It pains me…a lot…to write this piece. I believed he was the guy who could possibly lead us to reason. I have been listening to and observing him ever since his campaign for the Senate.
I found him to be the most informed and articulate speaker on the Constitution, and how it applies to all issues, that I had ever seen in Congress. I’ve watched numerous extended, one-on-one interviews with him on a wide range of topics…and he never disappointed on any of them. I’ve watched his speeches, his debates, and his filibusters and have been impressed with all of them. I’ve watched how he handles those who disagree with him with respect and civility, while completely dismantling their arguments. I read his book and was encouraged by how he was willing to stand up against the powers in the establishment in Washington and stand on principles.
I believed him to be the real deal. I was thrilled when he announced his candidacy for President, and thought that he was in a unique position to take advantage of the angst of the people. I campaigned for him, personally telling everyone I knew and anyone that would listen that he was the one. I sent him money, a number of times, during the campaign. I attended his rally when he came to town and donated extra to get in early and get a good spot for my son and myself, while Trump held his own rally on the other side of town. I was most proud to get pictures and autographs from him (although as an aside, the highlight of the night was having a discussion with Sen. Mike Lee about his book).
Trust me when I say that I was a true believer in Ted Cruz.
I was devastated the day that he bowed out of the race, but knew it was over for him at that point.
I felt he was 100% correct and justified in what he said about Trump in the video below:
I was proud and elated when he did not lose his principles and succumb to the pressures when he gave the speech he did at the Convention (and I was horrified and disgusted at the reaction from the crowd):
All that said, I’ve been increasingly disappointed in Cruz ever since then, beginning with relinquishing and providing his endorsement of Trump in the General election. I had hoped that Cruz would be the one to stand tall and help lead us out of the complete mess that the country is in.
He has said and done various things during the last two years that have further disappointed me. I won’t go into the details of each of those, but one of the worst and most perplexing was the write-up for Time 100: Most Influential People of 2018, where Cruz had this to say about President Trump:
The same cultural safe spaces that blinkered coastal elites to candidate Trump’s popularity have rendered them blind to President Trump’s achievements on behalf of ordinary Americans. While pundits obsessed over tweets, he worked with Congress to cut taxes for struggling families. While wealthy celebrities announced that they would flee the country, he fought to bring back jobs and industries to our shores. While talking heads predicted Armageddon, President Trump’s strong stand against North Korea put Kim Jong Un back on his heels.
Why was Ted Cruz saying anything about Donald Trump for this? As a reminder, this is what Cruz had to say about him after Trump threatened to release disparaging information about Cruz’s wife during the Primary:
And then we come to the NRA convention where President Trump provided his full endorsement to Cruz for his Senate campaign, ostensibly patting him on the head for being a good supporter:
It made my stomach turn to watch this scene unfold. Watching Trump stand up there and do that, as if they both have such great respect for each other, after everything he did to Ted Cruz and his family, brought all of my disgust back. This whole scene is pathetic and is indicative of the mess of things that are.
Yes, I get it. Cruz thinks he needs to do this to win his re-election, and that very well may be the case. He’s doing what he has to do. But that’s what bothers me so much. I thought he was different. I really did. The Senate seat is not worth this. People say, “yes, but we need him in the Senate, so he should do whatever it takes”. I disagree. His effectiveness in the Senate is very minimal in this current environment. We need him way more to be the guy he was. We need him way more to be the voice of reason. We need him way more to lead this country out of the mess we have become.
I would have rather he not seek re-election and stayed true to his principles and led the charge against all of the madness. Now, he just seems to have been beaten down.
I know many will disagree with me about Sen. Cruz, and that’s fine. Honorable and rational people can disagree about such things.
But for me, personally, I no longer believe he can be the leader I once thought he was.
When people had asked me during the last campaign why I though he was the best candidate, I always said that he had always stood up for the principles he believed in and had always done what he said he would do. Up to that point, he had, as far as I could tell. In the world of today’s politics, that was his unique selling proposition (USP). Unfortunately, I can no longer say that.
Cruz has lost his USP.
And that pains me…a lot.