I Might Be a RINO

I have – though not yet in this forum – been accused of being a RINO. I hate the epithet: who, one must ask, has the right to decide what makes for a “real” Republican, and what makes for a Republican In Name Only?

Yet when I went back to first principles and thought through who I am and why, I realized that yes, in fact, I may be a RINO, and I think that might be a very good thing.

To understand my political beliefs, I had to start thinking about who I am, and what aspects of my identity are the most fundamental, working from inside (most essential) outwards.

So who I am, in order of precedence:

  • First, I am a human being.
  • Second, I am a husband and a father.
  • Third, I am an American and a Jew.
  • Fourth, I am conservative.
  • Fifth, I am a Republican.

Here is the reason for that precedence:

My humanity is what defines me, what separates me from being a rock, a tree, some other species of hairless simian, or a sentient alien life form. Being human comes with some benefits and some baggage, but I embrace all of that.

My belief in humanity and my role in it make me a husband and a father.

My belief in my family, my desire to make for us a good home, and to give us opportunities to better ourselves and the world around us have led me to increasingly base my life, behavior, and views on the twin pillars of the Charters of Freedom (The United States Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights) and on Torah (as embodied in the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, and commentaries derived thereof).

My desire to protect and defend these twin traditions (which despite ancient roots continue to grow and evolve,) while continuing to search for ways to better the world with wisdom, justice, and mercy make me a conservative.

My belief that the most practical way to do the above in the context of the American polity is to support the one party of the two dominant parties whose values most closely reflect my own. The one that comes closest is still the Republican Party, and so I am a Republican.

This is important, because the way these principles align make it clear that when the stances or behavior of the Republican Party – either the leadership or the rank-and-file – are at odds with the principles of my conservatism, the legal and moral framework of my Judeo-American ethos, the interests of my family, and/or of my humanity, I am obliged to take a stance at odds with the Party.

My first desire is to do so within the context of the Party, to add to the diversity of voices that the Party nurtured since its rise from the wreckage of the Whig Party in the 1850s. From this constructive if occasionally fractious process should come a party capable of managing and championing measured and careful progress (as opposed to rapid, headlong, and potentially destructive change as advocated by radicals, or the dogged defense of the status quo or a desire to return to the past as advocated by reactionaries.)

But if the behavior and mechanisms of the Party evince a complete and final rejection of the inclusive approach championed by Republicans like Reagan, Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt, and Lincoln in favor of an ossified, doctrinaire conservatism that is in truth reactionary, it would be impossible for me to remain a Republican. I consider myself rather far to the right of the Democratic Party on most issues. But if I were to find myself as far from the central axis of the GOP as I am from the Democrats, then my affiliation becomes meaningless, and I can only renounce the former as much as I do the latter.

Thus it is not my own principles or stances that make me a Republican or a RINO, but the platform and behavior of the Party itself.

So call me a RINO if you will. But if you reject me, my die-hard Republican friends, consider carefully whether I am an isolated case, or whether you might be abandoning the very people whose votes you will need if you ever again expect to see a Republican voted fairly into the White House.

 

One thought on “I Might Be a RINO

Add yours

Leave a Reply

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

The Golden West Review

A Californian Perspective on History, Arts, Land, Literature, and Politics

A Bucket and a Pen

In Search of Life after the Career

coffeesteffi ♡

coffee, art & my brewed thoughts

Sea Scout Ship 9201

Channel Islands Harbor • Ventura County Council, BSA

Troop 234, Boy Scouts of America

Port Hueneme/Channel Islands Harbor, CA

Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Musings and books from a grunty overthinker

The Chinafornia Wolf

Gratefully Chronicling a Remarkable Journey

The Thousand Books Project

Reading a Meaningful Life

Cafe Book Bean

Talk Books. Drink Coffee.

Silicon Hutong

Addressing China as it is, not as we want it to be

Maura Elizabeth Cunningham

Historian and Writer

Runningwinegirl's Blog

Colorado Girl Sharing Insights on Wine, Public Relations and Life's Adventures

ARLIN REPORT...................walking this path together

PERSPECTIVE FROM AN AGING SENIOR CITIZEN

Blue-eyed Ronin

A contrarian who enjoys challenging existing illusions, one truth at a time.

Observer

People and Trends

commentisfreewatch.wordpress.com/

Promoting fair and accurate coverage of Israel

twitchy.com

Who Said What

Barton's Blog

To the clouds and beyond...

Coffee Shop Rabbi

Basic Judaism spoken here.

Cami Ryan

Science, society, and life

Pacific Paratrooper

This WordPress.com site is Pacific War era information

______Assessing China / The TEA Collaborative______

Tech, Energy & Ambitions: Assessments at the Intersection of Technology, Investment and Policy

Cliche of Logic

This is the beginning of my writing.

An Ordinary Website

of interest to few.

Der Bananenplanet

Alternatives Informationsmedium

Corey Robin

Author of "The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin" and "The Enigma of Clarence Thomas"

Ragan Communications

The Center Must Hold

The China Story

The Center Must Hold

Yale E360

The Center Must Hold

Xindanwei | 新单位

The Center Must Hold

WritersDigest.com

The Center Must Hold

WordCount

Freelancing in the Digital Age

FriendFeed Blog

The Center Must Hold

Business

The Center Must Hold

Blog Daily Listings RSS

The Center Must Hold

Speakeasy

The Center Must Hold

The Center Must Hold

Opinions

The Center Must Hold

RSSOpinion

The Center Must Hold

WebMD Health

The Center Must Hold

Renewal

The Center Must Hold

Village Voice

The Center Must Hold

Uploads from The U.S. Army

The Center Must Hold

TechNode

Latest news and trends about tech in China

WritersDigest.com

The Center Must Hold

Techmeme

The Center Must Hold

The Center Must Hold

%d bloggers like this: