While cooking dinner last night, my husband and I were discussing Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham’s bizarre attack on Senator Paul Rand. When I called them RINOs, he asked me what that meant. I have heard the term used many times, and until recently never used it. His question made me want to find out more about this unusual name. What makes one a RINO? Is this a new political party? What is the difference in the Republican elephant and the Republican RINO?
According to Wikipedia, RINO means “Republican In Name Only”. They say it is “a derogatory term used by conservative members of the Republican Party to describe Republicans they deem insufficiently conservative or otherwise not conforming to their conservative position.” Its current use began in the 1990s, but its historical roots go as far back as 1912. This was when Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Senator Robert LaFollette fought for ideological control of the Republican Party. Although this is a reasonable definition, it falls short of explaining today’s RINO.
While the RINO, or rhinoceros, and elephant are both large herbivorous animals, they are quite different in almost every other way. We distinguish Rhinoceroses by their large size. They can reach one ton or more in weight. Their strong protective skin is from 1.5–5 cm thick, formed from layers of collagen positioned in a lattice structure, and relatively small brains for mammals this size. They are solitary animals and do not spend much time in a family group and are intensely territorial.
Elephants, on the other hand, are considered keystone species due to their positive impact on their environments. They have a fission-fusion society in which many family groups come together to socialize. Calves are the center of attention in their family groups and rely on their mothers for as long as three years. They communicate by touch, sight, and sound. We can compare elephant intelligence to that of primates and cetaceans, which are mammals, such as dolphins and whales who we admire for their high intelligence. They seem to be self-aware and show empathy for dying or dead individuals of their kind.
Today’s RINO is a whole new breed of liberal. Unlike the elephant, the RINO has a thick skin and can easily tune out the voices of disagreement. He has selective cognitive abilities and, therefore, does not waste time reading or researching relevant facts. He looks to the United Nations for leadership and wants to see the United States fall under their umbrella. He does not believe that he is accountable to the American people. He says and does the right things to get reelected term after term by an often lazy, and uninformed constituency. Once in office, he votes as the wealthy sponsors he has sold out to tell him to vote.
Consequently, he has little sympathy for those whose lives he damages by the laws he helps write. He loves his own family, of course; however, he can watch families be torn apart by a corrupt educational system, the courts, and unions with little or no regard. Thus, his agreement with issues like abortion and homosexuality.
True conservatives care about family values. They work tirelessly to protect those under their charge. Like the elephant, the lives and deaths of others matter to them. Senator Rand Paul’s willingness to stand for 13 hours without a break shows this concern. He knows he answers to the American people and to his Creator.
No, the RINO is not a new political party. It is more like the rotting edges of what was once a formidable movement in America. I hear a lot of talk about the need for a new political party. I agree that would be a good solution and there is a lot of stirring in that direction. Until that happens, though, we need to become educated about the system we have now. When we know why the three branches of our government are behaving with such insanity, we can begin to understand where to focus our efforts. Then maybe RINOs like McCain and Lindsey will go back to their respective states and quietly disappear from history’s stage.