(Continued from part 1)
After seeing a recent speech by Cruz I realize I’m looking at this whole thing about presidential demeanor and temperament all wrong. Now, I actually think that even though americans look for a president who appears calm and is a uniter, that doesn’t mean that candidate will be a good president.
What I think it means is that many of our former presidents who had those traits such as the Bushes, Clinton, Carter, etc, didn’t appear passionate or divisive because they didn’t really have an ideology they lived by and strong ideals. They cared about gaining power more than anything else, so they didn’t feel the need to take strong stands on anything because their passion was more for their own personal gain than for any one issue, and they were willing to water down their stances on controversial issues and appear moderate in order to win more votes and increase their chances of winning the presidency.
So from now on I’m not gonna hold Cruz’s passion against him, because it just shows that that’s part of his personality, but it also shows that he’s a man of principle who cares about the issues facing our country at least as much as his own ambitions, which are clearly strong.
Let’s go back to the electability debate for a minute. Another reason I think Cruz could win a general election that I hadn’t thought of before is this:
I’ve been assuming Rubio would be the nominee all along, so once I switched to Cruz, I forgot about him since Rubio and Cruz are currently battling it out for the nomination. But all of a sudden it hit me: Cruz could pick Rubio as his running mate. This could solve some of his electability problems, and it would be a formidable ticket.
Rubio would soften some of Cruz’s hard edges that turn off some voters, especially on issues like immigration, and he could help win over some hispanics. He could do interviews in spanish and go on spanish television. He could also help with the youth vote, and Cruz could adopt some of his ideas on education and job training. The fact that they’re both young and both hispanic would be a huge contrast to Hillary, who’s an old white woman of wealth and privelege. Both Cruz and Rubio have compelling family stories and they both came from humble beginnings and therefore can relate to the average american infinitely better than Hillary can.
A Cruz-Rubio ticket gives us the best of both worlds: the rock-solid consistent conservatism and principles of Cruz combined with the electability, optimistic/inspirational message, and charisma of Rubio. Rubio just might be able to convince enough swing voters and minorities that Cruz isn’t the evil right-wing nutjob the media and democrats have portrayed him as.
All along I’ve wavered on supporting Cruz because I thought the fight for the nomination would come down to a binary choice between cruz and rubio, and if I picked Cruz I’d get all his negatives and lose out on all of rubio’s good qualities. But then i realized we don’t have to split the baby, we could potentially have Cruz and Rubio on the same ticket.
Of course all this assumes Cruz and Rubio don’t tear each other apart and create so much bad blood between the two of them that it would make it impossible for them to fight Hillary together. However, if that turns out to be the case, then I would suggest that Cruz pick Nikki Haley as his VP. She checks both the minority and female boxes, which would mean she would take both the woman card and the race card off the table in the general election.
Plus I think she’s a great compliment to Cruz. She has the soft touch and charm he often lacks, and really hasn’t done or said anything controversial in her time in the public spotlight as far as I know.
Style over Substance
I’ve also learned that Cruz’s negatives aren’t as bad as I initially believed, and that I’ve focused too much on the way he says things instead of what he’s actually saying. I don’t think this is just my problem, I think it’s a major problem in politics today in both parties. We focus on style over substance and on personal likability and personality over experience, intellect, and ideas.
I think this is the main problem Trump supporters have. They’re mainly supporting Trump not because of what he says, but because of how he says it, his style and personality. They like what he stands for, which is fine, but it’s not a good enough reason to nominate someone for president.
What turned me off to Rubio
Senator Rubio has said all along he’s running FOR president, not against any other republican, which is why he won’t attack them or go negative. Yet the minute Cruz started rising in the polls, Rubio and his super pacs began attacking him, and spent most of his time on tv and behind the scenes talking about how Cruz has weakened our national security, when Cruz has done no such thing.
Not only was this attack absurd on its face, it was a dumb line of attack because many of Rubio’s colleagues in the Senate, including several who subsequently endorsed him for president, supported the same Freedom Act Cruz voted for. Talk about awkward. Rubio basically called his own supporters weak on terror.
There’s no evidence that bulk metadata collection would’ve prevented any of the most recent terror attacks. Instead it’s the Obama admin’s policies on immigration and vetting of foreigners that’s the problem, which has nothing to do with Cruz.
What this demonstrates is a certain level of insecurity and/or desperation on Rubio’s part.
Someone who’s truly confident in his campaign and his abilities wouldn’t need to reach this far to attack an opponent, so this just gives me more reason to support Cruz. Also, Cruz hasn’t attacked Rubio directly, all his attacks have been in the form of self-defense and responding to Rubio’s attacks on him.
Rubio also has attacked Cruz on foreign policy, calling him an isolationist, which is another silly attack. Rubio says he was right about foreign policy over the past 4 years more than any other candidate, but that’s simply not the case. If anything the opposite is true.
I think a Cruz spokesperson said it best:
“So Rubio’s foreign policy and national security strategy is to invade Middle Eastern countries, create power vacuums for terrorist organizations, allow their people to come to America unvetted, give them legal status and citizenship, then impose a massive surveillance state to monitor the problem,” [Cruz spokesman Alice] Stewart said. “I’m trying to figure out if it is more incoherent than dangerous or vice versa.”
He was wrong about arguably the biggest decision the Obama admin had to make, which was whether or not to topple Gaddafi. Rubio sided with the admin’s decision to topple them, and what’s even worse is he was ok with them not getting an authorization from Congress, which several conservatives have argued was required since it involved invading a country with armed forces, just like Iraq did.
At least Bush got the congress to authorize his war, whereas obama went right past them. As we all know, the decision was a disaster and led to the failed state we currently see in Libya. Rubio supported this failed decision, Cruz did not. Now Rubio wants to double down and repeat the exact same blunder, only this time it’s with Assad, but the conditions are very similar to those of Libya. Once again Cruz is warning that we should learn from history that every time we topple a secular dictator, no matter how evil he is, we create a vacuum for radical Islam that terrorist groups always fill.
Lastly, when I really thought long and hard about whether my support for Rubio was justified, I came to a realization that I was looking for perfection from Cruz because I thought I finally found a conservative candidate who can win, so my expectations were too high.
Over time cruz gave me plenty of reasons to believe that he’s a flawed candidate and a flawed man. But that’s ok, cause every candidate is, although some more than others. But I’ve decided to support him because I’m voting for what he represents more than the man himself. It’s easy to get caught up in the cult of personality, I’ve watched both liberals and conservatives fall into that trap. I won’t repeat their mistakes.
I’m switching my support to Cruz because he represents conservative principles and ideas, and a radical departure from the establishment and the status quo. So I’m not putting my faith in Cruz because a rule I’ve always followed is to never put my faith in a politician, they’ll always disappoint you. Very few people get into politics for the purest of reasons, and of the few who do, even fewer remain pure. That rule applies to people in general, that’s why I only put my faith in God. But I don’t have to have complete faith in Cruz to support what he represents.
A man can make mistakes, disappoint us, and even fail in his mission, but a set of principles and ideas are incorruptible and live on long after any man who represents them is gone. It’s those ideas and principles that I’m fighting for, more than I am for Cruz himself. That’s something I think we as conservatives can’t lose sight of. Yet at the end of the day, in this election cycle, Cruz is the best representative for those ideas and principles, and the candidate with the best ability to articulate and defend them.