Trump Vs. Clinton, Round 1: More Tedious than Titanic.

So, the moment we were all waiting for! The big show! Monster versus monster, in an epic throw-down between two of the most dreadful candidates ever nominated… Or was it? Not being in favor of either of these contenders, though perhaps being slightly more against Hillary (we have a longer history of enmity), I didn’t feel that I had a dog in this fight. However, I was looking forward to an epic clash, hoping to at least see a good show and momentarily forget that one of these horrors will afterwards end up leading the country! This was supposed to be the one joy I was to going to get out of the remainder of this election, watching Trumpzilla and Mecha-Hillary savage each other for 90 minutes! “Cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war.” Unfortunately, it was hopelessly anticlimactic and very disappointing. How could this be? All of the drama of the campaign was building to this point! This was THE moment that a candidate like Trump was chosen for, but in the end it was a huge let-down.

TrumpensteinTrump came out strong, at first. Trying to take charge and even slyly doing his thing where he shows disrespect by being respectful. Hillary initially fumbled, trying out a few pet names for Trump policy and failing miserably. She really ought to leave the name-calling to Trump; she doesn’t do it with the same panache. Don’t get me wrong, Donald wasn’t really winning on substance. Trump was using his usual shtick of saying anything he needed to, if he thought it would help him, leaving the voters to sort through and decide which parts he meant and which ones he didn’t.  His answers were often confused and often off-topic, but at least in style, this served him well. However, things quickly went downhill.

Donald let Hillary get away with calling him out on the birther issue without retorting that it was originally the Hillary camp that aired this conspiracy theory during her previous failed bid for the Democrat nomination. This was a clear error. Also, his actual defense against this came off as very weak. And as if this wasn’t bad enough, Trump didn’t know where to quit on the e-mail issue. He had a chance to address her challenge about releasing his tax returns with a curt retort asking when she was going to release the 30,000 e-mails she deleted from her illegal private server. Instead, he ruined an otherwise excellent opportunity to leave his audience wanting more by ineffectively going on and on about it, pitiably adding how much his lawyers advised him that he doesn’t need to release his tax returns. This is where things really started to turn against the Donald.

After this, Hillary started to get her pace. She was even able to let Trump make the case for her, tacking onto Trump’s boorish quip with her own version of “There you go again.” And Trump, as if trying to assist Hillary, started talking about the areas where they agreed, clearly trying to appeal to his own tribe of liberals. At one point, Trump endorsed the “no-fly, no-buy” proposal, an unconstitutional abridgement of the second amendment! Although he’s been in favor of U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton gestures from the stage at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denverthis for a while, never before has this particular position received this kind of public airing. It is likely to cost with his base. Even his interrupting himself on this topic to remind the audience of his NRA endorsement will probably do nothing to help him mitigate the damages.

Most excruciating of all, at least for those of us who tried to reason with the Trump crowd during the primary that this was likely to happen should Donald become the nominee, Hillary laid into Trump on his bad record with women and race! Donald could not properly parry this. He was so much on defense that he wasn’t able to strike back effectively. Even his well-worn claim of how his opponent was “unfair” couldn’t save him. Trump ridiculously commented on how nasty Hillary had been to him in ads and so forth, and how he was going to hit her back by saying something nasty as well. Mercifully, he thought better of it, but made sure to let us all know that he held himself back! Who is Trump getting his debate advice from? Mike Huckabee? Pathetic.

Although Hillary presented like an automaton, I have to agree that she came off much better than Trump in this debate and is likely to get a small bounce in the polls. Trump came of as rambling, uninformed, and weak, not at all like he’d prefer to be seen: the alpha male. Hillary appeared prepared and with a working knowledge of the issues, while Trump appeared underprepared and was ill-served by his usually effective off-the-cuff extemporaneousness. Though not a KO (more like a TKO), It’s clear that Hillary won this one. Too bad. I was so much looking forward to something more decisive, dramatic, and entertaining; I had little else to look forward to with a binary choice of essentially two Democrats. However, I was even denied even this! And to think, the GOP nominee could have been Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, someone who understands the issues and could have really sunk the knife into her highness! Instead, what we ended up with was a candidate who shows himself to be, in almost every way, out of his depth. I think that this race is once again Hillary’s to lose. The Trumpster will fight again, but this time he woefully underestimated his opponent, and I’m not sure that he has it in him to turn this thing around.

