Sunday, March 20, 2005

Greetings & Salutations slash Mission Statement

Welcome to the Charging RINO's blog. What's a RINO, you might ask ... and why, more importantly, is it charging? RINO (i.e. 'Republican In Name Only') is the name given to those of us in the moderate to liberal wings of the Republican Party by those in the not-so-moderate-to-liberal wings of that same party. It's not meant to be a nice name.

I am, however, proud to call myself a RINO. I'd much rather be a Republican "In Name Only" and still stand up for the ideals upon which our party was founded than get in line with the current party leadership and surrender those ideals to the demands and whims of those on the radical fringe. (Note the intentional non-use of the term 'conservative', as I do not believe that today's Republican leadership has any right to describe themselves as such.) I'm charging now because I can't sit back and watch partisan gridlock overtake America, and because I am hopeful that if more moderates like me (whether you're a Republican, a Democrat, an independent or something else entirely) stand up and speak our minds, instead of getting frustrated and becoming disillusioned, we really can 'change the tone' in Washington and solve some of the many important problems facing our country today.

RINOs come in all kinds. Some believe that because you're a Republican (even if "In Name Only") you still should vote for Republican candidates across the board even if you don't agree with them. Some think you should even go out and campaign with Republican candidates even if you don't agree with them. I'm not that kind of RINO. Positions have always been more important to me than party identification: while I voted for John McCain (in fact volunteered for his campaign) during the 2000 primary season, I voted for Gore in that general election, and supported Kerry last November. This makes me, in the eyes of most Republicans, a traitor at best, and some would probably ship me off to Guantanamo as an 'enemy combatant' if they could get away with it.

Compromise has, from the very beginning, been a key part of our government's structure. In recent years, however, compromise has come to play an ever-decreasing role in the way things get done in Washington. The administration likes to "bring people together", but only with the sort-of-important caveat that you already have to agree with their position ("I'll reach out to everyone who shares our goals," Bush said on November 4, 2004). Seems to me we could get a whole lot more accomplished if we put people who had different views in a room and urged them to reach agreement. Pick your issue: Social Security, judicial nominations, global warming, you name it -- find a common point of agreement, get people talking, and eventually a compromise will be reached. It might not be exactly what each person wanted at the beginning, but isn't that the point? Republicans need to learn that there's nothing wrong with working together with Democrats to solve problems, and in fact our country would almost certainly be better served if that were the case.

I don't want to make this too long, so I will say in conclusion that all the things (and more) that I've talked about are the point of this blog. I will provide links to interesting things I've read or seen in the media, with probably a bit of editorial comment that you can take or leave as you see fit. Occasionally I will rant. If you don't like what I have to say, feel free to comment. If you do like what I have to say, by all means comment as well. Sometimes I will urge you to call or write your representatives in Washington about something important. I might recommend a book or two. I will always welcome your thoughts and criticisms - the importance of informed debate and open discussion simply cannot be overstated. I hope that this will be a fun and interesting experience for me, and I hope you'll come back again.


At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Steve Abott said...

Great blog. I hate it when i agree with you so much. I look forward to reading it in the months ahead. Your party needs more people like you.
Steve Abott


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