I Am A RINO


By: Warner Todd Huston

That’s right, you read the title to this piece correctly. I am admitting that I am a RINO. I admit it openly, freely, with relish even.

For those unfamiliar, RINO is not only shorthand for rhinoceros, that great beast of the African plains, but it is also an acronym. It stands for, “Republican In Name Only” — RINO.

Now, I am not going to pull a fast one here and spell RINO out with other words. No, I’m happily sticking right with the words “Republican In Name Only.” So, there it is. I am a RINO.

Some of you reading this may already be feeling your stomach curdle at the very mention of the word RINO. After all, it’s really gotten some bad press. Rush Limbaugh and his brethren have really done a disservice to this fine descriptive word. Heck, even I have hurled it as an epithet when confronted with a politician who hasn’t lived up to my standards.

But, after reflecting on recent events, I realized that I myself am a RINO. At first I bristled at my own thoughts. But, after a time it appeared obvious that I am, indeed, a RINO.

I’m just going to have to accept it. Own it, as our pop psychology spewing friends on the left so earnestly say.

I am a RINO and here’s why…

  • I will vote Republican only when the situation is favorable to me.
  • I will not go with my party when I don’t like what is going on.
  • I will sometimes refuse to agree with my party on certain issues and will do so vocally.
  • If I find someone of another party that suits me, I will vote for them even if it is in lieu of voting for my party representative.

So, there you have it. The perfect definition of a RINO. That’s me. But, I am not going to lower my head in shame, no sirree. I am proud of this and am glad that I have finally come to terms with it. A little introspection never hurt anyone, ya know?

Let me explain further why I now feel ready to accept my RINOness. (Or is that RINOcity?)

Yes, I am proud that I won’t vote for a candidate who happens to claim the mantle of Republican if he does not support keeping the Guantanamo Bay terrorist holding facility open.

I am proud to oppose a Republican who thinks our troops are torturers as bad as Saddam Hussein.

I firmly stand against any Republican who is for open borders, opposes a border fence, and refuses to believe that this country faces self-destruction through cultural dilution.

Further, any Republican who works with Democrats to place moderate judges on the bench, or doesn’t want judges that are “too conservative” will not get my vote.

If the GOP candidate is for quashing free political speech, that candidate will find me ready to quash his vote totals.

If a candidate is only picked because the party “says so,” or because he is pals with the “right” people and not because of what he actually stands for, that candidate will find that no vote from me will go his way.

You see I won’t support a Republican just because he somehow was able to affix the appellation Republican to his name. I will not automatically vote for a Republican merely because he claims to be one.

I vote for candidates that happen to be right on the issues, not the ones that happen to just be a Republican. Mere Republicanism is not my way.

I support life. I support the Second Amendment. I support English as the national language. I support religious freedom. I am for school choice. I am high on defense and tough on crime. I am for smaller government, fewer regulations, less government spending and low taxes. I am for untrammeled national sovereignty and would love to see the UN cast into the ocean.

I oppose union thugs, socialist programs, unconstitutional powers, abortion for any reason, the so-called doctrine of a “living Constitution,” open borders, unearned paths to citizenship, anchor babies, high taxes, uncontrolled regulations on businesses and bans on religious expression in schools… any schools.

And, I am really against working with Democrats just to “prove” I am “reasonable” so that the liberal media establishment will love me.

Also, I will not vote for a Republican, merely to stop a Democrat from winning. The reason for that is, that such a practice leads to candidates the feel no compunction to buck the principles that the electorate wanted him to observe when he ran for office. After all, why would a candidate hold himself to such stringent standards if he won’t lose his votes anyway? Why not just do what is easier, or might benefit his wallet — or campaign coffers — more? Since there wouldn’t be any consequences for belying his claimed principles, what stops him from doing so?

If there are any candidates running for president on the GOP ticket that once said they did not want to seem like Ronald Reagan or once supported abortion, even if only tacitly, then he won’t get my vote. If there is a candidate who freed more criminals than any other governor in the country and was very weak on illegal invaders of our country, well that man is not for me. If there happens to be a candidate, say running for president maybe, who said that Samuel Alito was “too conservative” for him, or once supported amnesty, well he is also out for me.

I really don’t care if he claims to be a Republican or not.

I also don’t care if there are so many people just like me that the Democrat wins the White House (nor do I care which Democrat). My non-vote is NOT a vote in favor of someone else. I am a man of principle, not a man of convenience.

Certainly, our nation is built on compromise and sometimes the proverbial half a loaf is better than none. It is an undeniable truth and one that we shouldn’t try to destroy with unbending spine. But, here is the thing: compromise implies that both sides get a little something out of the deal. And, let’s face it, there isn’t much gettin’ for a conservative out of the GOP these days.

Oh, they claim to be conservative during the campaign. They say all sorts of comforting things, stand on lots of first principles and pretend that without them in office all sorts of things will go awry.

And then as soon as they take office they begin to forsake nearly every position upon which they ran. Then they start palling around with the Democrats and hobnobbing with denizens of Hollywood and skulkers in the press. And, then it’s all over. They’ve become Washington. Suddenly, being liked by the illiterati of the left becomes more important than principle.

And we, those who were foolish enough to vote for them the first time, are left wondering what happened? Yet but a few years later, we vote for that same apostate politician all over again.

After these last few primaries, I finally came to realize that I just cannot vote Republican just because. It turns out that I have realized that my loyalty lies with my conservative principles, not a political party. If there happens to be a candidate here and there that agrees with me and they happen to be a Republican… well, then that candidate will get my vote.

So, it’s no more for me. I will not blindly vote Republican just because I often canvass with them. I will not be a fool for the party while getting nothing in return. I am not a Republican first. I am a conservative.

And I am a RINO, remember?

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