I recently read an article detailing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s lack of conservative credentials. In it, the term “RINO” was thrown around quite often (RINO stands for Republican In Name Only). I won’t bore you with the list of things picked at, needless to say Mr. Christie probably wouldn’t win a GOP Primary in Texas…but find me a successful GOP politico from the NE that would. The article, and comments within, really resonated with me though. It seems that in the past few years those within your party (be it Rs or Ds) who compromise are unfairly cast as “not conservative enough” or “not liberal enough” (although I would argue that if you define yourself as liberal then you are certainly liberal enough, probably too liberal really). In the article I was reading Gov. Christie was actually called out for saying that “we need good ideas from both sides”. People were actually upset that he said Democrats had good ideas (the author went on to list some bad decision Democrats had made…a list that I am sure could be filled with equally bad GOP ideas).
Given that the Republican platform changes continually, I am sure every Republican could be accused of being a RINO at some point. However, those who are considered RINOs are still Republican. They still vote for the Speaker along GOP lines and still support the Republican platform more than a Democrat would. In 2010, we saw two cases of US Senate candidates winning their primaries because they ran against so-called RINOs Both were easily beaten by the time the General Election results were confirmed. So, instead of having two seats in the Senate filled by people with “R” next to their name and a vote that could be counted on more often than not, we instead have a U.S. Senate that is controlled by Democrats, thus throwing up a road block to the GOP controlled House. If those two states had supported the less conservative, but still Republican, candidates, we would have passed bills that would have lowered our spending even further, avoided the Government Shutdown controversy, and helped pushed forward policies that would get America back on track. Instead, we have the Republican voters of two states to blame for our lack of forward progress because they wanted someone more “conservative” not someone who could actually get the job done (we could also look at the NRSC and see that they did a poor job of recruiting candidates in some states).
How far have we come that political compromise is demonized on the internet? We should be encouraging our elected officials to work together for the betterment of America. While the House of Representatives is comprised of men and women elected by 435 different areas, they all come to Washington to make the United States a better place. San Fransisco is never going to elect a conservative and the rural South is never going to elect a liberal. Given that, we need people who can work together. C-Span would be very entertaining if we had over 400 people yelling at each other but it wouldn’t be very good for us as citizens. Compromise is what drives us all. Nobody is always right. Each side has good ideas that could benefit from the input of the other. That is the point of Congress – people working together from across our great land to enrich all of us, to make our futures, and our children’s futures even brighter.
We get fed up with the inefficiency in our government and choose to blame a party (in 2010, we blamed the Ds, in 2006, we blamed the Rs) when we really should be looking at ourselves. Our government is a reflection of us. They only get into power because WE put them there. They only pass laws because WE allow them to. So, if we are continuously complain about the lack of progress being made towards anything in Washington, we have only ourselves to blame because we vote for the wrong people.
When we look at who to support in our future races, I hope we can learn lessons from our recent elections. We shouldn’t be looking at the candidate that is best for each of us, we should be looking at the candidates that is best for the US. When you talk to your candidates for city, state and federal offices, it is important they represent your area, but it is even more important that they have the greater good in mind. They need to be able to compromise because EVERYONE has good ideas and we can benefit from the best ideas coming forward and being made better with input from both sides. I am not saying not to elect someone who is Conservative (or Liberal). I am saying that you need to vote for the person who really understands the job and knows how to get it done so we can really start to move our cities, states and nation forward again.
-Sam the Eagle