This is not a fable, but a recitation of American history with some consideration of natural law, if your mind is still willing to think in those terms. (It used to be a foundational subject in teaching in university, that even if you were going to pursue Science, Math or Engineering, you still needed to complete a core curricula in what was once considered to be the fundamentals about citizenship.)
RINO’s, as you know, is a modern pejorative attached to Republicans (“in-name-only”) who aren’t really “conservative” as it was defined in say 1974, then by William F Buckley, Jr and Barry Goldwater. Then, RINO’s were called “Rockefeller Republicans”, only 70% of you today probably never heard of that type of Republican. But that family name is still familiar, and yes, Nelson Rockefeller, our vice-president under the short tenure of Gerald Ford, was the grandson of John D Rockefeller, who “discovered” Standard Oil Co and put America on wheels, thus becoming the richest man in the history of the world. In fact, Standard Oil became so big our government had to break the company into 34 smaller companies, such as Esso, Exxon, Chevron, which was a Good Thing.
But the family wealth continued. Only its monopolistic power was curtailed.
Bottom line, the Rockefeller generations never had to work a day in their lives for their daily bread, some choosing politics (originally called “public service”, or “giving something back”) others idle pleasure-seeking, art collecting and the like. This is all normal for the idle rich. But they do make some effort at keeping their brand, the family name, alive and above-board. For instance, it was saving the Kennedy brand that required mountains to be moved to keep Teddy Kennedy out of jail because of his cowardice (at the minimum) at Chappaquiddick in 1969.
Such is the power of political brands if they are backed by gobs of money.
Today, almost everyone under the age of 60 today knows that name “Rockefeller” mostly as a synonym for great wealth. The actual members of that family, now in Generation 6, are still very, very wealthy, so won’t need to work to make a living, or even prove their value to society for quite many years.
So they can all reside in a more comfortable wing of History’s Inferno. Mox nix. No big deal.
Nelson Rockefeller’s likely purpose in establishing a wing of the Republican Party that was not to spit in the eye of “conservatism” as then defined by William Buckley and Barry Goldwater, but to carve a sophisticated niche for its “old money” roots as defined by Wall Street in 1900.
Those kinds of wealth-roots have run scarcely a century but they represent a very natural belief that wealth-creators and possessors should have their own political wing and privileges. It’s very European, having much to do with rank and privilege, most of them inherited.
Indeed, every state and region had its own “Rockefeller”-type wings, which socially were not dissimilar from “Mayflower” first-families. These even sprung up all along the Oregon Trail, some towns formed simply because that was where the wagons broke down and the families were compelled to stay. Even my stomping grounds in Harlan County had its founding families, e.g. Hensley Settlement (pop 70), where, when I visited there in 1971, scouting up applicants for black lung benefits, a “founder’s daughter” (6th-7th generation) was pointed out to me as “the one with the gold tooth”. She looked to be about 80, but strolled around as regally as if her last name had been “Antoinette”.
So, I suppose you can understand the natural yearning to rise above the herd and be recognized. Sam Walton probably did. Maybe Bill Gates. Most religions teach that it is those compulsions that Man must strive to control; among them, vanity and arrogance. Most RINO’s consider this a perquisite of fame and wealth…whether earned, or merely through connections.
It’s no different in our Congress, or all of Government for that matter, and the Founders even recognized this, and warned us about it, for it occurs naturally in all governments, and was why the Constitution they wrote empowered the People (of modest means), i.e, the majority, to control it through 1) their House of Representatives and 2) their power over the Purse.
That was much of what the Constitution was all about; limiting the power of the hired hands.
Becoming illuminated in History’s Heaven (think of Dante’s Divine Comedy; Paradisio, Purgatorio and Inferno) were probably not on our Founders’ minds. George Bancroft did not complete his first set of American histories until 1854, three generations after the Constitution was written and 55 years after George Washington passed away. Neither Washington nor that whole original crew did what they did just so they’d someday get their faces on a penny stamp or a $1 bill.
In fact, it would be 1913, 126 years, before the Government could even touch citizens’ private earnings…which was possibly one of the greatest shipwrecks ever contrived by Man, the 16th Amendment, allowing into that race for History Hell yet another category; the Federal Bureaucracy…the Swamp…by giving Congress the ability to create as many bureaucracies as it deemed necessary, answering to no citizen about anything they did; witness Anthony Fauci today, where the object is not only money but power.
But also perhaps fame and recognition;
This urge occurs naturally with the Congress, as well as the Presidency once the original Founders’ generation had passed on. Very few presidents have transcended that ambition; Lincoln, possibly Grover Cleveland, who did nothing spectacular except remaining a “conservative” as his Democrat Party tilted hard to port, maybe Ike…just for being Ike, but certainly Ronald Reagan. And of course, Donald Trump, whose legacy is still in the air. But Trump’s ineffable ability to define and “out” prurient RINO’s disguising themselves as patriots is already established.
Historically, the two-party system we know today only began to take shape with the rise of the Democrat Party, 1824-1828. That was the Andrew Jackson era. More than one minority opposition party emerged to stand against Democrats, but the main one was the Whigs, with a few notable names, e.g., Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, who appear to have avoided History Hell by their own merit. (I’m not sure if modern Millennials have ever heard of either, but in my day Hollywood was still making movies about them. Both had enduring teachable stories, which is why I mention them.)
