The battle cry of the circular firing squad crew? “RINO.” “RINO,” or “Republican In Name Only,” is a term all too often used to describe any member of the Republican Party who disagrees with the speaker on any given issue.
Both political parties are made up of a spectrum of voters. The Republicans include libertarians, social-issues voters (generally referred to in the media as the Christian right, ignoring the fact that there is a Christian left as well) deficit hawks, defense hawks, small-business owners and advocates, economic conservatives and a leavening of old-style blue-blood country club Republicans.
And members of any of those groups may, in a stunning exhibition of the No True Scotsman fallacy, are prone to loudly denouncing members of the other groups as “not conservative enough.”
In 2012, this very kind of argument may well have handed Barack Obama his re-election, as any number of GOP and GOP-leaning voters denounced Mitt Romney as “not Republican enough.” Some of those voters went third party; some didn’t vote.
Here’s the reality:
In January 2017, either a Republican or a Democrat will be inaugurated as President. The new President won’t be a Libertarian, or a Green, or any other minor party; s/he will be a Republican or a Democrat. That’s it.
The same thing happens on both sides, though – witness Florida in the 2000 election. Were I Ralph Nader, I still wouldn’t feel comfortable showing my face at any gathering of Florida Democrats.
Back on track: If GOP voters are serious about winning in 2016, then they should settle all of the inter-party squabbling in the primaries, and then once a candidate is decided, shut up and get him/her elected.
The lesser of two evils, after all, is still better than the greater of two evils.
So, True Believers, how would you define a “true” conservative? A “true” Republican? What hot-button issues turn you on to a candidate – or off?