– Ryan Thorson

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Ted Cruz Unbowed

Last night, Ted Cruz gave his big speech at the GOP convention. This was highly anticipated and highly controversial. The sequence of events that led to it began with Trump warning that Cruz would not be allowed a speaking slot unless he first kissed Trump’s gilded ring. Cruz shrugged it off with indifference. Perhaps being a little concerned with party unity, Trump eventually caved and asked Cruz to speak, not dictating that he also endorse. Cruz accepted. Since then, the talk among pundits and Trump surrogates was about whether or not Cruz would or should endorse Donald, with some even questioning Cruz’s party loyalty and manhood, should he choose not to. When the time for the speech came, for the first two thirds, it was extremely well received. In it, he buttressed the substance of what Conservatives believe, where up until now had been mostly lacking at the Cleveland convention. He hit all the points that Republicans have expressed care for, such as freedom and limited government, and it even included a touching anecdote about the daughter of one of the slain officers of Dallas which bookended his remarks. At many points he received enormous applause for his well-spoken monologue. However, when he arrived at the part where he urged all voters and particularly his supporters to refrain from staying home in November, a theme that should be appreciable by any Trump supporter, the mood of the throng began to change. Cruz exhorted them to vote for, “up and down the ballot”, candidates that support the Constitution… at this, a sizable portion of his audience started booing, which was followed by chants demanding Cruz endorse Trump. The raucous noise continued to the end of his speech.

No. Cruz did not endorse Trump, a point of consternation for the Trump cult, and embarrassing to the other GOP regulars who had already done so, if only begrudgingly. Cruz was not, however, openly critical of Trump, even congratulating him on his nomination. For me, I think perhaps Ted was even too kind to this man that threw every bit of slime that he could at him during the primary, including attacking his wife and accusing his father of being complicit in the JFK assassination. If the reception of Cruz’s otherwise innocuous remarks weren’t obvious enough, then let me be plain, Donald Trump and his most ignorant supporters don’t deserve Cruz’s endorsement. Their booing him when he spoke of conscience and Constitution merely punctuates how bereft they are of principle, derelict in a sea of ignorance. Nonetheless, if Trump wanted Cruz’s endorsement, I believe he could have had it. Together with extending common decency, something Trump is loath to bestow on an opponent, all he had to do is affirm his own loyalty to the Constitution and Liberty. The fact that he couldn’t do this should be a concern to all freedom loving Americans. Yet, this is not even the main concern. Cruz’s speech was an embarrassment to Trump, not because it lacked endorsement, but because it was a glaring demonstration that Ted is and was true to the very principles that Donald Trump only occasionally pretends to believe in. Ted may now be playing the role of the weeping prophet, telling a dissolute people that which they would rather not hear, but his words were nonetheless potent, and true. His presence was a reminder of what could have been. Imagine. We might have had this competent, resolute principled, ethical, and gifted candidate as our nominee to cast a stark contrast to the corruption and avarice that is Clinton. Instead, what we ended up with as head of our party is a glitzy humbug, unconvincing in his assertions of conviction and plagued by his own numerous ethical scandals.

If recent reports are true, those of Trump offering the presidency in all but name to would-be VP Kasich with Trump merely retaining the POTUS title and all self-honoring duties, then there may be a good shot that Mike Pence, the nominated VP, will be the real President in the event of a Trump victory. That sort of rationale might be enough for some Conservatives to ultimately, with great pangs of conscience, pull the lever for Trump and against Hillary, but last night’s speech made something very clear. Trump may be the current head of the national Republican Party, but Cruz is its future. Trump may hold the reigns of GOP power and its errant heart, but Ted Cruz, unbowed and undaunted, holds its soul.

 

– Ryan Thorson

 

Trump the Magnanimous?

(Trump photo : www.hollywoodreporter.com)

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland *

It is a dark time for the American Republic… Prospects in the race for the GOP nomination have become increasingly dim. It seems now that there is no candidate that will make it to 1237 delegates before the party meets in Cleveland to hold their convention. Trump is currently in the lead. However, because he decided to more or less forego a ground game, he had been trailing Cruz in new delegates since Marco Rubio dropped from the race, losing in UT, CO, WY, WI, and ND. He’s since made up much of that ground by winning his home state, but will shortly run out of states he’s assured to win. Ted Cruz will almost certainly crush him in the West, and do really well in California, perhaps win. ** However, the result will be two candidates with many delegates, but no majority. This means there will be no nominee before the convention and less time to rally the troops for the general election. Additionally in bad news for the Don’s camp, many of Trump’s delegates seem poised to bolt the Trump camp for Cruz on a second ballot. ** This realization has caused a lot of panic on Team Trump. Trump has made accusations of a system rigged against him, *** his once official adviser (Roger Stone) has threatened to release to the Trump mob the hotel room numbers of delegates who might abandon Donald, **** and Trump supporters have become so brazen in their issuing of death threats to low-level GOP officials and GOP delegates ***** that even a fatwa-hurling ayatollah would be hard-pressed to compete! In such an environment, many pundits are predicting disaster extraordinaire for the GOP. There are some that fears the Republican establishment will conspire to give Trump the nomination in order to avoid blood-shed, figuratively and literally, ending with the GOP losing the election to Hillary for its lack of the #NeverTrump wing of the GOP and the other YUGE majorities of just about every demographic that will not vote for Trump. ****** Others say that if Ted Cruz becomes the nominee, Trump will bolt, taking 44% of his supporters willing to leave the GOP ******* and either runs on a third party ticket or endorses Hillary, spitting his last political breath in the face of the Republican Party. Both seem a hopeless business, but there is another possibility. Imagine that Ted Cruz wins, and Donald Trump endorses Cruz! I know! It seems crazy, doesn’t it? But there are reasons that hint at a slim possibility that such a thing might actually happen. In the following, I will present my reasoning for Trump, the magnanimous!

