Rod Miller: What Do We Call Folks Who Call Other Folks RINOs? Conserpulists, Populervatives??

Columnist Rod Miller writes: "What do we call folks who call other folks RINOs? Its not logical simply to call them Republicans, since the Wyoming GOP defines Republican as anyone registered with the party."

Rod Miller

February 26, 20234 min read

Rod Miller

One of the great beauties of our English language is the fact that it is not static. Our mother tongue has the organic ability to expand itself to accommodate new words that, of necessity, arise when they are needed. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) annually catalogs new words and includes them in that august reference.  

I’m pretty sure that RINO (Republican In Name Only), a term probably first coined by the Nixon White House, made the OED through common usage. Or, more likely, through over-usage.  

That begs the question, “what do we call folks who call other folks RINOs?”  

It’s not logical simply to call them Republicans, since the Wyoming GOP defines Republican as anyone registered with the party. “Republican,” by the GOP’s own definition is inclusive. “RINO” is exclusive, so there must be a corollary word to describe everyone else in the party.  

In my last column, I described the Anti-RINOs as “drugstore conservatives” which refers to their feigned political identification with true American conservative political thought. That’s what I’ll keep calling them, unless a better term presents itself.  

But I understand that some MAGA feelings were hurt, and that “drugstore conservative” isn’t the proper nomenclature for hard news stories. Straight reporting requires a less derogatory, less satirical term.  

Hence my question – What do we call the folks that call other folks RINOs?  

The name-callers are Republicans who strive to achieve an 80% fidelity to the Republican platform. When I was in school, 80% would get graded as a “C”. So we could call them our “C-Students”, but I imagine that also would hurt their feelings.  

Or, we could call them “Non-RINO RINOs”, but that is too cumbersome, almost a double negative. There must be a better term.  

Since these folks admittedly adore populism (or Mobocracy, if you prefer) and they love to style themselves as “conservative” to distinguish themselves from the bloodthirsty Bolsheviks in Boulder, perhaps some combination of those words might work.  

How about Populervatives? Nope. I just tried to say it out loud and sounded like I have a mouthful of peanuts. Conserpulists? That sounds like slurping Everclear through a straw. Both are catchy, but contort the tongue.  

I really can’t see a real reporter using either word in a hard-hitting news piece.  

A Millennial friend, who is very politically savvy, suggested that I’m too hung up on my old definition of “conservative.” She said that the years have diluted that honorific and that I need to take off my AuH2O button and get hip.  

She has a point, because the folks who call everyone else RINO have proven that their first resort for solving problems is more government. They are far from conservative.  

She suggests that we call them “populist Republicans”, and while that isn’t as cute as “Conserpulist,” it is journalistically accurate and it rolls off the tongue without making the speaker slobber. “Populist Republican” would scan well in a straight news story.  

But are we missing any other possibilities? I’m asking the hive mind of CSD readers to wrack their brains and send me your own suggestions for what to call these Populervatives. The winning entry will receive a brand new set of steak knives and a gently-used Rex Wilde for Governor T-shirt.  

Send me a word or phrase that aptly describes those who call everyone else RINO, and you’ll be the envy of your neighborhood. But no memes! I don’t care to see star-spangled screaming eagle pictures or cute rainbow unicorns.  

I want your words.  

Let’s see if I get a better response to this appeal than I did when I challenged legislators who want to outlaw crossover voting to explain their rationale. None of ‘em took me up on my offer to use my column space to explain themselves.  

Are you in, dear readers? Cool, I thought so. Ok….on your marks, get set, think!  

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Rod Miller

Political Columnist