ELDER PATRIOT – The crucible that is a presidential campaign can try a man’s soul and usually exposes much about a man’s character. As a result we can learn a lot about a candidate’s willingness to defend his positions during the process. When it comes to Ted Cruz what we’re learning isn’t pretty.
Cruz had spent years carefully crafting an image of conservative ideological purity, first as Solicitor General of Texas and then as a U.S. Senator. His colleagues, whether his college roommate at Princeton or his fellow senators, generally disliked him but that only served to enhance his image as a staunch defender of the Constitution and conservative principles regardless of who liked him.
But an unforeseen opponent in his quest for the presidency has exposed an unseemly willingness to compromise those principles when he began realizing that the door was closing on his chances of winning the Republican presidential nomination.
The test of Cruz’s mettle began when Donald Trump entered the race and immediately staked out politically incorrect positions far to the right of Mr. Cruz. Voters, starved to hear the truth from their presidential candidates, began to see Mr. Cruz as just another politician among the group of sixteen contenders, albeit the most conservative “leftover.”
Mr. Trump questioned the veracity of Republicans who had paid lip service to the issue of immigration but had spent three decades doing nothing about it.
The very definition of conservatism came under scrutiny when Mr. Trump began challenging the issues that defined the Left-Right paradigm, issues that Mr. Cruz had built his campaign around.
Conservative Americans couldn’t understand why we were bogged down in a Mid-East war that has run for fifteen years and that has no end in sight, when we won WWII against true super powers in a scant couple of years. Trump invoked the name of ex-President Dwight Eisenhower who took the opportunity of his farewell address to warn Americans about the dangers of the Military-Industrial Complex. This suggested that Congress accepted eternal warfare as a way of enriching their corporate cronies within that industry.
As of this writing, Mr. Cruz continues to embrace the position that committing additional ground forces in the Mid-East to fight ISIS is our best option. This led to establishment member Lindsey Graham endorsing him and to Cruz welcoming him to his campaign.
The stupidity of this argument has not been lost on Americans. The estimated 40,000 ISIS members that Cruz and Graham want to send our handcuffed young men and women to fight are not the persons posing a threat to Americans living in the U.S. The threat comes from so-called “sleeper cells” within the immigrant class that both Cruz and Graham welcomed here and who they continue to protect by hiding behind existing U.S. law. That they share this position with Hillary Clinton hurts Mr. Cruz among Republicans who have grown tired of failed policies that only benefit corporate interests.
Similarly, their assertions that torture is beneath us and isn’t an effective tool in interrogations was dispelled by John McCain, himself, who admitted during his speech to the Republican Convention in 2008 that he cracked under torture while in Viet Nam. When Americans commit their young to war they do not want them shackled in any way.
Watching his presidential aspirations slip away Mr. Cruz began making deals with known establishment candidates. He offered Marco Rubio a spot as his Vice President to create a “Unity Ticket.” They are an unlikely pair at best, as ill suited as John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson were. To date, Mr. Rubio has refused to discuss Cruz’s offer with him. Cruz was looking to co-opt the 166 delegates under Mr. Rubio’s control. Privately Mr. Cruz has nothing but contempt for Mr. Rubio.
Before the offer to Marco Rubio, Mr. Cruz welcomed Neil Bush to his fundraising team. And now, as Mr. Cruz emerges as the only candidate who can deny Donald Trump the 1237 delegates needed to avoid a contested convention, Mr. Cruz has made a deal with Jeb Bush for his endorsement.
All of these endorsements come with a price.
Now, Mr. Cruz sits smugly on the sideline while establishment Republicans lay the groundwork and change the rules in order to deny Donald Trump the nomination even if Mr. trump were to attain enough support to arrive in Cleveland with 1237 delegates in his pocket, gladly denying the will of the American people as long as it inures to his benefit.
This should come as no surprise to those who have witnessed Mr. Cruz’s avarice overtake his better angels during the course of this campaign. From his underhanded treatment of Ben Carson prior to the Iowa caucuses to yesterday’s complaint from the Kasich campaign that Cruz is claiming that Mr. Kasich isn’t on the ballot in New York State, to last night’s pro-Cruz PAC ad showing Donald Trump’s wife in the nude, Mr. Cruz has abandoned all of the Christian principles he claims serve as his anchor.
Sadly, Ten Cruz has sold his principles for the endorsement of the establishment and his soul to the devil for the chance to be president.