Trump doesn’t really want to be President

In the midst of the clowning that is the Trump circus, many might have missed the departure of a few advisors from the Trump campaign. One of these had been there from the very beginning, Stephanie Cegielski, and in her open letter announcing her departure, she made an interesting claim: Trump doesn’t want to be President. “Almost a year ago, recruited for my public relations and public policy expertise, I sat in Trump Tower being told that the goal was to get The Donald to poll in double digits and come in second in delegate count. That was it.” ******** To emphasize this point, Stephanie added, “He doesn’t want the White House. He just wants to be able to say that he could have run the White House.” ******** But now, “[Trump’s] ego has now taken over the driver’s seat, and nothing else matters.” ******** If true, this would explain why Trump seems so reticent in learning the issues, winging it so often. From his domino effect gaffes on abortion to not understanding what the Nuclear Triad is, Trump has been far removed from expertise on the issues and has shown little interest in learning about them. After all, if you don’t really want the job, why prepare for it? Donald may be in a place where he’s looking for a way out, a plan to withdraw with some semblance of dignity. If Donald goes into Cleveland almost matched with Cruz in delegates, and if Cruz bests him on a second ballot, that might be fair enough for Trump to give in gracefully. If Donald loses to Cruz, his supporters will rage and rail, but Donald might utter a huge sigh of relief, as someone who has just dodged a bullet!

Trump’s thin skin is only skin deep

Anyone who has been paying attention to this campaign season is familiar with the legendary sensitivity of Donald Trump. For a tough guy who tells it like it is and loves to dish out copious amounts of insults on his opponents, Donald doesn’t seem to take criticism well. Trump can go from zero to victim in less time than it takes for a fouled NBA player to flop dramatically on the court. However, there is good reason to believe that Trump doesn’t entirely mean what he says. This is a major reason why I defended Trump, saying that I didn’t believe him to be truly racist, but rather reckless and Machiavellian. That’s small consolation, to be sure. Continuing, some have observed a pattern in Donald, in that he seems to do much of his campaigning with a wink and a nod, almost as if Trump is breaking the fourth wall of the reality series Celebrity GOP Nominee to let us know that it’s all part of the show. This is true of many of his policy ideas, such as his supposed assurance to the New York Times that his bluster on illegal immigration is just a little something for the crowd. ********* Or consider, after denigrating Wisconsin governor Scott Walker during the WI primary, Trump later suggested that Walker would make a good running mate. ********** Even his advisors are telling us that Trump may not be 100% serious. ********** These are good indicators that Trump, once he realizes that it’s over, won’t seek a vendetta on the GOP, let alone try to start a bloody riot that will keep him from getting his next TV gig and generally hurt his name in business forever. In fact, Trump might even help them consolidate support behind Cruz rather than going home to sulk or even endorse Hillary. Even if he thinks he was out-cheated by Cruz, which is doubtlessly a position he holds solely for strategic purposes. Much like Virgil “The Turk” Sollozzo from The Godfather, he understands that it’s not personal, it’s only business.

Trump loves his money way more than his chances at a third party run

In the event of a Cruz nomination, many of the affectionately named Trumpkins will want him to run third party. Certainly, doing so would appeal to Trump’s huge ego, but there are problems with this that even Trump must see. First of all, with only approximately 16% of the GOP possibly willing to follow Trump into a third party run (Trump support is around 37% ************ of GOP, with only 44% of them willing to abandon if Trump doesn’t get the nomination *******), Trump would be destined to fail. He might cause the GOP to lose enough votes to throw the election to Clinton in a perverse re-run of Perot’s presidential ambitions, but he would not be the winner himself. Also, many states have sore loser laws; as many as 45. ************* Trump would either have to invest a lot of time and money challenging these laws or promote a longshot write-in campaign. In either event, he would probably lose. All of this would amount to Trump spending a lot of his own money, something he has been hesitant to do thus far, preferring media appearances to TV spots and ground-game. I have no doubts that Trump would risk his donor’s or investor’s funds on such a foolish venture, but he’d never leave himself unprotected. Huge monetary investment in his own independent campaign may be a bridge too far for Trump, even with his large ego. I’d bet that he’d rather make nice with the GOP than sink money into a guaranteed failure. Also, there’s a good chance that many of his hard-core supporters, folks that live by the maxim that “Trump said it. I believe it. That settles it,” would accept this and not flee the party.

