Everyone knows or should know, that there is neither a loyalty oath nor an accurate FDA-approved blood test (sorry Dr. Fauci) to verify that someone is actually a real Republican. There ought to be but there just isn’t.
All that is required to run for office in New Hampshire as a Republican is to show up in your town clerk’s office, fill out a declaration of candidacy, and on that declaration state that you are a Republican. Of course, the town clerk is supposed to check the voter checklist to verify your registration status, but you can easily change your status from one party to another or from undeclared to a party, and back again, at almost any time.
And there you have it!
Unless the electorate takes the time and effort to question a candidate and their political views, most voters assume that if they vote for a candidate carrying the Republican label they must be a Republican and if elected they will vote like a Republican. Not necessarily true.
We in New Hampshire have seen time and time again people elected as Republicans who vote as Democrats (or worse) once they get into office. These are the political figures who become labeled as Republicans In Name Only (i.e. RINO’s for short).
This writer has historically argued that if a person runs as a Republican, they should act like a real Republican, which means, generally, that they support the US and NH constitutions as written and the platforms of the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of New Hampshire.
Obviously, there may be some aspects of the platforms of the national and state party with whom one may not agree completely, keeping in mind that the platforms have been written by a committee. Of course, a camel is well known to be a horse designed by a committee. So, if you do not agree with 100% of the party platform, pick a percentage with which you do agree – 60%; 75%; 80%; 90%?
If a candidate agrees with less than, say, 60% of the material positions in the party platform, it is suggested that they are in the wrong party and should change their party registration.
In recent days, we have seen an individual elected as a state representative as a Republican, but who usually supported Dem position and voted like a Dem, finally changed his party registration to Dem, showing his true colors. This “courageous” act turned out to be a welcome way for him to avoid a primary since he was at the top of many lists of RINOs in the General Court and the Executive Council to be targeted in primaries.
So, the message is clear: If you are actually a RINO and often vote with the Dems on critical platform issues, avoid the time, expense, and trouble of having to face a primary opponent who may be more ideologically pure by changing your party registration and running under the banner of the political party in which you actually believe and support.
And it isn’t the Republican Party.