As we approach the primary elections on May 10, many people ask who to vote for. West Virginia, once a deep blue Democratic state, has become a deep red Republican state. As a result, many candidates who were once Democrats have switched parties. They switch for several reasons:
- Some have had a change of heart and genuinely believe in conservative values.
- Some still maintain their current non-conservative positions but feel that the modern Democratic party has gone too far to the left.
- Some have had no change of heart and have no problem with the current Democratic party. They switch simply to get elected.
A Republican in Name Only (RINO) falls into the second and third groups. While no two people agree perfectly on every issue, real Republicans are conservative. Since 1854, the Republican party has been the party of individual rights, individual responsibilities, Rule of Law, strong defense, free markets, respect for America’s institutions, and problem solving at the lowest level. We are the party of traditional social mores, including protection of the unborn, marriage between one biological man and one biological woman, free speech, and gun rights. Specific Republican stances are written in our Platform. Candidates who do not hold conservative values are not conservatives and should not be supported by conservatives.
So how can voters tell which candidates are RINOs?
- Check registration. Believe it or not, some candidates running in Republican primaries in West Virginia this year are not even registered Republicans. County election officials sometimes miss these facts when registering candidates to run for office.
- Check how long the person has been a Republican. The more recent the switch, the more skeptical voters have a right to be.
- Read the WV GOP platform at wvgop.org so that you know what Republicans hold to.
- Check prior voting records of each legislator for whom you are considering voting. The American Conservative Union and the Voter’s Self Defense System record votes of each legislator throughout the nation, both in state and federal governments.
- Check public statements. The internet has revolutionized our ability to discover information.
- Get recommendations from trusted sources.
- Talk to the candidate yourself.
In West Virginia, as in many other deep red states, whoever wins in the primaries usually wins in the general election. Primaries are, therefore, extremely important. Voters who do their homework will be rewarded with the right leaders and representatives in office to advance conservative causes. America will once again be the shining city on a hill.