Because it is once again election season, I am hearing from a great many people who sincerely believe RINO is the vilest of all four-letter words. The weird thing is that although I am about as conservative as a person can be, I wind up spending an inordinate amount of time defending them.
I understand that people who take their conservative politics and values seriously wish every Republican did the same, and resent those who don’t. But we are Republicans and therefore, unlike liberals, we are not all the end result of the cookie cutter. It is easy for Democrats to line up in a very neat row because they all subscribe to the same talking points. For instance, they believe that a massive federal government collecting a massive amount of tax dollars, running up a massive debt and controlling everything from the economy to education, from health care to the climate, is the answer to every problem.
In spite of the fact that states that allow their citizens to carry concealed weapons have lower crime rates, liberals are convinced that the Second Amendment should be made null and void. In spite of falling temperatures, they believe that Al Gore’s warnings about global warming are as close to gospel as they care to get. In spite of his lies about ObamaCare, Benghazi, the IRS and Ebola, they are convinced that Obama is an honest man.
Furthermore, they believe that the Republican House is filled with obstructionists who stay awake nights trying to figure out ways to thwart the people's’ will in spite of the fact that Harry Reid stops every House bill in its tracks, refusing to even allow the other 99 members the opportunity to do what they’re paid to do; namely, vote.
My defense of RINOS doesn’t mean I share their views, it means I am enough of a realist to recognize that ours is not a conservative nation, and probably hasn’t been one since the days of Calvin Coolidge, and that our real choice is between the zealots for socialism who infest the Democratic Party and those who constitute the only buffer we have against them.
Again, I understand that some people hate to confront reality and prefer to say that both parties are the same, and if there isn’t a Ted Cruz or a Mike Lee on the ballot, they prefer to stay home on Election Day, indulging in the luxury of feeling themselves superior. Which would be bad enough, but they then spend the next two, four, six or eight years, whining about how the liberals are ruining the country.
Recently, a reader wrote to complain about Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, and wondering how these two dullards came to be the face and voice of the Party. Frankly, I told him, I had no idea. But my theory has always been that the parties came to an agreement at some point, and that if the Democrats picked the putrid likes of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, the GOP would try to play fair by selecting McConnell and Boehner. Naturally, the Democrats complained that even McConnell and Boehner looked good by comparison, but the Republicans said that was the best they could do unless the Democrats would agree to lend them Charlie Rangel and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
Another reader, a veteran, wrote to say that he had donated to Wounded Warriors, but was shocked to discover that the group’s CEO was being paid $360,000-a-year. I let him know that, with the possible exception of the person heading up the Salvation Army, the CEOs of major charities will often make a million dollars a year. I admitted to often wondering how it was that Wounded Warriors was able to afford to advertise every single day on Fox News.
For my part, I have always preferred charity that was as close to one-to-one as possible. I know that I personally would prefer to help a deserving individual than to give money to an organization that has a massive overhead that includes pricey administrators, offices, furniture, staff and an advertising department. It explains why this past election season, I donated directly to a few Senate campaigns, but not to the RNC.
Just recently, I discovered that Houston, Texas, has a lesbian mayor, Annise D. Parker. As a rule, one’s sexual proclivity might not be anybody’s business, but Mayor Parker made it everybody’s when she decided to subpoena the sermons of several local pastors so she could determine if they were speaking out against homosexual activity or saying things that might offend the transgender crowd. As she saw it, if they were engaging in what she determined to be political matters, they could be risking their church’s immunity from the tax collector.
It seems that Mayor Parker is unaware of the fact that sexuality, for better or worse, has been a legitimate concern of Christian pastors at least since the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s only been in recent years that liberals have managed to turn these matters into political fodder as they’ve gone trolling for votes and financial support in some very peculiar places.
Yet at the same time that Christian pastors are being hassled, Muslim ministers go their merry way, indoctrinating our prison population, long an ideal recruiting ground, particularly among black inmates, for Islamic terrorists.
In the meantime, our State Department, which often seems to get its marching orders from our sworn enemies in the Middle East, endorsed a Muslim handbook that promotes Sharia law and refers to jihad as a noble pursuit.
I was recently addressing a Republican group here in the San Fernando Valley. During the Q&A session, one woman asked me how I felt about the political future of this country. I told her that based on what I know about human beings, I tend to be pessimistic. On the other hand, I confessed, I can’t help being optimistic because when all is said and done I’m an American.
©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.