There are few analogues to today’s Presidential contest. The conventional wisdom could be right, and the GOP could be headed for disaster, even if Hillary is able to keep Bernie Sanders supporters from feeling disenfranchised when she wraps up the nomination. However, since the conditions are so different from other election years, perhaps the results too can be very different from what you might expect. We can from this moment on despair and mourn the fall of the Republic and the Republican Party, or we can be cautiously optimistic that cooler heads will indeed prevail after passion has run its course. Imagine, if you will, a spot light opens on the podium at the convention that nominates Cruz, Trump takes the stage and begins, saying, “I’ve gone up against a lot of guys, KILLERS, believe me, and beaten them all; out-played them all! ‘Cuz I’m a player. Ask anyone. But I got to hand it to Ted, frankly, he outplayed me. ME! Donald Trump! That’s why there’s no one better to endorse for President of the United States than this guy! Now, let’s go and make America great again!” Perhaps we can take a page out of Alice’s book and try to believe a few impossible things before breakfast. Either that, or spend the next three months with Pepto handy to sooth our anxious stomachs as we wait for Armageddon.

– Ryan Thorson

 

* http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/alice-in-wonderland

** http://www.redstate.com/diary/creinstein/2016/04/20/new-york-never-mattered-ted-cruz-won-presidency/

*** http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/trump-whines-about-a-rigged-system-but-the-blame-lies-with-him/

**** http://www.redstate.com/absentee/2016/04/05/vote-trump-else-bestie-roger-stone-threatens-send-angry-trump-fans-delegates-hotel-rooms-video/

***** http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/death-threats-trump-supporters

****** http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-fenn/articles/2016-03-21/trump-has-deep-demographic-problems-come-the-2016-general-election

******* http://hotair.com/archives/2016/04/09/poll-66-of-trump-supporters-say-theyd-vote-for-the-gop-nominee-if-trump-is-denied-at-the-convention/

******** http://www.xojane.com/issues/stephanie-cegielski-donald-trump-campaign-defector

********* https://pjmedia.com/trending/2016/02/29/did-trump-tell-the-new-york-times-he-doesnt-believe-in-his-immigration-policies/

********** http://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-gop-primary-live-updates-and-results/2016/04/trump-walker-rubio-kasich-veep-221811

*********** http://www.redstate.com/leon_h_wolf/2016/03/23/trump-advisor-dont-believe-things-trump-says/

************ http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trump-is-the-weakest-gop-front-runner-in-the-modern-era/

************* https://ballotpedia.org/%22Sore_loser%22_laws_for_presidential_candidates

Thank Trump for President Cruz

After many delegate victories, even resounding ones, all across the country, Ted Cruz has started to receive a rush of support and endorsements. This support has come from varied sources such as Senate colleagues like Mike Lee * or former primary rivals such as Carly Fiorina. ** In addition, we also are starting to see a the so-called establishment lining up behind Ted Cruz. Most notably among them is Senator and former GOP Presidential candidate Lindsey Graham. *** Graham will openly admit that he’s not the biggest Cruz fan, and in recent weeks joked about Cruz’s murder, **** but even he realizes that which stands to be lost in this election is far more than personal pet projects and leadership positions. In fact, it could be the country itself. So, besides Hillary and four more years of Democrat-managed national decline, what is this threat to the country? What is the one force strong enough to have all these folks set aside their differences and dislikes and unify for common cause? Donald Trump.

There are many reasons why a majority of Republicans are starting to coalesce around Cruz over Trump. As you look at the delegate count, Trump holds less than 100 delegates over Cruz. ***** With every new state that Cruz snatches from the pile that the pundits said would go to Donald, it becomes more and more clear that Trump is beatable. Some may have chosen Cruz over Trump because they have been swayed by Ted Cruz’s solid conservative record and policies over Trump’s inconsistency and populism. Still others may have considered Trump’s negatives among key demographics and consistent losses to Hillary in the polls, ****** concluding that they’d rather vote for a more sure candidate who beats Clinton in similar hypothetical match-ups, the way that Cruz does. ******* However, there is another reason that may have swayed both voters and those in power to choose Cruz over Trump, and that’s how thoroughly repellent Trump is, personally, ethically, and politically.

Trump is the personification of hubris. If you ask him, he’ll concede that nobody’s better, period. He has no idea of the humility that a President must have, whereas a King does without. He even recently said he’d be more Presidential than any previous President other than Abraham Lincoln. ******** Setting aside for a moment how presumptuous that it is, it’s purely delusional. Additionally, among Trump’s supporters are those that hold white supremacist views or belong to white nationalist organizations. ********* Surprisingly, far from doing the obvious and easy thing in every time unequivocally denouncing their support, such as what Reagan famously did when the Ku Klux Klan endorsed him, ********** Trump disavows in such a weak and curt way as to give the white-power crowd just enough doubt to still think that he’s on their side. Observing all this, the GOP has visions of those inevitable Democrat adds with Trump refusing to disavow the KKK, ***********or a black women being violently hurled out of a Trump rally with accompanying racial abuse, ************ or clips of David Duke singing Trump’s praises, ************* and they know that with those optics, their party will be dead in the water. The hate that loves Trump is a factor that is sure to doom the GOP to not only losing the Presidency, or the Senate, but maybe existentially the party’s itself. With Trump as the GOP nominee, this fate seems certain, even with such a damaged and ethically compromised opponent as Hillary Clinton. You add to this Trump’s charlatan chicanery (such as seeming infomercial for his products after his wins in Mississippi and Michigan), ************** his open threats to Speaker Ryan *************** and the owners of the Cubs, **************** Trump’s constantly shifting policy objectives and positions, his zero impulse control, and his lack of understanding of limited role of a chief executive, and what you have is the makings of an unstable leader, one who has no allies that are not already yes-men. While Trump remains popular with a certain portion of the voters, most of whom are merely blind to what he represents, Trump has managed to make himself abhorrent to everyone else.

