It hurt. It had to hurt.
In July, I was actually proud of Ted Cruz. He stood at the Republican National Convention and told voters to “vote your conscience.” He was the only speaker at the convention who did not endorse Donald Trump. I thought it took great courage and showed a sense of values to do what he did. But on Friday, he blew it, once again. Yes, folks, Mr. Cruz tossed his values, such as they were, to the wind and said “After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump. Last year, I promised to support the Republican nominee. And I intend to keep my word. Second, even though I have had areas of significant disagreement with our nominee, by any measure Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable — that’s why I have always been #NeverHillary.”
As writer Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station said, “Which, in point of fact, confirms everything I ever suspected about Ted Cruz’s conscience.” I would agree.
Now, the question is: WHY? There may be a couple of reasons:
- Cruz will be up for re-election to the Senate in 2018, and some Texas republicans were so disappointed in his refusal to endorse Trump at the RNC that they were considering withdrawing their support.
- I think, as do a number of republicans, that regardless who wins the November election, Cruz will give it another shot in 2020. Personally, I am not sure that supporting Trump was necessarily a wise move toward success in four years, but if withholding his support for Trump would have cost him the support of the RNC, then perhaps.
- Last Sunday, 18 September, RNC Chairman, Reince Priebus, threatened Ohio Gov. John Kasich and other Republicans who refuse to support presidential nominee Donald Trump, saying the party may take steps to ensure it’s not “that easy for them” to seek the White House again. Since Cruz is obviously not willing to watch his political career go swirling down the drain, perhaps he took Mr. Priebus at his word.
Now, granted, I am neither a conservative nor a Republican, but I am nonetheless able to see what is wrong with this whole scenario, and sum it up in one word: TRUST. Cruz is not the first to say that in all good conscience he cannot endorse Trump, then endorse him anyway. But if you speak out against a candidate, saying that your conscience simply will not let you support him, and then two months (or less, in some other cases) reverse your opinion, I think it is obvious that your values took a backseat to your political career, and thus you have betrayed the trust If the people who say they are tired of “Washington politics”, sick of the “establishment”, mean what they say, they surely can see that Cruz’ endorsement on Friday is just more of what they say they are sick and tired.
Over the course of the past year, Cruz has endured a significant amount of abuse from Trump:
- Trump retweeted an unflattering photo of Cruz’s wife, Heidi, juxtaposed with his wife, Melania.
- Trump threatened to “spill the beans” on Heidi Cruz. (Nobody had a clue what this meant, but obviously it led to speculation)
- Trump suggested that Cruz’s father may have been involved in the Kennedy assassination.
- Trump suggested strongly early in the primary season that Cruz might not be eligible to serve as president, given his birth in Canada to an American citizen.
- Trump said he wouldn’t even accept Cruz’s endorsement.
- Trump attacked Cruz’s faith, saying “How can Ted Cruz be an Evangelical Christian when he lies so much and is so dishonest?”
- Trump has repeatedly called Cruz “lyin’ Ted”, and said he was “utterly amoral” and a “narcissist” (Talk about the pot calling the kettle …)
- “Ted is a nasty guy. People don’t like him.”
Those are just a few of Trump’s insults toward Cruz, but I ask you, dear readers: Would you, could you, endorse and support somebody who had abused you in those ways? I could not … I would not. My conscience is apparently more rigid than that of Mr. Cruz.
And there is also the flip side, the insults Cruz has hurled at Trump:
- Cruz called Trump a “sniveling coward.”
- “Trump’s tax returns could show a mob connection”
- He also called Trump a “big, loud New York bully”
- He called Trump “a small and petty man who is intimidated by strong women”
- Cruz called one of Trump’s theories “nuts” and “just kooky”
- And, while he was at it, Cruz accused him of narcissism and being a “serial philanderer”
Okay, now read those again. Are we likely to endorse and support a man who we believe is a sniveling coward, a small & petty man, nuts, kooky, a narcissist, a bully and …. Well, you get the picture. No, we are not. But then, we are not huge fans of Cracker Jacks, right?
I especially liked Republican strategist Ana Navarro’s Twitter comment, referring to Heidi Cruz: “If after saying he was standing up for my honor, my man endorsed a guy who called me ugly…he’d be sleeping on the damn couch for months.” But then, I became a fan of Navarro a month or so ago when I read that she said Trump was “unfit to be human”! See, folks … there are some Republicans who haven’t traded their brains for a box of Cracker Jacks!
Okay, Filosofa, what is the point to all this? The point, at least from my point of view, is not whether or not Ted Cruz came out in support of Donald Trump. The point is that I think he did so for all the wrong reasons. I have said for over a year now that every person is entitled to his or her position, his or her political beliefs. If a person seriously believes that Trump’s views and ideologies are what is best for this nation, and if that person is truly looking at ideas rather than following Trump’s elusive dream of “slaying the dragon” and winning world dominance, then I will respect that person and his/her values. But when one pledges fealty to Trump simply in order to enhance his/her own agenda, then no, I have no respect.
Cruz, perhaps, had an opportunity in the wake of the stance he took at the RNC, to garner respect of thinkers, of people who place honesty over political rhetoric. He had the chance to gain the respect of even some Democratic liberals because he was, perhaps for once, honest. Because he followed his heart, his conscience. Friday? He blew it all to shreds. I, and many like me, now understand what Ted Cruz actually stands for … Ted Cruz. No, he does not stand for the United States, nor for the American people … he merely stands for himself … Ted Cruz.