I have to say something about Ted Cruz’s speech at the Republican national convention in Cleveland, OH.
This article from The Federalist was the best summary:
Ted Cruz knows exactly what he’s doing. On Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention, Cruz walked onto the stage in Cleveland to thunderous applause, smiled, waved, and then openly defied the Republican Party.
Not only did Cruz fail to endorse Donald Trump, in a master stroke of rhetorical understatement he also implored Republicans to “vote your conscience” in November. It was all he needed to say.
Cruz uttered the name of the GOP nominee only once, right at the beginning. “I congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night,” Cruz told the crowd.
That was it. The very next thing he said was a rhetorical shot across Trump’s bow: “I want to see the principles of our party prevail in November.”
For the rest of his remarks, Cruz’s theme was freedom—not Trump or party unity or even Hillary Clinton. He took up his theme by talking about something he’s been talking about for years: the frustrations of average Americans with what Cruz calls the “Washington cartel.” Recall that early in the primaries, Cruz made common cause with Trump as an outsider candidate, lambasting not just the Obama administration but also a Republican establishment he said was woefully out of step with ordinary Americans.
“Voters are overwhelmingly rejecting big government,” he said. “That’s a profound victory. People are fed up with politicians who don’t listen to them, fed up with a corrupt system that benefits the elites, instead of working men and women.”
He lambasted a “political establishment that cynically breaks its promises and ignores the will or the people,” a shot aimed not just at the Obama administration, but at his GOP establishment rivals in Congress.
But it was clear, to those who have ears to hear, that Cruz was not making a case for Trump. “We’re fighting not for a particular candidate or campaign,” he said. Americans deserves leaders who “stand for principles” and “shared values.”
The closest Cruz came to an endorsement of anyone was a plea for the beleaguered down-ballot Republicans who in many places across the country face tough odds in November with Trump at the top of the GOP ticket.
“To those listening, please, don’t stay home in November,” he said. “Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”
That’s what I’ve been telling people as well. Don’t vote for Trump, but do vote for solid conservatives at every level of government in your home state.
Here is the full speech: (Transcript at Caffeinated Thoughts)
Ted explained his actions like this:
Donald Trump repeatedly insulted the much better conservatives who were running against him in the primary. Most of those conservatives, like Rubio, have apologized, grovelled, and kissed his ring after they lost. Not Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz is as far above Trump in intelligence and morality as Hyperion to a satyr, to quote Shakespeare. There is no way that Cruz could kowtow to an immoral imbecile like Trump.
Jonah Goldberg says this at National Review:
Well here comes Ted Cruz providing exactly the sort of drama they yearned for and many of these same voices are aghast at Ted Cruz’s effrontery. The word has gone out across the land: This is an outrage! Not since Caligula appointed his horse to the Roman senate has a political figure showed such contempt for decorum and the solemnity of politics!
[…]I understand that Chris Christie will spew whatever fake outrage his masters instruct, like a trained seal barking for another herring. But I don’t see why so many supposedly seasoned political observers are volunteering for service.
[…]This is part of the corruption of Trump. He called Ted Cruz a liar every day and in every way for months (it used to be considered a breach in decorum to straight up call an opponent a liar, never mind use it as a nickname). The insults against his wife, the cavalier birtherism, the disgusting JFK assassination theories about his Dad: These things are known. And yet the big conversation of the day is Ted Cruz’s un-sportsmanlike behavior? For real?
[…]Ted Cruz has never been my favorite politician. And I am not so naïve that I don’t recognize the gamble Cruz is making.
But if the choice is between forgiving Ted Cruz’s obvious political calculation to become the standard bearer of an authentic conservatism or Donald Trump’s lizard-brain narcissism where no principle or cause outranks his own glandular desire to be worshipped, like a conqueror atop the carcass of conservatism, I choose Ted.
If the choice is between, say, congratulating the Boy Scoutish obedience of Mike Pence as he sells off bits and pieces of his soul like jewels from a family heirloom just to survive another day, or Ted Cruz who took the tougher road and refused to join the mewling mobs of toadies, apologists, human weather vanes, difference-splitters and vacillators, I choose Ted.
If the choice is between suspending the rules of decorum, decency, and civility for Donald Trump as he casually bad mouths his own country to the New York Times just as he secures the presidential nomination of the Republican Party or accepting that we are in dark and uncharted waters and conscience must light the way, I choose Ted.
I wasn’t worried about what Cruz would say at the convention. More than anyone else speaking, I trusted him not to stain his honor by endorsing someone he didn’t support, for political gain. There was just no way that someone with the education, achievements, moral character and conservative principles of Ted Cruz would lower himself into the gutter to support a disgusting piece of godless left-wing filth like Donald Trump. Ted Cruz will be back in 2020. Maybe then American voters will care enough to actually look into the backgrounds and achievements of the candidates.
I can only hope that God will give this nation one more chance to turn off of the road to serfdom. But even if he does not, we can’t say that we were not warned.
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