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  • Writer's pictureMario Nicolais

Why I’m an ex-RINO still caught in No Man’s Land

A few weeks ago I wrote a column about extremists in public office and their affinity for ethical lapses. It drew the ire of readers from both sides, which seemed to prove my underlying point.

But one critique in particular jumped out at me. A member of the Bernie-Sanders-Left berated me as a moderate out to target far left progressives. Besides ignoring my equal contempt for far-right demagogues, including in that very column, it struck me how closely this line of attack mirrored what I have become so accustomed to from conservative firebrands.

In Republican circles, I have been called everything from RINO (Republican In Name Only) to “squish” and “traitor.” I lost an entire primary campaign in 2014 based on those slurs.

Consequently, I have developed a thick skin when it comes to defending my centrist positions.

But it is the structural problems engendered by these comments that really dismay me. And that seemed confirmed by two columns I read by two different friends within a few days.

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