Nichols: Trump and Justin’s Conservative Purity Contest

President Donald Trump and U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, MI-3 (R-Cascade Township)

“RINO! He’s nothing but a RINO! Kick him out!”

Yup, I’m sure you’ve heard the exact same thing on social media in reference to one particular congressman named Justin Amash. See, Amash has really peeved a number of MAGA Republicans in his calling for President Trump’s impeachment based on the findings in the Mueller Report.

Instead of focusing on Amash’s impeachment talk, I instead wanted to address the “RINO” label that Amash has been given over the past month. For those of you unaware, a “RINO”, in the context of American politics, is a fun name given to Republicans who are considered to be “Republicans in name only”. More often than not, the term “RINO” is used used by more conservative members of the GOP to describe other Republicans who tend to vote and act as moderates, liberals, or “independents” rather than reflecting the more traditional conservative values of the Republican Party.

Conservative Review, the brainchild of Mark Levin, even has a “CR Top 25 Rinos” list that publicly identifies/shames 25 sitting members of Congress who “aren’t Republican enough” based on their voting records. Familiar names like Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, and Susan Collins top the list as the most RINO Republicans, but interestingly, Congressman Amash is nowhere to be found on that list.

Perhaps that is due to the fact that Congressman Amash has a 90% (A) rating for his “Liberty Score” (Conservative Review’s Liberty Score grades members of Congress on the top 50 votes over a rolling six-year term. A letter grade is assigned to each member to help quickly determine whether a lawmaker is supporting conservative principles). Funny enough, it is due to Congressman Amash’s staunch defense of the Constitution coupled with his libertarian and conservative principles that he was given the honor of being one of Conservative Review’s “TOP 25 CONSERVATIVES.”

So, let’s reflect for a moment… Justin Amash has one of the highest marks in Congress for being a tried and true conservative/libertarian stalwart, based not only on his public statements, but also based on his voting record. Yet it is Justin Amash who is being lambasted as a RINO for daring to question the MAGA Republican in Donald Trump. Yes, we’re talking about the same Donald Trump who has enacted tariffs that hurt American consumers and manufacturers, implemented restrictions on our Second Amendment rights, and more (for those of you playing along at home, none of that is “conservative” in the slightest).

Perhaps it’s time for some introspection from those Republicans who are crying out, “AMASH IS A RINO! STIFLE HIM!” Do you support conservative, limited government, constitutional principles? Or do you merely support a populist who is telling you what you want to hear, principles be damned?

Yeah, we all know the answer to that question already, but to those of you in denial, hopefully this helps straighten out the mental gymnastics you’ve been performing in your mind.

And with that, we’ll see you next week. 

Author: Brian Nichols

Brian is the host of The Brian Nichols Show. He obtained his Bachelor's of Arts in Political Science with a concentration in American Government and Associate's Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Management and has served on multiple political campaigns, including local, state, and federal campaigns. He also co-authored a published academic paper that explored the concept of a professional legislature that focused on the application of "professional legislatures" to county legislative bodies in New York State. His goal is simple: to have a show that discusses today's news in an objective manner to ultimately find common ground between individuals of differing ways of thinking. He currently as an Associate Editor for The Libertarian Republic and Chapter Leader for AFF Philadelphia. When not taking part in political discourse, Brian enjoys watching the Dallas Cowboys, reruns of The Office on Netflix, and going to the gym.

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