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October 4, 2010 / Candice

You’re right, I am a RINO.

I’ve always known I was a libertarian with some conservative leanings. I never really considered myself a Republican, even though I tend to vote Republican. I’m not involved in the party at all except I’m registered as a Republican. I paid attention to what was going on, I knew that the Bush era Republicans were not fully in line with what I believed, but I had to choose, Democrats or Republicans. It was an uneasy feeling saying, “I’m a Republican” because I truly wasn’t, but according to my voting record, I was.

During the 2008 election I believed that my views were the polar opposite of the liberals in power. It was a war and you had to pick a side it’s either right or left, Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, capitalism or statism. So by default, I was a Republican. If you were caught somewhere in the middle I had no business dealing with you. I called people RINO’s (republican in name only), back when the acronym still had its proper meaning. I thought, albeit briefly, that the way to neutralize the liberal’s power would come from enlisting hardcore conservative-Republicans. I believed moderates were EVIL and were nothing more than Marxist sympathizers. So I was going to put on my war paint, blog, attend tea party events and do everything within my power to expose the liberal-Marxist-socialists-moderates for what they were. RAWRRR!

I ended up in a place I didn’t want to be. I found myself angry at the left for screwing things up. I believed if the tea parties and Republican party worked together we could correct all the wrongs caused by the left by forcing the pendulum to swing back violently in the other direction. I got wrapped up in the hoopla and “fun” of liberal bashing while defending the tea party/conservative/Republican agenda. Something to cure the boredom I guess and prove just how intellectually superior I was to those “stupid Democrats”. I also found myself drifting away from what I truly believed.

I had always known deep down that the Republican party is as much to blame for the failures in our country as the Democrats. Regardless of “40 years of failed Democrat policies”, I knew there was enough blame to go around. The great turning point came maybe a year ago or more, when I stopped paying attention to the petty nonsense and had a “coming to Jesus” moment. I was forced to decide whether I was going to continue to on this path of Democrat hate for the sake of being on the right side or I was going to try to correct, or at the very least bring to light, what’s wrong with my side. I chose the latter.

The most important thing that has ever mattered to me is individual liberty. To that end, we need capitalism. True capitalism. I do not feel the Republicans have ever really been strong in this area, at least not as a whole and not in recent history. They’re “pro-capitalism”, to an extent. That is, if you believe that any government regulation that benefits business is “pro-capitalism”. What we’re really talking about when we look at the Republican Party is corporatism, which is actually closer to statism, and is equally as harmful. Business owners who lobby for government regulation are not capitalists. A real capitalist wants nothing to do with government regulation. They’re not going to be sending millions of dollars and hundreds of lobbyists to Washington to push for legislation to control the market. Unfortunately, most Americans and the Republican Party don’t get it.

I don’t believe the Republican party will ever truly be a party that supports my world view. Both parties believe that government is the answer to something. Unless the Republican party wakes up and realizes its anti-capitalist, thus anti-liberty, solutions are the cause of our problems there really isn’t a best choice when we enter the voting booth, it’ll just be varying degrees of bad. Perhaps I’d be willing to offer the party my full support if they’d actually grow some balls and take a real stand for our individual liberties with the support of capitalism and less regulation. But I won’t hold my breath. Will I still tend to vote for Republicans? Yes. But I am not, nor will I ever be more than a Republican In Name Only, and I’m willing to own that.

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6 Comments

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  1. Jeremy Lattimore / Oct 4 2010 2:51 pm

    Candice,

    I must say you hit the nail on the head. I am in complete agreement with you. The Republican party is drastically flawed just like the Democrat party is. I’m not sure how you can have an anti-regulation party. I suppose it could last for a short period but not sure after that. Legislators go to Washington to create laws not to remove them. That’s the problem. That is where the electorate is supposed to keep them in check. I’m not sure that the parties are as much the problem as the current system is. Instead of allowing them to be career legislators, they should be limited just like most state legislatures are. Most states don’t allow their legistlature to be in session all year. Neither should the federal government. This would force them to work on things that were needed instead of all the junk they come up with (like investigating baseball).

    I don’t believe the parties are the solution. The electorate must be more active and educated. Good democracy requires an informed electorate.

    Jeremy @ PoliticalTavern.com

    • Candice / Oct 5 2010 1:45 pm

      I agree with you, term limits are the way to go. Look at my Representative, Jim Oberstar, been in congress for 35 years! Of course the system won’t change when people like him have a firm grasp on a seat. Old dogs/new tricks and all that. Plus term limits don’t give them enough time to maintain their special interest relationships to the extent they are now, and it’s probably cheaper for the taxpayer in the long run.

      That said, RE: anti-regulation party, there’s nothing in the constitution that requires congress to create laws every day they’re in session. At some point there will come a time when there are no more laws left to create. The final law will be that it’s against the law to create more laws. Then what? Rome burns.

      The problem with the “informed electorate” thing is, it’s a theory. A very small percentage of Americans are actually “informed”. The rest just vote and usually only during the prez election and only if Obama is running. (I joke) The thing is, people don’t want to be informed, if they did they would be. The majority of the “electorate” is ok simply being fed information, whether it comes from the parties, the network/cable news, the internet and regardless of the integrity of the information. And furthermore, and I’ve noticed this a lot lately, no one even cares to read “the other side.” They only want their views regurgitated on someone else’s blog/news site. (end mini-rant here. lol)

  2. Jeremy Lattimore / Oct 4 2010 2:54 pm

    I would also add that I am a registered Republican only because I want to help shape the election via voting in the primaries. In Kansas you must be registered to vote in the primary elections.

  3. rabiddogg / Oct 4 2010 7:38 pm

    That is a good point. I think that Reagan Conservatism is a branch of the republican party that has traditionally wandered in the desert and only emerges at the 11th hour like it did when Regan took down Carter and hopefully with the TEA party.}

    We will have to wait n see.

  4. Brian Lehman / Oct 4 2010 7:41 pm

    Candice, don’t you know the only way to be a True Conservative is to get on board the Republican train and be a good little soldier? It’s people like you that make it so difficult for Our Glorious Party to gain power. Sure we can cut government, but keep in mind we need to patriotic and give five bazillion dollars to the military to make the world safe for freedom?

    Seriously though, hit the nail directly on the head. I’m in complete agreement as well. Maybe we should call ourselves RIROs (Republicans In Registration Only) or RIPOs (Republicans In Preference Only). I dunno. But I sure as heck ain’t a good little party guy.

    • Candice / Oct 5 2010 1:24 pm

      LOL! I like RIPO! But RINO is already so well-known I figured I better claim it on my terms.

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