Ted Cruz Throws His Hat in the Ring

hat in ring

Monday’s address by Senator Ted Cruz at Liberty University was a breath of fresh air on the political scene. It was something that has been missing for decades. It was, in a word, Reaganesque.

Lets make one thing certain at this point. American politics for the last several decades has been devoid of statesmen (or stateswomen, for that matter). There have been a few out of office people such as John Bolton who have done their best to be statesmanlike, but when you are out of office and have nothing to lose then it is a lot easier to be a statesman than if you are in office and subject to the slings and arrows of the voting public and / or an outraged press. Cruz did exactly what he has done for the last few years; he went in front of an audience, told them what they wanted to hear and they believed him. They believed him because he has consistently followed through on this in the past. And his track record makes it very likely that he will continue to do so in the future.

Ted-Cruz

Consider that he appeared to come out of nowhere in Texas a couple of years ago, then captured the vacant Senate seat, and proceeded to stir up political issues wherever he has gone. Instead of sitting down and following orders he has represented his state as the majority of its citizens want. He has done a bit of grandstanding in the process, but it has been done in good taste, and it has shown his ability to get a message across. He has charted his own course on this and whenever he has returned to Texas he has been met by adoring crowds.

Aside from his style in office, Cruz has another interesting technique that plays very well in Texas. He never talks at his audience. He doesn’t lecture. Instead, he provides them with a conversation of sorts where he brings them in to what he is thinking, and even if they don’t actually get to speak, they recognize and identify with what he says. And a large part of it is that he reflects what they want and what they believe. And he knows what is necessary to win. He must activate the conservative base of the American people. The silent voters who could change the election if they participated; the conservative leaning democrats; the disappearing middle class who simply want to have their lives back instead of languishing under government control.

Can Cruz win the nomination? That remains to be seen. The most important question is whether he will have conservative competition. By stealing a march on Scott Walker, he may have forced Walker to wait until another year. That depends, in turn, on whether Walker wants to run, which is unknown as yet, and whether he intends to run, which will split the vote and likely allow Jeb Bush to win. Bush is running. Make no mistake about it. He is sucking up financial resources as if money is the key to the White House. But also make no mistake about the fact that Jeb Bush will not beat the Democrat candidate, whoever that may be. The very people Ted Cruz is counting on to put him over the top are the ones who will sit at home instead of voting for another Bush; particularly one who favors open borders and federal control of education.

Cruz, simply stated is a statesman, who believes in what he says, and will fight for it. He is quite possibly the single most intelligent person in the US legislature today, at least in terms of raw intellectual power.   He is a master debater and has argued successfully on a number of occasions before the US Supreme Court while serving as Solicitor General for the State of Texas.

What this speech has done is show the American stage another side of Cruz; the public speaker. Texans already know how he can connect with an audience. And most interesting of all, to some, that he spoke for 18 minutes without notes or a teleprompter; something that raised clouds of suspicion among some members of the leftist press. It appeared to be a reaction similar to that which accompanied the first Gutenberg Bibles; so many identical copies of a book must be the work of the devil…. So, Cruz must be operating under some malevolent influence because he didn’t need to read from a prepared text.

Well, there is the possibility that he memorized the speech in advance. Or just maybe he spoke from the heart, covering topics that he cared significantly about, and therefore, needed no notes to rely on. It isn’t new. Sarah Palin spoke without notes at the 2008 Republican Convention when her teleprompter malfunctioned, and Ronald Reagan used only his famous deck of 3×5 cards. And of course, Rush Limbaugh never uses notes. Strange, these people are all conservatives. Maybe it isn’t just a marketing spiel, but something that goes beyond a script.

While there will be individuals in the Republican Party who will oppose Cruz, they will largely be the Old Guard entrenched power interests whom the average voter either ignores or despises. The biggest obstacle to the Cruz presidential run is likely to be the press, which is already attacking him over his decision to take a medial policy for his family through his employer, namely the federal government. Press entities proceeded to label him as a hypocrite for “benefitting from Obamacare,” while working to remove that law.

The true fact is that this is a Catch 22 situation. Cruz stated that he took the policy from his employer, as do numerous Americans. His wife, who previously provided a medical policy through her employer, has taken an unpaid leave of absence during his campaign to avoid conflicts of interest, so her policy had to be replaced. Cruz did the logical thing and took a policy available to him as a senator.

The problem is that if Cruz didn’t take the policy he could be labeled as endangering his children, or as a scofflaw, or both. In taking the policy he is criticized as well. But the press is ignoring one thing. If he had continued under the policy from his wife’s employer then he would have been under Obamacare as well. In fact, every person who is covered by a medical policy today is under Obamacare. The law mandates that every policy issued now comply with the Obamacare mandates. Thus, it cannot be avoided.

Ted Cruz isn’t benefiting from Obamacare. Instead, he is getting an employer provided policy just like millions of other people. He is not going to healthcare.gov and buying a subsidized policy. And, what he is also doing is providing an example of complying with a law he disagrees with until it can be removed. A breath of fresh air in an environment where most of the major figures in government are exempting themselves or dodging laws, firm in the knowledge that they won’t be prosecuted due to their position and connections.

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