By standing for principles in Washington, Ted Cruz made a lot of political enemies in both parties. We’ve heard about how he was disliked by his own party’s leadership, or supposedly everyone else. Well, enter Trump, whose current unfavorable rating of 60%, ***************** makes him the most disliked candidate running and one of the highest ever, even over Hillary (52%) who places second to Trump. ***************** With these facts in evidence, some have theorized that Trump is a Manchurian candidate for Hillary, someone who has agreed to come in and ruin the GOP and do the impossible task of making an otherwise un-electable Hillary Clinton electable by comparison. While that may be how it works out, as far as a conspiracy is concerned, it’s improbable that the giant ego of Donald Trump wouldn’t allow him to take a bullet for someone else. However, if things end up working out for Cruz in securing the nomination, he may very well have Donald Trump to thank for it. It seems that Donald Trump may be the only one that could show the power brokers and establishment in the GOP that there are far worse things to be stuck with than an ethical and consistent conservative like Ted Cruz… they could be stuck with the unethical fraudulent Machiavellian reed twisting in the wind that is Donald Trump.

  • Ryan Thorson

* http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2016/03/10/ted-cruz-expected-to-get-first-senate-endorsement-from-mike-lee/?_r=0

** http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/carly-fiorina-ted-cruz/472968/

*** http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/271439-graham-gop-may-have-to-rally-around-ted-cruz

**** http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/26/politics/lindsey-graham-ted-cruz-dinner/

***** http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/how-many-delegates-do-2016-candidates-have-220484

****** http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_clinton-5491.html

******* http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_cruz_vs_clinton-4034.html

******** http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-says-he-can-be-more-presidential-than-anyone-except-lincoln-2016-03-08

********* http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/white-nationalists-support-donald-trump/story?id=37524610

********** http://www.vocativ.com/news/291497/heres-what-happened-when-the-kkk-endorsed-ronald-reagan/

*********** http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/28/468455028/trump-wont-condemn-kkk-says-he-knows-nothing-about-white-supremacists

************ http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/03/02/video_black_woman_shoved_by_trump_crowd_members_in_louisville.html

************* http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/25/politics/david-duke-donald-trump-immigration/

************** http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/donald-trump-infomercial-220471

*************** http://fortune.com/2016/03/01/donald-trump-threatens-paul-ryan/

**************** http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/cubs-ricketts-defends-family-donald-trump-threat-article-1.2543568

**************** http://www.gallup.com/opinion/polling-matters/188936/trump-negative-image.aspx

Cruz or bust!

It’s been a while since my last posting, so I’ll quickly sum up the important points on the GOP side of the Presidential race. The Republicans hosted another South Carolina debate about a week ago, where it looked like Trump had self-destructed. Trump, in his most Democrat-ish performance defended Planned Parenthood, * ended up blaming Bush for 911, * and said also that Bush lied us into the Iraq war (a war that Trump claimed to be among the first to oppose). * However you may feel about those issues, it should be stipulated that traditionally they have been anathema to Republicans, confined to rantings of wild-eyed leftists. Additionally, evidence was put out during a few Trump town-halls that he lied about being against the Iraq war (in a pre-war Howard Stern interview, he supported it), ** he confused himself with Bernie Sanders (including his universal healthcare stance), *** and he admitted he liked the mandate (aka Obamacare)… and he still won SC! It seems that Trump supporters either don’t care, don’t know, or don’t mentally register their likely differences with Trump, proof that the low-information crowd isn’t limited to the left. Trump supporters see his tough guy affectation and that alone gets their support; everything else is just white noise. Whatever they’ve internally argued to justify their support, whatever they suppose that Trump will do if put in office, IF, I think they will be sorely disappointed along with the rest of us.

Ted Cruz barely lost second place in SC. **** Not good. Not insurmountable, but not good. Bush dropping out is good news, however. **** This race has really become about finding the anti-Trump candidate, and the more of the low-performing candidates that drop out the better. However, the ever hopeful Kasich and the drowsily angry Carson are hanging on ***** just so they can tie-up enough of the vote to prevent a non-Trump candidate from emerging and prevailing, or for whatever other non-winning reason they have to justify their continued campaigning. The longer they stay, taking 8% or 7% away from a viable candidate, the more certain it is that Trump will win.

