Although Donald Trump remains very popular with most Republicans, there is a significant number who oppose him.
Trump and many of his supporters call them “RINOs” (Republicans in name only), but in reality, Trump and his supporters – of which I am one – are the real RINOs. I don’t mean that as an insult, but as fact.
What made Trump so popular in 2016 and beyond is that he was a different breed of Republican. Those who oppose him, from the Bushes to the Cheneys to Mitt Romney, are the real Republicans. Here’s why.
The Republican Party was formed in the mid-19th century primarily as a voice for the abolition of slavery. Their first presidential nominee, John Fremont, lost the 1856 election to James Buchanan, but four years later the Republicans won the White House with Abraham Lincoln. Except for two non-consecutive victories by Democrat Grover Cleveland, the Republican Party won all subsequent elections until 1912.
In 1904, after serving most of assassinated President William McKinley’s second term, Theodore Roosevelt ran for his own term and won overwhelmingly. In 1908 he was by far the most popular politician in America and, at only 50, certainly young enough to run for another term. (Back then, there was no limit on presidential terms; presidents could run for as many terms as they wished.)
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However, after promising the American people that he would not seek another term, Roosevelt took his leave and commended William Howard Taft, who won.
Always full of energy and panache, Roosevelt went to Africa to hunt lions and tigers, but desperate supporters sent him letters begging him to come back and run again in 1912 because Taft was not performing at all as they had expected. Roosevelt answered the call, but the party establishment avoided him.
It quickly became clear that Lincoln’s party, once identified with abolitionism, had a new philosophy: establishmentism.
For the next 103 years, with rare exceptions, the Republican Party was led by country club establishments. There were no deep ideological differences between Democrats and Republicans. Both were very patriotic. Both believed in secure borders and law and order. Both worshiped our police force as much as they worshiped our troops. There was no mention of abortion, same-sex marriage, legalization of marijuana, or gender dysphoria. Both parties would have considered awakening to be completely absurd; They couldn’t imagine a waking person speaking seriously.
The main difference between the two major parties was their essence. Republicans, seen as the party of the rich, favored low taxes and lax regulations. Their decisions on any issue were almost always based on what was best for the economy. The Democrats, on the other hand, were pro-workers, who might need a boost to catch up. This is basically what separates the two parties from each other.
All that changed in 1980.
By then, the Democrats had swayed significantly to the left (though nowhere near where they are today), and a guy named Ronald Reagan emerged with an uplifting message of conservative populism holding up Republicans while beating droves of disgruntled conservative Democrats attracted who no longer recognized their own party. They became known as the “Reagan Democrats.”
Sound familiar? That’s what Trump did in 2016. But we’ll get to that later.
Reagan won two landslides and ended his eight years in the Oval Office as one of America’s most popular and successful presidents. But when he retired, Republicans went back to their old ways.
A new generation of Republicans, ostensibly after Reagan but really an establishment throwback, were the neoconservatives — you know, like Liz Cheney’s father Dick. Sure, they believed in tax cuts, but they also refused to protect American workers with tariffs. Her view of the economy was broad. As long as GDP was rising, they didn’t have much sympathy for American workers who lost their jobs because corporations moved their operations abroad.
They also didn’t care much about solving our border problems because they also looked the other way when it came to illegal people here. Unlike Democrats, who see PHIs as future Democratic voters and a dent in America’s white, Western European influence, Republicans welcome them because they provide cheap labor. Again, all in the name of corporate profit.
On foreign policy matters, Republicans seemingly endlessly deploy troops around the world to build a nation, maintain a Cold War mentality toward Russia, and refuse to sit down and negotiate with renegade dictators.
Trump, on the other hand, saw China as our greatest threat, imposed tariffs on friend and foe alike, took the toughest stance against illegal immigration of any president in over 100 years, negotiated with Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un and the Taliban and , who long ago proposed a one-time luxury tax for the super-rich, Sean Hannity also said during the 2016 campaign that trickle-down economics doesn’t always work.
The reason Trump won in 2016 wasn’t because he was a traditional Republican — he wasn’t. He attracted many of those Reagan Democrats who, in the GOP post-Reagan years, remained doubly parked and wondered where to go next.
The Liz Cheneys, Mitt Romneys and other Republican Trump bashers are not the RINOs – they are the Republicans. They really are TSINOs (Trump Supporters in Name Only) or at least they were until they showed their true colors.
However, being optimistic that Taft’s mainstream Republican Party finally came to an end in 2016, I think Republicanism will become more synonymous with the Trump brand over time. Then these critics can really be called RINOs. For now, they’re just leftover Republican dinosaurs.
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https://www.westernjournal.com/scaros-not-republicans-name-republicans-typically/ Scaros: They’re Not Republicans in Name Only