The main problem with Donald Trump’s candidacy is not his immigration stance, or his narcissism, or his stupid hair. No, the real problem is that Trump is a distraction from the true conservative choice: Ted Cruz.
This is Part 1 of what I expect to be a multi-part series on Cruz’s superiority to Trump. I’ll keep these posts relatively bite-sized (for me) because I am short on time and so are you. Today’s point: Cruz has something Trump doesn’t: demonstrated backbone within the political process.
The current success of Trump and Carson in the polls, to me, reflects a typical and understandable American sentiment: a hatred of political “insiders” and a desire to look outside that process for someone different. But why do Americans do that? It’s because it’s so rare for someone inside the political process to stay true to what they said they would do. So Americans naturally turn their gaze outside Washington.
But what is a better indicator of someone’s willingness to fight the establishment: mere outsider status, or a demonstrated track record of fighting the establishment as an elected official? Clearly the latter.
An example makes the case. Pretend we are in 2008, in a hypothetical alternate universe in which Donald Trump and Ron Paul each seeks to be the big-L Libertarian Party candidate. Pretend that you are a committed Libertarian Party supporter who must choose between Trump and Ron Paul. (Yes, I’m asking you to pretend you’re a little crazy. It’s a hypo!) Trump brings to the table his hyper-inflated sense of self-importance and a collection of radical libertarian proposals, many of which directly contradict his past positions. Ron Paul brings to the table his long track record of voting in a libertarian manner in Congress — an institution that swallows most men whole and corrupts them entirely. Which man gives a committed libertarian better reasons to believe they will actually do what they say? Of course you would have to cast your vote for Paul.
But you’re not a crazy person who supports the Libertarian Party. You’re a conservative who is tired of watching Republicans march off to Washington and stab you in the back the second they get there.
I recently read Ted Cruz’s book (thanks, DRJ!) and it is packed with stories of Cruz standing up for principle when it counts. When a bunch of GOP’ers plan to betray the principles they campaigned on, and gather in a back room to collude to make their sell-out look good, Ted Cruz is the kind of man who will stand up and say: No! He doesn’t just talk the talk. He has walked the walk.
Cruz has paid a heavy price for these shows of principle, in terms of his standing with other Senators. You can’t stand in the well of the Senate and call your Majority Leader a liar and expect people to like you. They will run to their favored Politico media outlets and leak all manner of dishonest pablum designed to make you look bad. Cruz knows that. But he stands up to them anyway.
America doesn’t need another outsider who will become One of Them the second he gets to Washington. America needs someone who has shown they can be on the inside and still fight for those on the outside.
That man is not the narcissistic blowhard who is currently the GOP front-runner.
That man is Ted Cruz.
The sooner conservatives wise up and recognize this, the sooner we can get to work electing the right man.