I consider myself to be a fairly self-aware individual.
But I learned something about myself during this most recent election cycle.
I am a RINO.
That’s a “Republican In Name Only.”
I am for smaller, limited government. I’m for lower taxes. I favored right-to-work legislation. I favored school vouchers.
I favored lowering or eliminating the business personal property tax. I think the federal government should stay out of things like education, so I was not a fan of Common Core.
At the federal level I think the Affordable Care Act – as well as myriad other giant government programs like No Child Left Behind or the prescription drug benefit – are unwarranted, unnecessary, unaffordable expansions of the federal government.
I think the federal government has assaulted the 1st, 10th and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution with things like warrantless wire taps, signing statements and executive orders.
I believe life begins at conception.
I believe the 2nd amendment is my personal protection permit.
I think the federal deficit and annual federal budget deficits are threats to the stability of our nation and its economy that must be immediately and aggressively addressed.
I believe there is far too much corporate and union influence in politics and government and that there is an urgent need for meaningful campaign finance reform.
I believe the tax code has become overly complex and cumbersome and provides too many loopholes and exemptions.
I think the outsourcing of mid-level income jobs threatens the middle class and creates an unsustainable economic model.
I believe the power in a Constitutional Republic – like the United States of America – must flow from the people, through its elected representatives, to a limited federal government and that most of the power should remain with states and individuals.
I could go on but you get the picture. I’m pretty darn conservative. Despite all that, however, I am a RINO.
I am simply not ideologically pure enough to be a Republican these days. You gotta toe the line, man. You can’t waver a bit or you’re in trouble.
You can forget all that stuff I just wrote about. I lose all credibility as a conservative because I want to eliminate meth labs and I don’t think it’s cool to discriminate against gay people.
I’ve run afoul of the ideologically pure Republicans. I’ll call them RAMS –  Republicans Against Moderate Sensibilities.
It’s true. I have trouble seeing why people think it’s necessary to discriminate against gay people who want to be married. My position over the years has changed on that issue. I once thought that marriage should be reserved for heterosexuals. Over time, for reasons I can’t really explain, I began to see gay marriage bans as a form of discrimination. Now it just seems mean.
I know the Bible says being gay is an abomination.
But people used the Bible to argue against interracial marriage. People used the Bible to argue blacks and women shouldn’t be allowed to vote.
Thankfully, we evolved past those notions.
I think marriage today has more to do with government than the Bible. Married couples enjoy lots of advantages bestowed by the government because of their marital status and people don’t have to get married in a church for it to be legal.
So, with regard to marriage, why not just let church and state be separate?
The government won’t force churches to perform gay marriages and the church won’t force its definition of marriage on the government.
If the state wants to recognize gay marriages, who cares? Why force a religious context into something that really only needs to be sanctioned by the government?
Here in Indiana, some people were pushing for the “right” to vote on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. But is that the way it really works in a Constitutional Republic? Wasn’t the intent of the founders to protect the rights of individuals from the oppression of the majority?
Yeah, it was.
And it works. Because I bet if you left it strictly to a majority vote, the Civil Rights Act never would have passed.
That act, passed originally in 1964, outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Sooner or later, I believe sexual orientation will be added to that list by the U.S Supreme Court. Then all the laws and amendments states have passed to outlaw gay marriage are going to be unconstitutional anyway.
So with all the issues facing this state – and nation – right now, is fighting for the “right” to ban gay marriage worth the trouble?
Now let’s get shallow and look at the politics of the issue.
A nationwide Pew Research Center poll released in March researched support for same-sex marriage among Republican-leaning voters.
Of those aged 18-29, 61 percent support it. Of those aged 18-50, 52 percent support it. Of those aged 50 and older, 27 percent support it.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll from February to March found a record-high 59 percent of all Americans approve of same-sex marriage, with only 34 percent opposed and 7 percent with no opinion.
That’s a lot of RINOs. That’s a lot of votes.
The other thing that got me sideways with the RAMS was my recent column expressing the opinion that pseudoephedrine should be rescheduled as a prescription drug. I say no PSE, no meth labs.
I had a state lawmaker waving a letter to the editor around in the newsroom comparing me to former N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Seriously. That really happened.
Seems I’m a full-on liberal now.
And apparently, so is District 22 State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki. Can you believe that race between her and Curt Nisly?
I’ve never seen anything like it. If you believe the nonsense that gets sent to your mailbox, neither one of them should be elected to office.
Heck, Kubacki wants to shut down churches all over Indiana and take away our guns, and Nisly is a big-labor treasonist who wants to “break up America.”
Ah, the sound of Republicans eating their own in the springtime. No consideration for incumbent legislative accomplishments. No consideration for legislative effectiveness. No consideration for overall voting records. Just lockstep all-or-nothing right wingery. Somehow this is deft political strategy?
Know what? I wear my RINO label as a badge of honor. Hey, all you other RINOs out there, join me at the polls Tuesday and vote.
And here’s some advice for all you RAMS. Want to win elections? You need us RINOs. Be nice to us. And stop trying to run elected RINOs out of office.
And frankly, you RAMS are starting to look a little backward.
Being No. 1 in the nation in meth labs and discriminating against gays is no way to attract the best and brightest to Indiana.