Conservative purists need to see the difference between RINO hunting and cannibalizing their own

rino crosshairs

Recently, I read this piece from Jon Gabriel at Ricochet about the history of political movements becoming more fractured as the dissatisfaction of purists causes them to break of into fringe groups that stake the position that anyone who is 99% with them is actually 0% with them.

Give it a read, it’s educational, if not interesting, mostly because it’s happening with conservatism now, and it’s getting nothing but worse.

Nobody who knows me would characterize me as anything but conservative. I am pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-military/strong national defense, pro-Israel, pro-gun, pro-death penalty, pro-capitalism, and anti-socialism.

I am the son and son-in-law of legal immigrants. I am pro-immigration and anti-amnesty. If there is any room left to my right it’s a very very very tight fit.

Yet after this post defending Marco Rubio from being attacked for missing Senate votes I got labeled a a RINO for my trouble (link goes to my Tumblr account associated with this blog).

Why am I a RINO? Because Marco Rubio is a RINO…guilt by association.

Why is Rubio a RINO? Because the political party that has become the refuge for Christians has found itself unable to forgive him for trespassing against us on immigration. There is plenty to say about Rubio’s folly on an issue that represents an existential crisis to America’s identity, but to call him a RINO isn’t, in my humble opinion, a very mature way to address it.

Why? Well, the Heritage Foundation scores him at 93%, and the Conservative Review at 80%. I don’t know by what metrics they measure “conservativeness,” but those aren’t really RINO numbers…then again Heritage puts Ted Cruz is at 100%…so maybe I’m wrong. (John Boehner and Kevin McCarthy on the other left hand…)

Having itchy RINO trigger fingers makes us no better than the left. Do we really want to turn ourselves into the type of dictatorial intolerant twits we’re seeing in America’s college campuses right now?

I have my preference for who I want to see be president, and that preferred candidate is the person who resides to the right of Hillary Clinton. Period.

I don’t want to vote for a real RINO anymore than the next conservative. They present themselves as a weak-kneed alternative to the Democrat, and if voters have a choice between a Democrat and Democrat-lite they will always pick the Democrat. The only candidates who this can definitively have this said about them are John Kasich, Jeb Bush, and to a lesser extent Chris Christie thanks to his stances on abortion (“pro-life with exceptions,” but that’s a lot of conservatives these days) and global warming.

If any of those guys miraculously gets the nomination (and I mean so miraculous even God won’t take credit for it) then guess what? They’re the best option at preventing a tax-hiking, freedom tying, communist cuddling leftist like Hillary Clinton from being president. RINOs are conservative squishes, but they’re not the second coming of Karl Marx, and they’ll have my vote and the support of this blog if they’re all that stands in the way of a leftist.

THAT does NOT make me a RINO as well. It makes me a pragmatist, and an adult. Hop in, the water is warm.

As Gabriel’s piece linked at the top points out, the more purist a movement becomes the more fractured it becomes. The more fractured it becomes it dies.

Some conservatives may say “so be it.” That kind of conservative is just as much a problem for America as the communist left, because at that point they’re effectively for the Democrats if they don’t want to be with whoever stands against them.

Preview image from American Freedom Defenders

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