The Republican Party did not appear until 1852, and one of its founders was George William Curtis, who gave a memorable speech to Harvard’s Phi Beta Kappa in 1862, which I wrote about in 2013. It had everything to do with why the Party was originally founded, their “original brand”, “The Doctrine of Liberty”, (not to mention being appreciated by a Harvard audience, who would no longer tolerate such a speech) as well as why it was still revered as an article of faith by ordinary people for the next century…and why it is so derided by modern, so-called intellectual RINO’s today.
A key plank of that original Democrat Party, founded by Martin Van Buren and Andy By-God Jackson in 1824, was the Missouri Compromise, which established a tit-for-tat system of admitting free states only if a slave state were admitted as well. Slavery went from being a moral issue to a mere political pawn. As such, it was a cynical but profitable prospect for the new Democrats, when the government’s ways of raising money was severely restricted. And they became the dominant party in that process. Republicans didn’t win a key national race until 1860 when Abraham Lincoln won a four-way race for President with only 39.8% of the vote, but won 18 of 33 states, and 180 of 304 electoral votes. (All four parties on the ballot won electoral votes.)
A question that should concern RINO’s…What happened to the Whigs? Consigned to History’s Inferno, that quarter of the voting population had to go somewhere. Only that was decided by the new emerging economics, not the old political arrangements. Slavery was no longer an issue.
Everything changed, for the Civil War had given birth to machine technologies that changed the world. But all those arose in the industrial north, from Chicago to Lowell, Massachusetts. (This included textiles, my specialty, which began on the Merrimack River and only came south in the early-20th Century because of cheap labor, and of course, cotton.)
So, for the rest of the 19th Century America was Republican for all intent’s and purposes, only in truth it had two-brands, as I just mentioned, one on Wall Street, the other on Main Street. The Democrat Party, now in at least its fifth iteration of “new and improved” officially declared itself to be the “Party of the Worker” in 1896, (and yes, Marxist rhetoric about labor vs management can be found at its core), and of course, Jim Crow, which the former university president and scholar, Woodrow Wilson, was fully on board with. Their last “conservative” president, Grover Cleveland, (and arguably America’s most conservative president until Ronald Reagan), his memory was consigned to Democrat Hell (its own paid wing of History’s Inferno) by the time the Progressive Democrat Woodrow Wilson left office in 1921.
So, bringing us to the present, a century later, there is nothing unnatural or abnormal in how RINO’s came into being. That so many people are seeking fame and fortune is not anything remarkable. And this had been true for many, many years, before Donald Trump came along and inadvertently “outed” them, and their whole Establishment conspiracy to bleed the working taxpayers.
History Hell awaits. And I suspect, most don’t really give it much thought. The modern generations, much of my own included.
We’ll never know how much Russian and eastern European history has been rescued simply because some of their ancestors in the 1920s, 30s and later, 1950s, went out into the back yard and buried the family Bible, which contained at least three generations of names….letting those later generations know “who they were”. Most of the urban Russians lost that, and have yet to catch up, literally floating in space.
In this modern era, using advanced technologies, government now has the ability to erase, or even better for their tastes, rewrite History. You can see this process unfolding today. The J6 hearings come to mind; writing a script that may, if events work out, that will become official history in another 8-10 years. I can envision George Washington someday posed in a cute little pink pinafore…if it suits their needs. All they need are two emerging generations who don’t know a thing about the man…just the brand.
But as long as that original mental image of George Washington remains ingrained in the minds of the People, it will remain etched in History’s Paradisio.
In that vein, modern RINOs, like most, seek fortune in their own name, even if their financial world is secure. That Cheney girl from Wyoming strikes me as such. Mitch McConnell is also one, only he can still recognize evil with one eye. His dislike of Democrats is personal, not institutional. As is this dislike for Donald Trump. It is visceral, found in people like the “National Review” group who, just 8 years after Bill Buckley died, came out en masse against Trump, arguably as a matter of style, which I can understand, but more than that, as an impediment to their own personal business plans, and where they would stand in History’s. Jonah Goldberg, Kevin Williamson, David French, Dan McLaughlin, former and active National Review writers, come to mind.
Even William Buckley, in 2000, said Donald Trump was a narcissist, but I’m not sure he would have said that in 2016, had he lived. “Rude and crude” maybe. But WFB was acutely aware of the common folk, for he once said he preferred their random names out of a phone book to govern him than the faculty at Harvard. Even Charles Krauthammer, who died in 2018, would not vilify Donald Trump personally once he understood Trump’s cause to be the same as his own. Charles didn’t believe in God but didn’t mock those who did. He had that extra dimension that not 1 in a 1000 Democrats possess.
Both those men will evade History Hell because they will be remembered beyond that three generation chart in the family Bible. I could make a list, and it would include Thomas Sowell, who also joined in that group of writers at “National Review”, which itself may be consigned to History Hell, in their 2016 condemnation on Donald Trump….largely because Trump represented bringing the common folk back into the original design of the United States and with it, that “original brand” of the Republican Party.
Trump proved them all wrong. Still, a few, Jonah Goldberg, Bill Kristol, George Will will bark on, having strapped their place in history to sinking ships with no excess baggage to throw overboard; vanity and blind ambition.
I wrote in 2016 that “Almost everything said about Donald Trump is really about something else.”
These few prove it. The measure of the men and women moving forward into 2024, whether Donald Trump chooses to run or not, will be measured by how they touched, were heard, and are remembered by the people the Constitution was written for; no different than George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and that first reign of Donald Trump.
They are all etched into a national memory bank fathoms above the History Hell that these bottom dwellers have consigned themselves to.