Posted BY: David Lanza

We are now enduring the usual competing ads from another primary election.  A trend has developed in Republican primaries that sees candidates call each other “RINOs” (Republicans in Name Only).  An incumbent GOP candidate insists that his challenger is a RINO.  The challenger says the same thing about the incumbent.  In Pennsylvania, these ads feature grainy photos of the opposing GOP candidates next to grainy photos of Joe Biden or Democrat governors Wolf and Shapiro.  Republicans argue over who are the “real” RINOs.  These accusations appear in local races as much as congressional and Senate contests.  Even the RINOs appear to oppose the RINOs.

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Some commenters implore both sides to stop using this term because it is easy to make and impossible to prove. But is it really impossible?

Only some of the accusing candidates are lying. RINOs do appear in many races and sometimes win. They stop key legislation or join with Democrats to create oppressive new levels of government bureaucracy. They repeat Democrat talking points. They denounce conservative elected officials while providing momentum for Democrat efforts to derail conservative initiatives. It takes only two or three RINOs to derail a bill or nomination when a legislative body is held by a slim majority. Their presence at all levels of government demoralizes the Republican base and depresses GOP voter turnout. Many GOP voters have simply given up because GOP officials appear to carry out the same policies that the base has voted against.

But should we give up? Not if we understand certain RINO characteristics that make it easier to identify them before we vote. No one characteristic is always decisive by itself.

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