Since Thomas Dewey challenged Franklin D. Roosevelt for the presidency in 1944 I’ve considered myself to be a loyal Republican. Through the intervening decades my loyalty grew as the party continued to be dedicated to limiting the role of government, robust support for defense, fiscal responsibility and the rule of law. Some party leaders were fiscal and/or social conservatives and others were more liberal, but the party’s “big tent” was welcoming to all.

I never recall the thought of throwing anyone out of the party because of differing political philosophies. RINO – the acronym for “Republican in name only” – is hardly new but it was seldom heard until the past decade, and its meaning has shifted over time. In previous decades, a Republican risked getting tagged as a RINO for supporting tax increases, gun control or abortion rights. Today, it seems to have been weaponized as a term reserved nearly exclusively for lack of allegiance to former President Trump. He’s almost single handedly turned it into a slur to be avoided at all costs.

Leigh E. Morris is the former mayor of LaPorte and former chairman of the LaPorte County Republican Party. 

(1) comment


I think your definition of RINO is flawed. You proceed to make your argument from that flawed premise.

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