I was never a Ted Cruz fan. Nor was I a supporter. But as a Republican, I would have voted for him over Hillary Clinton. And I would not have trashed him if Cruz were the nominee. And I will tell you this, all of the hatred and vitriol that the anti Trump and #NeverTrump “Republicans” out there feel towards Donald Trump, my feelings towards Cruz are no different.
But I would not oppose the GOP Nominee like Ted Cruz has done as he encouraged his die hard followers to “vote their conscience” which is a dog whistle phrase for “vote for anybody but Trump.”
And Ted Cruz antics at the Convention where Donald Trump magnanimously gave him the floor did nothing to dispel the feelings I have about Cruz – that he is a self centered and self serving, petty little man. A leader would have taken the opportunity to lead. To bring the party together. A leader would have enthusiastically endorsed Donald Trump and urged the GOP in attendance and those watching on television and internet to vote for Donald Trump. A leader would not have said “vote your conscience.”
Ted Cruz convinced me with that speech that I was right about him all along. He is not a leader.
So now, after signalling to his supporters that he was still the leader of the anti Trump movement – the petty resistance – and that he will lead them to a Trump loss, and hanging out hope for a Ted Cruz run in 2020, Cruz folded like a cheap suit.
So what happened to Cruz “conscience”?
What happened was that on Sunday September 18, 2016 RNC Chairman Reince Priebus went on Face the Nation and had this to say:
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Sunday that it’s high time for Donald Trump’s former primary challengers to come on board and support his campaign—and suggested there could be trouble for them in 2020 or 2024 if they don’t.
“Those people need to get on board,” he told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “And if they’re thinking they’re going to run again someday, I think that we’re going to evaluate the process – of the nomination process and I don’t think it’s going to be that easy for them.”
Several of Trump’s former Republican primary opponents, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush have not endorsed Trump in the months since the GOP businessman secured the nomination. Asked explicitly whether that meant there would be penalties for the handful of 2016 Republican hopefuls who have not endorsed Trump if they opted to run again in 2020 or 2024, Priebus said nothing has been decided but that it’s something the party will “look at.”
All of the major Republican candidates, including Trump,last summer stating that they would support the eventual Republican nominee “regardless of who it is.” The document wasn’t legally binding, but candidates were asked to sign it last summer after Trump at the time wouldn’t rule out a third-party bid if he lost the nomination.
So 5 day’s later, Ted Cruz searched his “conscience” and saw that his “dog whistle” vote your conscience campaign to sink Donald Trump and elect Hillary Clinton as president so Cruz could mount a challenge in 2020 was no longer a campaign to hurt Trump and the entire nation as Hillary appoints left wing activists to the Supreme Court, no it was far more serious than the destruction of the nation. Now it would adversely effect Ted Cruz personally. He would face a much greater challenge than simply the fallout from his failure to honor his signed pledge. No, people would forget that in 4 years. But if the official policy of the GOP were to disallow those who fail to honor their pledges to support the nominee to run again, it is personal to Cruz.
So it only took Cruz 5 days to realize that his “conscience” would end up at odds with his ambition. So it was an easy decision for him to throw his “conscience” out the window and choose his personal ambition over his feigned righteous indignation at Trump the Imperfect. Suddenly, Trump’s immoral actions were not so bad and Cruz piety was no longer an obstacle. He could betray his deeply held beliefs and morality easily when sticking to his principles conflicts with his personal quest for power.
Not that I haven’t enjoyed watching Cruz die hard supporters heads explode as Cruz sold out his lofty morality rather than have the GOP stand in his way in 4 years. As Cruz’ godly ways turned out to be nothing more than sanctimonious BS as he sold out as soon as the path impacted him personally.
And I watch the politicians on the news saying Cruz “did the right thing”. Finally. Of course they are supposed to say that. Party unity is of major concern right now. And most polls show that Trump is now north of 90% and rising of Republican’s who will be voting for him.
And don’t take this the wrong way. I am happy Cruz gave his endorsement to Trump and I would love to see the rest of the party holdouts – now a paltry shell of resistance – do the same.
But those of us who knew all along Cruz was the holder of the high moral ground only until it requited sacrifice can take some measure of satisfaction knowing our initial assessment of the insincerity of Ted Cruz was spot on.
Still, I would have gladly admitted that perhaps I was wrong about Cruz had he come out and endorsed Trump before the RNC put a steep price on his conscience.
But that is not how it went down.