RINO is an acronym for Republican in name only. Prior to 2016, this derogatory term was primarily applied to those who ran for election as Republicans but, once elected, voted as Democrats. The term also included voters who were registered Republicans but thought like Democrats. An individual, for example, who was opposed to free trade and supported unfettered spending might properly have been defined as a RINO. Over time, however, definitions change, and the term RINO is now applied to those, such as Liz Cheney, who was once considered a rock solid Republican leader.
I have even heard that some Republicans worry about whether they are real Republicans or just RINOs. Fortunately, there is a six question quiz (taken from the questions that the Republican National Committee uses to vet potential Republican candidates) that enables any Republican to tell whether they are a RINO.
1) Who really won the 2020 election: (a) Donald J. Trump. (b) Joe Biden (c) Kanye West (d) Someone else.
2) Who/what is best able to interpret the Constitution and make it relevant to 21st century challenges: (a) Donald J. Trump (b) The Supreme Court (c) Congress (d) The Justice Department.
3) Is there any policy supported by or action taken by Donald J Trump that you disagree with: (a) no (b) yes (c) Not sure.
4) Four Presidents—Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt— are sculpted in Mt. Rushmore. No president elected in the last century has been added. If we were to add one president, whom would you recommend: (a) Donald J Trump (b) Franklin Roosevelt (c) Harry Truman (d) Ronald Reagan, or (e) Some other president.
5) Which of our nation’s forty-six presidents do you think had the highest IQ: (a) Donald J Trump (b) Abraham Lincoln (c) Thomas Jefferson (d) Woodrow Wilson.
6) Which of our nation’s forty-six presidents did/does the opposite sex find most irresistable: (a) Donald J Trump (b) Warren Harding (c) John Kennedy (d) William Jefferson Clinton (e) Some other president.
If you a Republican and answered a to each of the questions, you can relax. You are not a RINO. If you answered something other than a to just one question, you are in danger of becoming a RINO and might wish to reconsider your answer to that question. If you answered something other than a to two or more questions, you are a RINO, at least in the sense in which the term is used in 2021.