This is in the nature of a rant.
RINO, n., (acronym of “Republican In Name Only”)
1. Any Republican who doesn’t completely agree with me about absolutely everything whatsoever. – (1a) — … about whatever issue about which I currently have my hair on fire.
2. Any Republican elected official who compromises in any way on any topic at any time.
Somehow, a year and a half before the election, it’s campaign season once again. It’s not possible in a country with a First Amendment and a fixed election schedule, but I’ve got to admit that sometimes I kind of envy our brethren in the UK who only have six-week campaigns.
Hanging around PJ Media, I run into a lot of people with particularly vigorous political opinions — as contrasted with mine, of course, which are moderate, rational, and completely correct -– and as we go into this protracted, prolonged, and pretty well overpopulated campaign season, the traditional hunting season has opened. Like the running of the bulls in Pamplona, every election season includes the GOPs traditional Hunt of the RINOs, which is now in full swing.
As usual, it makes little sense. Right now, Donald Trump is the Legacy Media darling, based on his name recognition and some inflammatory statements. Now, you can argue whether they were right or wrong — and in fact I think they are both right and wrong — but the fact is he’s a good show. He’s an expert at getting attention. He’s made a reputation for his incredible business skills, primarily through self-promotion; his initial business accomplishments seem to have largely been based on getting government to give him stuff. He was, in the past, strongly pro-choice and a major contributor to Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton.
Anyone else with that record would be a perfect example of a RINO, but with the Donald’s skill at self-promotion and the Legacy Media’s willingness to go along, Trump is currently leading many polls.
At the same time, a little googling of “Ted Cruz RINO,” “Bobby Jindal RINO,” even “Sarah Palin RINO,” will show that clearly someone thinks pretty nearly everyone in the GOP is a RINO. This is usually followed with calls to force said RINO out of the party, and a pledge not to vote at all if said RINO is nominated.
Here’s the problem: if everyone who someone thinks is a RINO were forced out, you’d end up with a party that could hold its nominating convention in a studio apartment. But if you want to fill the apartment you’d better have an open bar.
So let’s do some arithmetic.
Say there are a thousand potential voters. Now, normally, we say that to win an election you need “50 percent plus 1,” or 501 votes for your candidate. But in the U.S. system, that’s not how it works: if only 3 people show up, and it’s 2–1, then the person who got two votes wins. So let’s take a special case that makes things clear: Let say the electorate is exactly evenly divided, 500 to 500, when one person decides the Republican candidate is a damnable RINO and stays home. Now the election is 500 to 499, and the Democrat wins. If that person had gone for the Democrat, that would be 501/499 — a difference of one vote. If the person just stays home it’s 500/499. Do the arithmetic and it turns out that’s a difference of half a vote — or, since votes aren’t divisible, you can say that two people staying home adds up to one vote for the opposition. (The effect is the same, it only takes one person staying home to turn the election.)
This isn’t as bad as voting for a third-party candidate, of course, because a vote for a third-party candidate is a whole vote. Ralph Nader, Ross Perot, and George Wallace could all testify to the effects of that.
A lot of the RINO-hunting crowd right now will tell you that they stayed home in 2012, because Romney was a RINO. I have to admit that I don’t buy it; I suspect that the election turned on a relatively little bit of election fraud, and a massive effort by the IRS and the Justice Department to suppress Republican votes. But for the sake of argument, let’s say that’s what happened: then the people who stayed home because Romney was a RINO cast a half-vote each for Obama – and those half-votes elected Obama.
The bottom line is this: if you decide not to vote in order to punish the RINOs, you’re casting half a vote for the other side. If, Gods forbid, Trump runs third-party – as Wallace, Perot, Nader, and, in Colorado, Tom Tancredo did –- and you vote for him, you’re effectively casting a full vote for the other side.
I think you should vote for whomever you wish. Or stay home, if you like. Just remember that if you do stay home, you’re voting for Hillary, or Bernie, or whoever gets that nomination.