In the early 2000s, just as the wars in the Middle East were ramping up, a new word started appearing in the Internet lexicon: RINO. It stands for “Republican In Name Only”. It is an insult hurled from Republicans to any member of the GOP who’s more liberal than a Republican “should be”. Any politician tagged as a RINO — and many were — virtually became extinct in the GOP over the following decade, as fewer and fewer moderate Republicans got re-elected.
There is a new similar phrase floating about. It is “cuckservative”. It’s a play on the words “conservative” and “cuckold”. “Cuckold” in this sense has a sexual connotation:
A cuckold, of course, is a legitimate word for the husband of an adulterous wife — but that doesn’t really do justice to what they’re suggesting here, either. The people who throw this term around are most likely referencing a type of pornography whereby a (usually, white) man is “humiliated” (or ironically thrilled) by being forced to watch his wife having sex with another (usually, black) man. I’m not going to link to this, but feel free to Google it.
Being a combination of those two words, a “cuckservative” is a conservative who sells out his racial heritage — i.e., a race traitor. Underlying the use of the word — which comes up ion debates about immigration reform, criminal justice reform, etc.– id the notion that whites should only support policies that help whites. The goal is to stir up fear among whites — “Don’t be a cuckservative” — and to encourage more tribalism and polarization.
Over at Salon, Joan Walsh is alarmed by the prevalent use of this word, a word rooted in racism and misogyny:
“Cuckservative” started showing up in my Twitter mentions last week, after I suggested Donald Trump supporters might not be the brightest bulbs. As I clicked around, I came to a shocking conclusion: I’ve been uncharacteristically downplaying the amount of racism and misogyny powering the right today. The spread of the epithet “cuckservative” is a sign that the crudest psycho-sexual insecurity animates the far right….
This is not merely a new way to shout “RINO.” It’s a call to make the GOP an explicitly racist party, devoted to the defense of whites. It’s no accident it’s taken off in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign launch/performance art, where he attacked illegal Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and “criminals.”
White nationalist Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute explained Trump’s appeal to Dave Weigel: “a) he is a tougher, superior man than ‘conservatives’ (which isn’t saying much), and b) he seems to grasp the demographic displacement of European-Americans on a visceral level. We see some hope there.”
Rush Limbaugh helped spread the term to the mainstream when he praised Trump like this: “If Trump were your average, ordinary, cuckolded Republican, he would have apologized by now, and he would have begged for forgiveness, and he would have gone away.”
The folks behind the term are also wildly anti-Semitic. Huckabee became a popular target after he claimed President Obama’s Iran deal was “marching Israelis to the ovens.” The guys who bray “cuckservative” hate Obama, of course, but they may hate Israel more.
These are the people that 17 presidential candidates are catering to. And not one of them as the decency to say enough is enough.