Ted Cruz is a real mensch – or should I write caballero?
Despite the pain and conflicts of the primary season, he is now voting for Trump.
His story is legendary, especially in connection with his impressive, pious, and persuasive father Rafael.
I admit at the outset that he was not my first choice for President. Kurt Schlichter and other conservative bloggers feared that he did not have the national appeal to sweep the country they way that Donald Trump has.
That means nothing to me right now, and I am of the ardent opinion that after another term in the United States Senate (I want him to win, and I am glad that he is already fundraising for his re-election bid).
What was it about Ted Cruz, though, that had so excited me about a Presidential candidate, almost as much as I wanted Scott Walker to win?
1. He stood up to the Democratic and Republican Establishment, without fear of recrimination, in the press or among his colleagues.
2. He has been an outspoken defender of liberty. His fight against the international socialist takeover of the Internet has gotten too little attention, in my view.
3. He voices the concerns of the silent majority. The only setback between him and Trump is that the real estate mogul from Manhattan had commanded the mainstream media with masterful puppetry. A US Senator from Texas cannot count on the desperate media cover the way that Donald took it away.
4. Conservative wags along with Main Street wage earners simply did not know enough about him.
Does that mean he could not have served as a fit and faithful chief executive? Not at all.
In the end, the other liability weighing down his Presidential bid was his lack of time on the national stage, the same problem which hurt Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, and other outspoken conservatives.
His most admirable moments during the Presidential primary did not get the attention they deserved, either.
Of all the Republicans hustling for voters during the Iowa caucuses, he was the only candidate who refused to support ethanol subsidies. That stance is normally a deal-breaker. Yet Cruz faced off against an ethanol farmer, who firmed told the Cuban-American from Texas: “You are going to lose Iowa.”
Why? Because Cruz refused to bow down to Big Corn and Big Agra.
Instead of pushing aside this outraged voter, Cruz explained, cogently and respectfully, that he was not opposed to ethanol per se. He supported all forms of energy exploration and production. He was dead-set against the subsidies, however, and not just for corn, but for all energy companies and corporate interests.
Isn’t that the war-cry of the Occupy Movement, the Tea Party, and the outraged No Longer Silent Majority? They are tired of seeing a few well-connected companies pulling the strings of elected officials through a well-financed phalanx of lobbyists.
Cruz opposed this corrupt cartel, and he explained this opposition so effectively, winning over a would-be opponent in the crucial Iowa caucuses.
And he won.
Cruz would struggle in the next three primaries, in part because there were so many candidates punching at each other, while Trump was riding the wave of free media coverage over this fray.
Cruz got back into gear in Texas. He launched some of the most incredible advertising and marketing. He was on the upswing in other key states, like Idaho, Alaska, and then Maine. Who would have thought that a consistent conservative like Cruz would carry away a key win in New England? That unprecedented win has signaled the growing ruby-red groundswell taking over the Pine Tree State. A Republican has not won general election electoral votes in Maine in three decades. Trump is bound to win at least one this time, and he can thank Cruz for helping to make that happen.
But Cruz’ chances crashed in New York State, and then the ACELA primaries that followed (Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island). Why? He exuded a magisterial, academic temperament. He demonstrated an admirable resume married with a quick wit and profound knowledge. Plus he was a stellar debater who silenced the most ardent critics, both on the debate stage, and in public gatherings.
But elections are all about heart-to-heart. Brilliant minds alone do not end in the winner’s circle.
I remember his last fight for votes. In Indiana, another deep red state with the same bent of fiscal and social conservatism, but also married with a turn towards populist sentiment and pragmatic outreach. Cruz couldn’t climb out of the 20% level, and he would later drop out.
It was crushing and sad.
He stood his ground before a large crowd of pro-Trump hecklers, who had chanted “Lying Ted” and mocked his wife’s former connections with Goldman Sachs. Instead of running away, he faced them the same way he answered the Iowa ethanol farmer. How had he ever lied? One which issues did Indiana voters quibble with him?
He never wavered from his conservative convictions, even after dropping out of the race.
I admire Ted Cruz so much. I had no quarrel with his decision not to officially endorse Trump for President at the Convention. How would any of us have felt if someone had directly attacked our loved ones?
Such is politics, but we are human beings, too, and we command respect from our fellows regardless of the circumstances—or pledges.
Today, I admire Senator Cruz’ decision to announce his support for Trump.
After all, #NeverHillary is the battle cry of this election season, too, along with “Make America Great Again.”
While Cruz did not catch on with the electorate the way that Trump did, his outreach and record outline what an incredible conservative, and compelling statesman, he truly is.
Senator Cruz, thank you for inspiring more unity in your party and in your country. I recognize that you are already Making America Great Again, and if you ever want to run for President again, rest assured you will have my vote!