What’s the Opposite of a RINO?

If a RINO is a Republican in name only, the opposite is someone with traditional conservative values who doesn’t identify as a Republican. Who are these people? Libertarians, Constitutionalists, Independents, and even conservatives who’ve given up on the system and no longer register to vote. My esteemed friend, the Sidewinder, refers to them as apostate Republicans. Most of them wouldn’t be caught dead voting for a Democrat but, for whatever reason, they’re disenfranchised from the Republican party. Some of them quixotically vote for third party candidates. Others, more cynical, don’t vote at all.

Why should Republicans care? After all, these apostates are not true believers. If they did come uninvited to the party, they’d no doubt be disparaged as RINOs. But can the party really afford to be so exclusive? Apostates though they may be, they’re also voters, or at least potential voters, and their numbers are inexorably increasing while mainstream Republicans are on the decline. (Look at the results of the last election, and consider the consequences if that happens again.)

I’m not advocating voting for RINOs, when there are true conservative options. But the last thing the Republican party can afford is to drive the RINOs away. The party can’t continue to view itself as a members-only club, or a church of true believers, while the Democrats set themselves up as a populist block party, everybody welcome, with free food (and healthcare) for anyone who’d rather get something for free than work hard to earn something better.

There are still a lot of people who share the traditional values on which our country was founded. But many of them are drifting away from the Republican center of gravity, and it’s going to take a concerted effort to reach out and draw them in. It’s time to start focusing on what we all have in common, rather than what separates us.

I’m an apostate, myself. I’ve been a libertarian for 28 years (and no, I don’t support Ron Paul). But I’m registering Republican this year because I’m so disturbed by the Democrats’ misguided agenda, and so apprehensive that they will prevail, that I see a real need for conservatives of all persuasions to form a united front to defeat them.

I’m not particularly partial to any of the remaining Republican candidates, but I tend to favor Giuliani. He’s got the strongest position on the economy and on national security, and he has a record of getting things done. (Does anybody remember the 1976 movie Taxi Driver, when Travis Bickle, a New York cabbie, said “Someday a real rain will come, and wash all this scum off the streets?” Well, the real rain did come, and it was Rudy Giuliani.) But, at this point, I’ll support whichever one wins the nomination. An actual elephant would no doubt be best, but even a RINO is better than a donkey bearing a staggering socialist agenda.

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Published in: on January 27, 2008 at 11:01 pm  Comments (7)  
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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Later, when I have more time I would like to discuss, paragraph by paragraph, your excellent essay.

    But in the meantime, what is your thought on very selective “undervoting”, which is not a vote for another candidate versus if it’s McCain he’ll vote for the Libertarian.

    RW has already stated that if it’s the RINO McCain, I’ll hold my nose and vote McCain and then hold his feet to the Conservative Republican fire.


  2. “But in the meantime, what is your thought on very selective “undervoting”, which is not a vote for another candidate versus if it’s McCain he’ll vote for the Libertarian.”

    RW, could you rephrase the question? I’m not sure I understand.

    Libertarian is always my fallback vote. If I don’t feel strongly about any particular candidate, I always vote Libertarian (if one is running). It doesn’t matter what I think of the Libertarian candidate, becauseI know they don’t have a snowball’s chance of winning anyway. Nevertheless, I “quixotically” vote for them just to express my support for the principle of Libertarianism. (Does that make sense?)

    However, in this election, I’m going to vote for the Republican, no matter who he is. Any one of them would be better than the Clintons, Obama, or Fluffy, and splitting the conservative vote may hand over the victory to the Dems.

    (Did I answer your question?)

  3. RE: “Selective Undervoting”….

    If I do not like the candidate of my party, to the point of disgust,(Gordon Smith) but believe he will prevail anyway, I will undervote. This preserves the “R” seat in the Senate but more importantly, allows me the integrity of my “vote”.

    If Gordo were to lose by 1 vote, mine, I would still hold my head high and instruct to EVERY single arrogant politician (Smith) that EVERY single vote is important.

    In the case of “Juan” McCain, I will NOT vote for him in the primary but WILL hold my nose and vote for him against either the “Clintons, Obama, or Fluffy”.

    The way you “quixotically” vote for a Libertarian “(if one is running)”, as a “fallback”, is a form of “selective undervote”.

    I voted for Jimmy Carter in ’76 ’cause I was so upset with a truly fine man, President Gerald Ford, for pardoning an early hero of mine. Never have I nor will I do anything like that again. “Selective undervoting” — Very Selective ….

  4. I agree with you, RW. In the primaries, I’ll vote for the “best of the rest.” In the final election, I’ll vote for whoever’s left (on the right, that is… :).

    Undervoting in the final election this year is just too risky. There’s too much at stake. And I’m very much afraid the apostates and the single issue voters are going to withhold their votes on principle and cost us the country.

  5. There’s no one left except RINO’s. The Republican party has left its conservative roots far behind, seems Reagan took them with him. But it doesn’t change the fact that I must still vote, (in Nov.) for the “republican” on the ballot. He’ll get us thoroughly socialized, only slower.

  6. I’ll probably vote for Ron Paul in the primary because the other 2 are RINOs and I could care less which one actually wins. I have to vote against Hillary or Obama though. As bad as McCain and Romney are they are no where near Hillary or Obama.

    I will be registering as a Libertarian after this primary though. If this is the best the GOP has, it’s time I moved on.

  7. Hey Guys! Good news! There’s a website all about RINOs! It’s called RINOLIST.org!! I’m one of the proud owners of the site and we’re working on expanding, but we need your help! Please come on by our website and buy a coffee mug or a bumper sticker. Every little bit helps!

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