Rubio should be happy at doing better than normal, but the fact that he had every SC VIP behind him and still couldn’t win, not to mention that he still hasn’t a single win to his name yet, should concern his supporters. Also a concern for Conservatives is his last minute bailing on the Conservative Review Convention, ****** where he was scheduled to speak. It could be that Marco has conceded Conservatives and is instead hoping to rely solely on establishment support. If so, it’s a risky strategy, considering that Trump is also competing for that support block. If you combine this with the fact that in the polls Rubio is not leading in a single state, ******* then you have near insurmountable issues to a Rubio win. Unless something radical happens to change the course of this election, Marco is unlikely to be anything more than a spoiler for Trump.

In the meantime, Cruz is using the proper tactic of emphasizing his win in Iowa and his consecutive double placing in New Hampshire and South Carolina (almost taking second in SC) as evidence that he is the candidate that has and can beat Donald Trump. Additionally, polling has indicated in a head to head match-up between Trump and Cruz, it’s Cruz by +16 points. ******** Additionally, Trump almost consistent loses across polling in potential match-ups with Hillary ********* whereas Cruz more often than not beats Hillary. ********** For those that are concerned with the Don’s elect-ability and also the drag to the left that Trump represents, they really have only one choice. Unless it is desired to see a Trump Presidency, or (even worse) a Hillary Presidency, Ted Cruz is the only lane left to avoid such a fate.

– Ryan Thorson

* http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2016/02/13/the-craziest-gop-debate-of-the-cycle-trump-loses-control-cruz-and-rubio-spar-audience-boos-n2119366

** http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/in-2002-donald-trump-said-he-supported-invading-iraq-on-the

*** http://national.suntimes.com/national-world-news/7/72/2619220/donald-trump-confuses-himself-with-bernie-sanders/

****http://patch.com/south-carolina/columbia-sc/2016-south-carolina-gop-primary-results-voting-under-way

***** http://www.redstate.com/jaycaruso/2016/02/20/jeb-bush-john-kasich-ben-carsoon-get-out/

****** http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016/02/19/their-guy-bailed-out-mark-levin-slams-rubio-for-skipping-conservative-convention-as-rift-between-rubio-and-cruz-deepens/

******* http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/march1GOP.html

******** http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/gop-primaries/269749-cruz-tops-trump-nationally-in-poll-surprise

*********http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_clinton-5491.html

**********http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_cruz_vs_clinton-4034.html

Why it Must be Cruz!

One of the things in my life that I’ve tried to cultivate is knowledge of History. I’m a huge History enthusiast, especially for the American variety. While our History is profuse with great stories, some triumphant, some ignominious, and still others mundane, there is one repeated notion that has struck me as significant. Like the rest of the world, our politics have been, and often still are, based upon concepts of tribalism and socialism, and this for good reason. These are among the most powerful ways to motivate people to desired ends. Predominantly, our political candidates have appealed to such concepts, to great effect, when securing loyal voters in an election. Whether tribalism took the form of party and ethnic identity, or socialism assumed the form of the promise of a chicken in every pot, these two have been used, frankly, because they’re easy. It is a very easy thing to say “Vote for me, because the other guy is not a part of our tribe, and all that implies!” It appeals to a natural survival instinct that exists in all of us, it appeals to prejudices both ancient and contemporary, and it’s a simple way of steering the voter away from asking too many questions. It is equally an easy thing to appeal to socialism. When a candidate says, “Vote for me, and I will give you bread and circuses!” or in our case “free college education and universal healthcare,” they’re compelling political action by appealing to desire, both need and greed. And socialism must necessarily contain its own brand of tribalism; with the role of the reviled other enacted by the wealthy and the corporate cabal. In this case, the legendary 1%, whose gains are ill-gotten for little other reason than that they have them and we don’t, are targeted for property confiscation in order to pay for the promised bread and circuses. In this, our loyalty and electoral endorsement is purchased through other people’s money, which is an easier sacrifice for the buyer, that is, until the golden goose is killed and government must now pluck the rest of the people to provide the free goods it promised, in lieu of deficits. There is, however, a third way. A yearning that can be just as powerful a motivator as the other two: Freedom, the concept that one person can have maximum control over their own destiny. It’s not as easy a sell as socialism; you aren’t offering other people’s property up to the mob. It’s a bit more difficult than tribalism, because what you offer crosses tribal lines. However, when it takes hold, it can be transcendent, revealing the other motivators to be myopically self-centered. Freedom is for all, and in it lie all of the potential of human beings, for better or worse. Socialism may give you subsistence (while it lasts), but it can’t make you prosper. In fact, it will eventually punish you for doing so. But if you give a man the freedom to use his talents and motivation, and if government gives him sufficient berth, there is little that he cannot do, if he chooses.

