal Democrats prefer moderate ‘Rockefeller Republicans’, or big government Republicans, let them have each other. If they think the enemy is small town, small business people, let them feel that way. Democrats can have Republicans like the Bushes, an old New England Money Trust family, long term ally of the Rockefellers, with CIA connections and investments in the baby Standard Oil corporations. After all, when corporate exploitation, global imperialism, and war profiteering makes millions, they can cash in and use the money to look humanitarian later in life. Just don’t dress him up like a Texas good ol’ boy, and then blame flyover folk for him.

Not Reagan, Goldwater, Taft, Coolidge, Eisenhower, or possibly even Bush, Sr. would ever have done what George W. Bush did in Iraq and Afghanistan, or what Nixon did in Vietnam. (both cited for the claim: “Republicans are warmongers”) Meanwhile, Democrats Wilson, Truman, and Johnson started long wars based on the idealistic grounds of “spreading democracy”. It is the imperialist Republican war machine and CIA added to the liberal Democrat dream of international government that make a poisonous combination together.

Maybe a RINO is what we want. If RINO means secular Republican; with no evangelical Christian dogma influencing government policy, then RINO is good. If RINO means Republican who embraces science and new technology, then RINO is good. If RINO means anti-war Republican, who wants to cut military spending, then RINO is good. If RINO means socially liberal Republican, then RINO is good. If RINO does not recite unoriginal reactionary propaganda from Fox News, then RINO is good. If RINO is opposed to neo-conservative foreign policy, then RINO is good. Maybe RINO is what we need after all.


5 thoughts on “What the Hell is a “RINO” Anyway???

  1. Excellent post. Your last paragraph lays out what I want and what I’d like to see.

  2. An excellent analysis, Edmund.

    I think we’d all enjoy a Republican Party that is significantly more libertarian.

    The only thing that nags me about a scenario like this is the question of where all the religious whackos would end up politically. There is the option of getting out of politics altogether. I know some sects viewed political participation with disdain back in the day, but it seems to me that these guys aren’t going away anytime soon.

    The GOP would cease to be a national party if it ditched the self-described RINOs (perhaps this explains why Dr Amburgey, as a fan of President Obama, would like to see such a seismic shift occur). I don’t think the whackos would suddenly start voting Democrat, either.

    Maybe there would be enough of a cultural shift to minimize their impact politically, but again I don’t see what could induce such a seismic change.

  3. Funny: You the author, and the commenters here, thought that real conservatives (right-leaning on both economic *and* social issues) were on the way out, but here we are now slowly but surely draining the swamp of *your* ilk: the neo-cons (agents of Zionism and international corporations and banks) and left-leaning libertarians (libertines).

    As far as I’m concerned, you are worse than liberals, who are simply well-meaning but misguided children that just want the most good for the most people. *You* are selfish and self-centered psychopaths/sociopaths. So don’t let the door hitcha on the way out, and good riddance to ya, you tyrants.

  4. Some of those about to read my reply know and understand the KISS PHILOSOPHY….

    While all of us have differing opinions on what may or may not be in AMERICA’s best interest politically, instead of trying to reshap ….rename… hang a new catch phrase out there in the attempt to somehow seem fresh and new, how about we just get back to basics?

    We as a Nation were founded under a value system that our founding fathers saw fit to anchor Into our pledge of allegence to the flag as well as our National Anthem ! To be a Nation that promoted wellness and a healthy appreciation for life liberty and the persuit of happiness…. and yes freedom….
    So, in their wisdom …. They built the framework of our Nation on the Rock solid foundation of Biblical principals ….. They encouraged us to be Americans one and all first and foremost and to love of God country and each other with all our being. That was the intent that through the years has been perverted by those whom would seek self interest and personal gain as well as to corrupt as many others until basic common sense and biblical principals are nothing but a distant memory. They will and have continued to do so until there are enough malcontents and inmates to take over the asylum!

    So what exactly is a religious whack-o ? Is it simply one who has read the Bible and understands that it’s intent is to be a roadmap to be used to navigate through a sinful world in a healthy way so as to somehow become part of what’s right with the world … To promote a healthy mind and spirit ?
    To understand the basic principal of agape love and fundimentals so as to indeed learn to put God country. and family first ?

    Anybody who has ever read the Bible knows it’s a historical document designed to build goodness into us … discipline and yes servitude so that we can indeed look to do good in the world. So that we can love and be made loveable! It does not encourage us to hate and it does not promote self interest and that my friends is what most all political parties do RINO OR WINO … They are all drunk on thinking they know more or better than God or the founding fathers of our nation!
    One nation under God, indivisible…

    If all we did was get back to basics instead of running like lemming off the hedonistic cliff falsely called “ The modern World “ so much would change…. But sadly …. we resist the yolk and instead of planting seeds of goodness we continue to all try to all be stallions and run wild !
    There is a reason we have laws … there is a reason God gave us commandments … Failure to abide by laws and rules generally have consequences …. oh wait ? My bad even that’s changing now that we have somehow brilliantly embraced sanctuary cities lol… Now sadly anything goes !
    And somehow many of us have drifted from that basic start and call it our freedom !

  5. Hmm..you can tell a fake Conservative Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney Geore W. Bush and George H Bush ad nauseum…well you lack discrimination and judgement

Please keep it civil

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s