Who are the true RINO’s? We have consistently seen the Republican party, ever since President Theodore Roosevelt a century ago, dabble in progressivism. While the Republicans may not be like the Democrats, whose mainstream is arguably quasi-socialist, but not much comes from the party that is conservative at all.
Take for example, Paul Ryan’s plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. It is not a conservative plan at all, and does little to truly repeal the major aspects of ObamaCare, including its onerous regulations. In fact, its major caveat is that it still keeps the government involved in healthcare, albeit in a different way. After ObamaCare’s passing in 2010, the Republicans ran on repeal in every election since. Little did we realize that conservatism would have little place in what came next. In fact, when Rand Paul wanted to see the legislation two weeks ago, the House leadership locked the doors to the room where they were writing it.
If that’s not a red flag that conservatism was not going to be a factor in the bill, I don’t know what would be.
But why are we surprised? Ted Cruz led a filibuster against ObamaCare in 2013 for almost a full day. Cruz was then lambasted by Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republican establishment for his true leadership and standing up for liberty and freedom. In fact, this was his shining moment that led to his presidential run, and attempt to bring the party back to the era of Ronald Reagan.
But Reagan left office almost 30 years ago. Where is the Republican party now? Since Reagan left, we’ve had the two Bush presidencies. George H.W. Bush, who was Reagan’s Vice President, brought the party to a more moderate, “kinder” version of conservatism, and raised taxes despite his famous “read my lips” pledge. His son, George W. Bush, famously stated that he was abandoning free market principles to “save the free market system,” and governed as a “compassionate conservative.” Both of these ideologies led to their demises and those of the Republicans in the forms of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, respectively.
Now, we have President Donald Trump. Many conservatives like what Trump has done as president, but it’s hard to argue that he is a true conservative by much of what he says and does in other respects. And the Republican Party is completely fine with that, if not ecstatic about the fact that Cruz isn’t president and that there isn’t a true conservative to push back against the party apparatus. We want Trump to be successful and to govern as a conservative. But his party stands in the way.
So the conservative movement is left out in the cold again, without a home. Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and many others are set up to fail because we have made the mistake of trying to infiltrate the Republican party. The Republican party is not conservative. It is progressive-light at best.
So why do we call the mainstream of the party RINO’s, or “Republicans in Name Only?” That title really should belong to us conservatives. We may be Republican voters, but if we had another viable option, many of us would choose it in a heartbeat. That, by logic, makes us “Republicans in Name Only.”
It’s time we change this and stop playing as Charlie Brown with the football. We need a new party based on true conservatism. We need a voice and it’s time we had one.