Even conservative icon former President Ronald Reagan could not pass muster today with the faux conservative populist faction of the Republican party that fashion themselves as the "real Republicans." Reagan would not pass the Party Purity test and would be denounced as a RINO.
Below is a list of Reagan's sins that would get him denounced as a RINO and targeted for purging from the party.
- His background: Reagan was once a liberal Democrat, an admirer of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and active supporter of New Deal policies. He was an ex-Hollywood actor and an ex-labor union leader.
- He would fail the "family values" and religious test: He was divorced, had a poor relationship with his children, had a gay son, and he did not attend church regularly.
- He raised taxes: He signed laws that raised taxes 11 times and the 1982 tax hike was the largest hike in history at that time.
- He supported and Congress passed into law Immigration reform or "amnesty for illegal aliens."
- National debt: Our national debt more than tripled during Reagan’s time in office. We went from a major creditor nation to a leading debtor nation.
- Reagan compromised: He "worked across the aisle", he negotiated, he cut deals. One of his most successful deals was the 1983 agreement extending the Social Security trust fund's solvency for a couple of generations by raising the retirement age and expanding social security to government employees.
- He appointed liberal judges: Judge Vaughn Walker who recently struck down California's proposition 8 which barred gay people from marrying was a Reagan appointee.
- Reagan accomplished arms control: Reagan made bold, some would say radical, proposals for nuclear arms reductions. Reagan proposed the abolition of all nuclear-armed missiles. Reagan and Gorbachev eventually concluded the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) agreement and established the foundation for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) process.
- Reagan advocated playing nice: Regan's 11th Commandment was, "Thou shalt not speak ill of any other republican.” He was civil. He advocated a "big tent" Republican Party. He courted those outside the party. He reached out to “Reagan Democrats." In order to build a majority he campaigned for many people with whom he disagreed.