Unfortunately, too many have fallen spell-bound under the siren song of socialism, and our country is succumbing to the crushing monolithic weight of the debt that must always follow. The temptation of gaining that which we haven’t earned for ourselves is potent, and freedom, necessarily a casualty of socialism, is becoming more and more the Cruzexception. Today, the federal government is involved in the lives of ordinary citizens on a level that was never before imagined, making the choices for our lives that we previously were free to make for ourselves. Among its tyrannies, the government can now force us to purchase a product, healthcare, under the threat of fine or imprisonment; the executive has coopted law-making powers, taking away the people’s choice of legislative representation; the IRS has been weaponized to attack the political opponents of the President, including those that Government antagonizes for their religious beliefs; and the courts have also usurped legislative powers, making their personal biases and moral views higher than our actual laws. And even though we recognize that Government causes many of the problems in our lives, we foolishly turn to an expanding government to solve them. Let’s try something different. Let’s return the beast of government back to the cage it was never intended to leave, to the enumerated powers of the Constitution. Let’s stop the monarchization of the Presidency and the corruption of the courts. Let’s re-empower the states and the individuals to make their own decisions, based on their own wisdom, treating them like adults and the sovereigns of their own lives they are supposed to be.  In order to sort out these Constitutional crises, a leader is needed that has a record of devotion to Individual Liberty and the Constitution, an expert who knows where the problems lie, how to fix them, and has the will and courage to lawfully act. That leader is Ted Cruz.

Ted Cruz has had a remarkable career in the public’s service. His hallmark is his devotion to the Constitution; it is his passion. From youth, he could recite it from memory. As a law clerk for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, he learned its finer points and also witnessed its subversion by vain majority opinions. As the Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, Ted Cruz advocated for Constitutional free-market principles. As Solicitor General for Texas, he fought for the Constitution nine times, including winning cases against the George W. Bush administration when the right to bear arms was on the line and also when the independence of state courts was threatened by world judges. In private practice, Ted Cruz’s specialty was Constitutional matters. In the U.S. Senate, Ted Cruz was a thorn in the flesh, not only to Democrats who continually work to subvert the Constitution, but also to the GOP establishment who talk a good game, but whose courage instantly dissolves with the gentle whisper of shutdown. In that environment, Ted Cruz was one of a few voices that at least stood to be counted and even occasionally won a few victories, fighting the Democrats with one hand and dragging the GOP with the other. Even Cruz’s supposed failure, his filibuster against Obamacare. In this case, one man showing courage resonated with the public enough to shift the balance of power, ultimately resulting in the GOP taking a majority in the Senate during the following mid-term election. Cruz remained true to his campaign promises, advancing conservatism at every opportunity and not ditching his convictions for perceived political gain. Time and time again, Ted Cruz was consistent and faithful, including to his promise to stand against amnesty, being instrumental in killing the Rubio/Schumer amnesty bill.  There are NO candidates currently running that can compete with such accomplishments.

In spite of such a fine record, there are those that would argue that Ted Cruz cannot win. One reason is that he’s too conservative. In answering that I need only cite the colossal wins of Ronald Reagan. Reagan appealed to freedom in a time when the world was turning to the Left and to the Soviet Empire. Reagan showed us that we can have a coalition of people from all walks of life based upon uniting principles, those that are found in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Just as importantly, Reagan showed that a campaign of principle can win! It takes courage, risking that the people you don’t pander to won’t be swayed to support higher principle over tangible gifts from government, but it can be done. To this end, Ted Cruz has the principles, passion, and oratory skill to reassemble the Reagan coalition, appealing to people’s yearning for freedom to decide for themselves rather than having the shapes in central planning make those decisions for them. If one has a skilled speaker to make the case, the people will overwhelmingly choose liberty over the promise of free stuff that we cannot afford.

Another criticism of Cruz is that he’s not likeable, that he doesn’t get along with his colleagues in the senate and can’t be expected to get things done as President. Well, I’m afraid that the candidate’s cuddliness or lack thereof didn’t make my list of the necessary attributes of a President, and I see no reason to amend it now. However I do have a few things to say about Ted Cruz’s supposed unlike-ability. First of all, this terseness must be very subtle, because it doesn’t seem to resonate through media. Aside from occasionally being difficult with debate moderators, when you see Ted speak or interact, he comes off as confident, respectful, and even jovial. This is true especially when you see him in spontaneous candid moments, speaking with supporters and opponents alike on the campaign trail, further making the portrayal of him being some kind of a jerk truly a hard-sell. Consider his appearance on Jay Leno’s show at the height of the government shutdown, at a time when his name was supposed to be mud; he had that audience cheering for him. 1 Even if you do accept that Cruz may be privately less disciplined in discourse, ponder this: Ted is very smart, and like many intelligent people, he can occasionally come off as awkward. Fair enough. However, when you weigh getting a dependable soldier for the Constitution as President against possible behind the scenes brusqueness, as far as I’m concerned, it isn’t even a contest. And concerning Cruz’s inability to get along with the establishment, the same politicians that preemptively surrender their core convictions at the drop of a hat, I think their esteem would be cause for shame rather than praise. They don’t like Cruz because he forced them to stand up for principle when they would rather not risk it. Cruz’s courage made them look bad… and they hate him for it. Be that as it may, if you are concerned that congress won’t work with a Cruz Presidency, cheer up!  I can scarcely believe that a GOP Congress will suddenly find their long-absent spine when dealing with a Conservative President when it could scarce find it under a Progressive one.

