I think I finally have some perspective on Cruz’s strategy not to attack Trump. It was the one thing that really gave me pause about supporting Cruz. He’s been willing to stand on principle and call out gop frauds on a variety of issues, but no matter what Trump says or supports he seems afraid to call him out.
But I think now I realize that Cruz’s strategy from day 1 not to attack Trump is an attack in itself. I think this is what everyone, including Cruz’s own supporters, are missing. Think about what Cruz’s refusal to engage with Trump or comment on anything Trump says, no matter how outrageous it is, implies. He’s basically telling us that he doesn’t take Trump seriously.
Notice that after Rubio attacked Cruz, Cruz responded almost immediately. Why? Because he believes Rubio is not only a threat to win the nomination, but that he’s a serious candidate who deserves the respect of actually debating the issues. Trump doesn’t deserve that respect because of his childish insults and his conscious decision to avoid taking time to learn anything about the issues in depth.
Look at it this way: let’s say some rapper or actor came out today and said they’ve secretly been a republican all along but they’ve supported liberal policies from time to time, but now they wanna help a republican get elected and wanna get involved in the political process. Let’s also say this entertainer has made many outrageous, stupid, and offensive comments in the recent and distant past.
Then, this entertainer says we should ban all muslims, or says some female reporter is stupid and should stay at home and take care of her kids. The media would love this because it would enable them to try and make all republicans look bad, and they could use this person to ask every gop presidential candidate if they agree or not with the outrageous comments made by this person.
So would the candidates take that person seriously or feel the need to answer for their comments when asked? Of course not, because that entertainer shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Now let’s switch back to the real world and the current 2016 gop primary race. Trump is that entertainer, only he’s the frontrunner in the race. But it doesn’t make him any more legitimate or serious than before he ran when he was a reality tv star.
Cruz is playing chess while all the other candidates and the media are playing checkers. He’s looking into the future and is already 3 steps ahead of everyone else when it comes to political strategy. He’s just waiting for Trump to drop in the polls, which is inevitable. We forget that the frontrunners who are outsiders always have dropped in the polls as it gets closer to the time of voting, as Cain did in 2012. Cruz is a student of history as he’s explained many times, and he knows these trends better than anyone.
I think I misread Cruz when it comes to Trump. It’s not that he’s unwilling to take him on and call out his offensive statements, it’s that he doesn’t think Trump is worth it and that commenting on every comment Trump throws out would just make him look smaller and less presidential. He also wants Trump’s support and endorsement after he drops out, because that could potentially bring a lot of disaffected voters to the Cruz campaign who would’ve stayed home both in the primaries and in the general.
If Cruz doesn’t anger Trump now, he might be the only candidate Trump would be willing to go around the country and campaign for. Think about it, all those thousands of people that have been coming to the Trump rallies who aren’t normally engaged in politics, once Cruz is the nominee Trump could bring them to rallies for Cruz instead.
I used to think Cruz was just being weak or unprincipled by not calling out Trump, but now I think he’s just being smart. Cruz knows he probably can’t win the gop nomination or the general without a significant chunk of those Trump supporters. Furthermore, he understands that when candidates attack Trump, his supporters don’t see it just as a personal attack on Trump, they see it as an attack on Trump’s message and on outsiders in general, even if that attack is coming from an outsider himself.
They’ve conflated attacks on the messenger with attacks on his message, which are two very different things. This shows the ignorance of the average Trump supporter.
Reagan’s commandment was to never attack another Republican, and one could make the case that sometimes there should be exceptions to that rule when the republican is saying things so stupid and offensive that he’s making the entire party look bad. However, that’s assuming that a candidate is a serious republican, and Trump isn’t. So again, Cruz doesn’t attack him because he knows he’s backed liberal policies for most of his life, so there’s no point in attacking him now when he was never serious to begin with.
I view Trump as an apparition. He represents the anger that many people feel towards DC and the political establishment without actually standing for any principles himself. That’s why his support and his candidacy can’t last. It was never meant to be a solution for all of our problems, just a representation of how we feel about them.
As we know, apparations always disappear in the end, just as quickly as they appeared. Cruz is simply waiting for that time, which means he’d be wasting his time commenting on statements from a candidate who won’t be around when it counts. The only reason many people, including some conservatives, think every candidate must denounce Trump and his most outrageous statements is because the media’s covering him 24/7 and making such a big deal out of it.
Imagine if he didn’t run for president and was still the host of the Apprentice, but was following the GOP race and said these things. Would every candidate feel obligated to denounce him? I would hope not, cause he wouldn’t be taken seriously. So why should he be taken seriously now? Just cause he’s leading in most of the polls? That’s not a good enough reason, cause as I said, Herman Cain was also leading the polls around this time in 2012, and he wasn’t a serious candidate either.
We decide whether or not a candidate is worth taking seriously based on their ideas and character, not based on polls or how many people like that candidate. I think that’s a good rule of thumb to use in politics. If the media doesn’t wanna use it, that’s up to them, but we shouldn’t blindly folow their lead, cause they have their own agenda, which is to damage the GOP brand as much as possible while getting huge ratings from 24/7 Trump coverage in the meantime.
To all my fellow conservatives my message is this: let’s be smart and choose our battles wisely. Let’s fight the fights that matter and fight them on our turf, not on the media’s or fake conservatives’ turf. I believe that’s what Cruz is doing, and it’s why I’m leaning toward voting for him in my state’s primary.
We need a candidate who has the discipline to stick to a goal and a message and not react even when most people are telling him to. That’s a trait that a great president needs to have, one most have lacked. We also need a president who’s really smart and who has patience to wait things out, while having a vision for the future. That’s what Cruz has shown in this campaign, and it’s why I think he’d make a great president.