If Not Trump, Then Cruz?
Republicans are walking around with a dazed look. With Donald Trump polling between 35-40%, that means that a majority of Republicans support someone else. What will happen if Trump does not get the nomination? Who will?
Sitting in second place is Ted Cruz. And as much as many worry about what Donald Trump’s specific policies might be, there is no lack of clarity for Ted Cruz. Instead there should be major concerns about where Cruz wants to take America.
Go to Cruz’ home page (www.TedCruz.org) and see for yourself. Ted lists nine “issues” where what a Cruz Presidency would look like are explained. No surprise, Cruz lists issues which overlap and most are in part contradictory. And all of them leave the reader with a blank image of what America would be like after Cruz took over. For example:
- Restore the Constitution. Even though Cruz cites later the numerous occasion he has defended (successfully) the Constitution, it becomes clear that Cruz really means “Restore the parts of the Constitution I agree with”.
- 2nd Amendment. Probably the least ambiguous issue, Cruz is full square behind gun ownership and gun use. Ted apparently believes that the “old west” is what the new America should resemble.
- Secure the Borders. Cruz asserts that America should be far more stringent with policies which keep immigrant and foreigners in general out of the US labor market. While a logical position one could hold, this exclusionary policy works both ways. Consider when US companies attempt to operate globally and are told that senior executives are unwelcome in a foreign country. Cruz’ rhetoric also ignores the well documented need for seasonal agricultural labor.
- Defend the Nation. Cruz raises a hawkish, military might flag not unlike many other previous Republican candidates and uses the current world stage as evidence that President Obama’s leadership has not worked. Cruz claims President Obama has made the world a less safe place. Strangely, Cruz is silent on the issue of who authorized the Iraq invasion and occupation which destabilized the entire Middle East.
- Stand with Israel. On day one, a President Cruz would recognize Jerusalem as the rightful capital of Israel and move the US embassy to that city. Cruz’s decision would overturn US policy (by both Parties) and put the US finger back on the scales of the Israel-Arab conflict with nothing to gain but another black eye.
- Religious Freedom. In essence, Cruz recommends discrimination as long as it is done under the name of religion. In Cruz’s world there is no situation which covers “freedom from religion” which the Constitution promises in the first Amendment. This single issue capsulizes the Cruz take on American life, the Constitution guarantees Americans the right to impose their views on others outside the election process.
- Life, Marriage, Family. Cruz comes on strong with essentially religion driven views on family planning, human rights, and the role of religious freedom in denying gays and women the same opportunities that other Americans have.
- Jobs and Opportunity. Cruz buries in this heading the repeal of Obamacare, and of course, offers no idea on what would replace the Affordable Care Act.
- Rein In Washington. Cruz finishes strong with a declaration that he will eliminate five cabinet level departments. The crosshairs will be on the IRS (how will the tax code be enforced?), the Department of Education (education is no longer important?), the Department of Energy (separately Cruz says he wants to immediately approve the XL Pipeline and follow a policy of “energy independence”), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (is this a statement about the North and Northeast versus the more open South and Southwest?), and the Department of Commerce (in a globalized world, a Department of Commerce is not needed?) Apparently, Cruz believes that regulations emanating from these Departments are holding back America and contributing greatly to government spending.
One must be struck with the simplicity of Cruz’s issues. If life were that simple, prosperity would be just around the corner. But there is a much larger danger lurking in the words on Cruz’s web site.
Cruz’s proposition around “Rein in Washington” is a fair position to hold. Clearly times change and new organizations might do a better job of tackling issues on taxes, education, energy, housing and urban affairs, and commerce. The rhetoric of “eliminating” sends a dangerous message that these activities are unnecessary rather than their tasks might be accomplished better some other way.
If one takes Cruz at his stated words, one should get ready for Cruz’ religious views to become the law of the land. On non-religious topics, Cruz wants the rules changed so that concentrations of power and wealth can grow without any implied or specific responsibilities to society as a whole.
Donald Trump might be a business person with big question marks on his emotional fitness as commander in chief, but Ted Cruz lacks any perspective on a greater society and the roles of social inclusion and globalization of the world economy.
If you are afraid of Donald Trump, you would be wise to petrified of a President Cruz.