I don’t know how it started, but for as long as I can remember RINOs (Republicans In Name Only – pronounced like “rhino”) has been used to describe moderate/liberal members of the GOP. It was an insult leveled primarily by hardcore conservatives against Republicans who would shirk from their professed beliefs when it came time to cast an unpopular vote. Unlike rhinos, RINOs are in no danger of going extinct.
I was a Republican long before I was a conservative. Heck, I was a Republican well before I could even vote. When I was a young child, I was asked some questions about the president that went like this:
Q: Where does the president live?
Me: In the White House.
Q: And what is the president’s job?
Me: To keep the Democrats out of the building.
As a little kid, I didn’t really understand all the policy implications of tax cuts, deregulation, or building up the military, but I knew Democrats shouldn’t be in power.
Much latter in life I started thinking about why that is; why is it better for Republicans to run the government, not Democrats. That’s when I truly became a conservative.
You were born free; a gift from God. Or, as someone else once wrote, we are all “endowed by (our) Creator with certain unalienable rights” including “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Yet those rights have been pretty alien to most of humanity. From the beginning, roving bandits raided farmers and travelers, depriving them of life, liberty, and any opportunity for happiness. Eventually they became stationary bandits and called themselves kings.
Thus formed governments, which used their monopoly of the legitimate use of force to deprive all their people of liberty in exchange for a measure of security.
For decades, Republicans have criticized Democrat hypocrisy. Bill Clinton was accused of rape and admitted (after committing perjury) to an affair with a young intern over whom he held significant power. Despite this, Democrats, who otherwise argued that all women who claim to be victims of sexual assault should be believed, nevertheless enthusiastically supported a man repeatedly charged with those heinous crimes and instead attacked his accusers.
Ted Kennedy drove his car into a lake and left his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, behind to drown. There were rumors of an affair, but whatever he felt for the young woman was not enough because Kennedy did not even report the incident to the police until the next day – after someone else discovered a dead body in his sunken car. Despite this, he was called a lion of the Senate and elected to several more terms by Democrats who claim to oppose violence against women.
Both men committed horrible crimes but were forgiven by their party because The Cause was more important.
Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. – Winston Churchill
Saudi Arabia has an estimated 269 billion barrels of crude oil reserves ready to be extracted. They used that oil to turn a desert full of nomads into a player on the world stage. Despite having almost no other valuable industry, Saudi Arabia has used it’s oil exports to make it the 15th wealthiest country in the world, sitting two spots above Canada. That is what oil can do for a somewhat well managed country even while virtually ignoring all other industries. Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world with an estimated 300 billion barrels of crude, yet it’s economy is in free fall.
3,000 miles to our south, a country that should be prosperous is falling apart. At this point, some Venezuelans cannot even join bread lines, instead they line up outside bakeries for the chance to dig through the trash. Everyday items like toilet paper or eggs are nearly impossible to find in some places. The fortunate few who can find these items need to bring stacks of Venezuelan bolivars because inflation is through the roof. The Venezuelan economy is in shambles. But why? Why is a country rich in natural resources so broken that millions of its people take to the streets to protest their starvation?
Because years ago, socialists took power and began to faithfully implement their ideology.
When the Gauls fought Caesar, when William Wallace fought the English, when various anti-colonial movements fought the British, French, and other European empires, they all claimed to fight for freedom. But they weren’t fighting for freedom – not really. Their wars were designed to replace a dictator from a foreign land with a dictator who shared their ethnicity.
Southern slaveholders argued for their freedom to hold other human beings in bondage. When President George W. Bush made the case for the Iraq War, he claimed that everyone all around the world wants liberty. As we found out, most just want to be the ones in power.
Many people just want to be free to enforce their will on others.
King Pyrrhus was a Greek general who fought the emerging Roman Empire from 280 BC to 275 BC. King Pyrrhus won stunning victories against the Romans, but at a heavy price. When he was congratulated for another such victory at the Battle is Asculum, King Pyrrhus quipped “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.”
I think about that retort when viewing many of the political battles fought today.
The controversy over football players kneeling during the National Anthem has waned, and Trump is being declared the victor. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell published a letter saying everyone should stand for the anthem and the league suddenly discovered bylaws requiring players to do so or face fines. All in all, it seems like a pretty clear win for Trump, and Rich Lowry explains why in Politico:
It is true that, after Trump got involved, the polling on the protests began to show the public more evenly divided. If you’re Donald Trump and at 40 percent or below in the polls, though, a 50/50 issue works for you. If you are the NFL and hope to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, a 50/50 issue is a disaster for you.
I think this assessment is fairly accurate, but incomplete. Trump won, but the NFL was not the only loser.