Attention Populist Conservatives: Beware Ted Cruz

Attention populist conservatives who really want to stick it to the Establishment: perhaps, just perhaps, the best way to do that is not by supporting a candidate who GRADUATED FROM HARVARD LAW SCHOOL!

It is possible that Ted Cruz’s anti-Establishment conservative rhetoric is entirely sincere.

It is possible that Ted Cruz is not sincere and that his feisty populist conservative persona is a role he is playing, but one that he is playing primarily for his own benefit.

But it is also possible that Ted Cruz is not sincere and is playing the role he is for the benefit of another agenda. It is possible that Ted Cruz’s Presidential candidacy is primarily intended as a stalking horse campaign to divide the conservative anti-Establishment vote, especially the vote that might otherwise go to Rand Paul. (This is not an endorsement of Rand Paul, who I believe has drifted too close to the Republican mainstream on foreign policy. It is simply an acknowledgment that Rand Paul is the candidate that the Establishment fears the most, despite his desperate and at times pathetic attempts to mollify them.) Any Cruz supporter who rules out possibilities two or three preemptively is doing so based on faith, not because the suggestion is implausible on its face.

Let’s look at some facts that cast doubts on Cruz’s populist street cred.

Fact number one, Cruz GRADUATED FROM HARVARD LAW SCHOOL!

Fact number two, Cruz’s wife, as outlined in this excellent article by Chuck Baldwin, is no anti-establishmentarian.

Heidi (Cruz) worked in the White House for Condoleezza Rice. Heidi is head of the Southwest Region in the investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs & Co, and was also an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Heidi is an international investment banker who was invited to be part of a working group at the CFR which reviewed a notorious 2005 paper called “Building a North American Community.” This project was headed by longtime CFR member Robert Pastor and is universally regarded by constitutionalists as the prototype for a North American Union. Of course, Condoleezza Rice, herself, is a longtime CFR member.

One does not have to be a CFR conspiracy theorist or any other type of conspiracy theorist for the above to raise serious red flags. Heidi Cruz is sporting some pretty impressive Establishment credentials, and if Cruz is sincere in his railings against the Powers That Be, his will be a house divided.

Fact number three, Cruz has embraced the quintessential Establishment plank, globalist interventionism. As I discussed in a previous article, Cruz started out sounding a little different on foreign policy. In his Senate campaign in Texas, Cruz received the endorsement of Ron Paul and was heavily supported by the “Tea Party” which has a lot of former Ron Paul supporters. The foreign policy views of Ron Paul supporters and the regular GOP base that Cruz was courting diverged sharply, but he managed to put enough of a coalition together to win the GOP primary.

Cruz is very clever. We know this because HE GRADUATED FROM HARVARD LAW SCHOOL, and because Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz said Cruz was one of the brightest law students he has ever worked with. Cruz managed this divergence on foreign policy rather adeptly, in my opinion. (This is not an endorsement. It is simply an observation.) Cruz struck a “Jacksonian” pose that was “strong” but less meddlesome internationally. This position was on display when Cruz opposed Obama’s attempt to escalate our involvement in the Syrian civil war.

Unfortunately, the GOP base has recently been trending back to Wilsonian interventionism due to the emergence of ISIS and the Iran negotiations. Cruz, who is running as the “more conservative” candidate, appears to have felt the need to become a more bellicose hawk. How he squares this with his past opposition to escalation in Syria will take some Harvard Law level mental gymnastics that I am eager to see.

I personally doubt Cruz’s authenticity, but I’m not willing to go on record that he absolutely is a stalking horse candidate, but I am willing to go on record and say that it is a plausible idea that should be carefully considered and can’t be categorically ruled out.

Note that stalking horse candidacies are not without precedent. It is widely believed, for example, that Alan Keyes, who was roommates with William Kristol at … where was that again … on the tip of my tongue… oh yeah, Harvard, was a deliberate stalking horse intended to divide the pro-life vote with Pat Buchanan in 1996, which he did.

I am not convinced that the only reason Establishment candidates generally win Republican Presidential primaries is because the Establishment coalesces around their candidate of choice early while conservatives divide their votes between several candidates, but there is at least some truth to this theory. As a supporter of Pat Buchanan who was living in San Antonio, which has a very active pro-life community, at the time, I personally witnessed how the Keyes’ campaign picked off several key pro-life activists that would have otherwise supported Buchanan. The Establishment did not become the Establishment by not knowing how to play the game.

So populist conservatives who support Ted Cruz, you need to ask yourself this question: “Are you fighting the Establishment, or are you being used by it?” Please think about this carefully.

Also published at The Economic Populist.

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