Ted Cruz’s plan is simple and has a record of Conservatism, courage, and dependability. He will draw on that record of experience to do something that Republicans have done little of in a long time: give us true reform. Ted Cruz has promised, “If I’m elected president, let me tell you what I intend to do on the first day in office. The first thing I intend to do in office is rescind every single illegal and unconstitutional executive action taken by this President.” “The second thing I intend to do on the first day in office is instruct the Department of Justice to open an investigation into Planned Parenthood and these horrible videos, and to prosecute any and all criminal violations by that organization.” “The third thing I intend to do on the first day in office is instruct the Department of Justice and the IRS and every other federal agency that the persecution of religious liberty ends today!” “The fourth thing that I intend to do on the first day in office is to rip to shred this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal!” “The fifth thing I intend to do on the first day in office is to begin the process of moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem”. 2 Of course, all of these promises are merely for his first day, with many more days for the harder tasks of the principled reform of government such as tax reform, simplifying and capping it at 15%; balancing the budget and paying down our crippling national debt; cutting the chains of our regulatory state and getting the economic engine running again; restoring America’s military and standing up to her adversaries while turning from the checkered path of nation building; and Cruz is the only candidate who will enforce our immigration laws, secure the border, and kill amnesty. 3 And when Cruz says this is what he’ll do, you can believe it, because he has a consistent record of making hard choices of principle and sticking to them. Consider Cruz’s recent victory in Iowa. While every other candidate in the farm-land of Iowa abased themselves before ethanol subsidies (Trump even proposed their expansion), Cruz proved that he was serious about ending crony capitalism and reducing the size and reach of government by reaffirming the phase-out of all subsidies. 4 And he did this while most pundits were saying that his Presidential run would die if he didn’t kowtow before this particular form of corporate welfare. That takes guts, the kind we’ve supposedly been waiting for. Also, Cruz showed us that you can show guts and still win! The people of Iowa rewarded his courage by caucusing for him, giving him the first caucus/primary win by a Latino and the largest vote total in Iowa GOP Caucus history.

Ted Cruz appears at a campaign event in Nashua in New Hampshire.
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks at a second amendment rally at the Granite State Indoor Range and Gun Shop in Hudson, N.H., Jan. 12, 2016. Porter Gifford—Corbis

Since Reagan left, we’ve been continually disappointed by his successors, those that would lay claim to the Reagan mantel, but all too often these would-be heirs find it expedient to abandon principle to make a deal. They tell us, even in victory, that in spite of what they promised us during the election cycle that they can’t deliver until they grasp the next level of power. They tell us to be patient, while they do nothing as our liberty is slowly taken from us. In such cases of Republicans lacking the courage of their own convictions, it becomes clear that there are two parties in this country: the Democrats are the party of national suicide, while the Republicans become the party of national hospice. Though one party gets the country to death’s door faster, either way the nation dies. We can’t get this one wrong! We can’t do the regular Republican thing, nominating whomever we find superficially most electable; we’ve gone down that path of compromise and failure too many times. Decisive and bold action is required to save the country, and that requires a bold and decisive candidate. Some have said that three to four justices for the Supreme Court will be nominated in the next administration, putting many of our basic liberties in jeopardy. Who can you trust to make these appointment/nominations other than a Constitution expert who believes in those principles, Trump? Trump rarely mentions the matter, and when he does he sounds somewhere between a novice and a snake-oil salesman. How about Rubio? God bless Marco, but you just can’t discount how quickly the guy changed from impassioned opponent of amnesty to trying to jam amnesty through Congress, which is hardly a resume bullet for consistency. With Cruz’s courage, talent, intelligence, and conviction to Constitutional principles, why would we settle for less when we have such a choice? With whatever short-comings the Ted Cruz may have (and all the candidates have them), Cruz is still the most conservative, the most dedicated to reform, and the most proven in battle. The other candidates all amount to a concession and a dangerous gamble in a time where our country as we have known it may be only holding on by the slimmest of knots. With Ted Cruz, as a life-long across the board Conservative, finally there is a candidate that gets every major category right, negating the need to settle or compromise. And so, I urge everyone reading this to vote for Ted Cruz, in the primary and general, because he alone is the best chance we have to reverse our country’s expiration and heal our Republic. If it isn’t Cruz, the only thing we’ll preserve is our privilege to complain about the next politician who’s failed us, and that will be sore compensation when the country passes the point of no return.

 

– Ryan Thorson

 

1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDTD86kssY8

2  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JmV0q5wuTw

3 https://www.tedcruz.org/

4 http://www.nationalreview.com/article/429906/ted-cruzs-ethanol-stand-defies-industry-bipartisan-tradition