I have said since May 3 that refusing to endorse Donald Trump would be smart politics for Ted Cruz. Here are my thoughts from May 3:
Later that day, Cruz pulled out of the race. He remained mostly silent about Trump. As the other toadies like Rubio, Scott Walker, and (sadly) Rick Perry fell in line, I mocked them without mercy — and pledged that I would do the same to Cruz if he endorsed Trump.
I remained skeptical that he would endorse — but when I heard that Cruz planned to speak at the convention, I worried. To me, any endorsement of Trump, even half-assed or tepid, would have been an act of disrespect to Ted Cruz’s family. Even if he didn’t endorse, I worried that Cruz would try to walk a line and end up being too clever by half.
It still could have played out that way. But then Donald Trump’s people orchestrated the booing of Ted Cruz, for not explicitly endorsing Trump.
It was a wholly premeditated spectacle. The bully Trump planned it this way. It was to be the final humiliation of “Lyin’ Ted.”
And yet, Ted Cruz stood firm.
And with that, a speech that could have been perceived as a standard-issue extolling of constitutionalism was transformed into an epic stand on principle.
I opened this post by noting that standing on principle is Cruz’s brand. His speech last night was calculating, I believe — but the calculation was: I am the sort of person who stands on principle. My supporters like that. I am going to continue to be that sort of person.
That’s my kind of “calculation.” Especially when it comes to defending family.
Anyone criticizing Cruz today has to be willing to say: “Donald Trump could mock my wife’s looks, and slander my dad, and I would support him.” If that’s the sort of person you are — the sort of person who does not respect his family enough to stand up for them, regardless of the cost — then stand up and say so. Be proud. Own it.
And then get off my site.
If you’re voting for Donald Trump because you think he’s the lesser of two evils; because you think Hillary is clearly worse; because you reject leftism and know Hillary will foist leftism on us and only suspect Trump might . . . then you and I are cool. I respect that position. It’s not my position — but if it’s yours, I respect it, and I respect you.
But if you’re going to knock Ted Cruz for standing up against a man who bullied his family, I don’t respect you. I don’t want you here. Feel free to leave. It may make this place smaller, but it will make it better.
I do not want to see this site turned into a replication of what I watched on the convention floor last night: a group of howling apes flinging poo at a good man who stood on principle and refused to kiss the ring of a man who repeatedly insulted his family.
The GOP ought to be taking out the trash, but they’re not. I can’t control that. But I can control my space. If you can’t respect a man who stands up for his family, get out of my face.