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

 

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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

Come Together, Right Now, Over Cruz!

With the next Super Tuesday hitting tomorrow, on the ides of March, I thought that now would be an appropriate time to promote the idea of the GOP beginning the healing process. You know it has to happen; we have to reassemble, bind up each others wounds, and come together and form a United front to oppose the Democrats and their chosen leader: the felonious Hillary Clinton. The damage of the last seven years needs to be undone, and that can’t happen if we remain apart, so healing might as well begin today. Join me, brothers and sisters, won’t you?

First, all sides and all supporters of particular candidates are going to have to accept that, in all likelihood, Ted Cruz is going to be the nominee. Yes, I know you may not believe it now, and it may be a bitter pill to swallow for some of you, but its going to happen. Rubio will likely lose Florida, and that will be it for him. Kasich, whether or not he finally wins a state at Ohio will be inconsequential as it is likely to be his last hurrah. Ultimately It will come down to Cruz vs. Trump. Tomorrow, Cruz will pick up many delegates and may even surprise a few people. Personally, I believe Cruz will take IL, NC, and MO. Trump will have a good night, at least taking FL, but in all likelihood it will be his peak. In this two man race, the math and the polling from there on in will favor Cruz heavily, getting him to the magical number of 1237 by June. This will not end up in a brokered convention, and probably not even a contested one, rather Cruz will win fair and square. It’s going to happen, and you need to get ready for it.

Rubio and Kasich fans will probably do fine in voting for Cruz. They’ll get basically what they want in Cruz, with a few more checks on governmental power. The establishment types will have a more difficult time. Under Cruz they’ll actually have to produce results and reform the government along Constitutional lines. Sorry, this time we’ll get a real Conservative, not a moderate, not a compassionate conservative, and things will finally change in Washington. I know that’s a lot of power and influence to give up, but it’s still better than losing with Trump as the nominee or even worse winning with Trump, with all the uncertainty and instability he may bring. However, the group that will have the most difficult time in accepting another candidate other than theirs will be Trump supporters, as they have a very deep emotional connection to their candidate.

If you are a Trump supporter, you may not believe me now, but as you get some distance from Trump, it will become more and more apparent that he was lying to you. If you review what he’s said, how it changed from day to day, how reticent he was to give you details, and the hints that he and his surrogates quietly admitted that he wasn’t being genuine, it’ll become clear that Trump wouldn’t have kept his word to you once he was in power. Cruz, on the other hand, will deliver on the best of what Trump promised, such as immigration reform. Yes, I know it was fun to hear Donald curse, and it probably felt good that he gave you permission to act out in licentious ways, but once calm returns, I’m sure you will agree that sort of thing isn’t exactly the right way for a U.S. President to behave, nor a U.S. Citizen. I know you feel aggrieved because of Obama’s imperial Presidency, illegal immigration, or the way you have been portrayed as Snidley Whiplash by the media and education elites, but you can’t allow that grievance to give you permission to act out in violent or negative ways. Otherwise, what do you say when Black Lives Matter protesters or other victim-identity groups cause the same destruction? How is it really different? Also, random violence and racial prejudice are wrong! They just are, and I think you know that. Before you take out your frustration on an ethnic group, remember that we are a nation of individuals, not groups. You’d expect no less treatment for yourself, so please extend the same courtesy to others. I think you’d find that there are plenty of non-white people in this country that you might have a lot in common with, if you’d just give them a chance. To do otherwise just isn’t the American way.

In the end, Cruz will be the nominee, and we all need to support him. If we’ve said unkind things to each other, we should man-up and set that aside. If your favorite bit of legislative pork is going away, you should just accept it and think of the greater good for the country and not lament the loss to special interests or slices of power. It needs to be understood that there’s not going to be a registry for U.S. Muslims and continued funding for Planned Parenthood; those things are bad. Try to focus on the good things that will come with a Cruz Presidency, such as a flat tax, economic recovery and expansion, the repealing of job-killing Obamacare, government back in it’s proper place, and more power for the citizens to run their own lives. Yes, the time has come. Come together over Cruz!

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

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

 

Cruz Camp Mischief in Iowa? Not so Much.

Shortly after Ted Cruz’s historic victory in Iowa, some allegations of dirty tricks on the part of the Cruz campaign have surfaced. The claim is that the Cruz camp lied to Iowa Caucus supporters of Carson, saying that Ben was dropping out, in order to get them to switch their votes to Cruz. * Concerned that a candidate who stakes his name on trust would put that on the line haphazardly, I looked into the matter, and what I found was that the allegations were severely wanting. Please, read on as I walk you through the evidence while I give what I believe to be a reasonable explanation, and then you can draw your own conclusions.

According to The Washington Post, Dr. Carson announced that he was skipping the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries to go home to Florida. ** Carson said this at some point on caucus night, and this information reached the Cruz Camp approximately between 6 and 8 PM, based on the time stamp of Cruz campaigner Steve King’s tweet King Tweetregarding the matter. If you look at Rep. King’s tweets, it’s clear that he believed that Dr. Carson’s statement signified that Ben was getting out and he wanted to take advantage of the news, presumably before Rubio or Trump did.

This quote from the WP article says it all, “Political reporters and strategists have no idea what to make of Carson’s decision. The most obvious theory is that he is preparing to drop out, but his campaign insists that is not the case.” ** It is my belief that the Cruz camp most likely would’ve had people on hand to witness Ben make his statement and forward it on, and they wouldn’t have paused for assurances from Carson’s people to confirm his intentions. Why should they? The only reasonable conclusion is that the Cruz folks genuinely believed that Ben was calling it quits and wanted to use that information. If the Cruz camp jumped the gun because they saw something that looked and quacked like a duck but in actuality wasn’t, that doesn’t make them liars or sneaky, but just mistaken and maybe a bit too eager. Such things can happen on a political campaign, even unmaliciously, in the fog of war.

I suspect that my conclusion will be poor consolation to the supporters of other candidates who didn’t do as well as Cruz in the Iowa Caucus, those nursing their wounds with the conviction that their guy would’ve won if Ted hadn’t cheated, but that is likely not what happened when all the facts are considered. As far as is known, Ted Cruz won fair and square. The bottom line is that if Carson was not getting out, and if (and that’s a very big “if”) this information caused Carson to lose even a single percentage point (his RCP average was only 7.7%; *** Carson ended up with 9.3% *), then Carson has only himself to blame for not thinking through how such an announcement might be interpreted. This turn of events is, I’m sure, regrettable for both candidates, but the controversy is more likely to highlight Carson’s inexperience with politics than it is to prove any dirty deeds on the part of the Cruz campaign.

 

– Ryan Thorson

 

* http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/02/breaking-carson-accuses-cruz-camp-of-foul-play-at-iowa-caucuses/

** https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/02/01/ben-carsons-amazing-excuse-for-taking-a-break-from-the-campaign-trail-he-needs-fresh-clothes/

*** http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/ia/iowa_republican_presidential_caucus-3194.html