In Politics, there is a fact which should be regarded as an axiom, as it explains and allows for so much which might otherwise cause confusion. It is that for a Politician to have the opportunity to do whatever it is he hopes to accomplish, he must attain and remain in office. He has to be elected, and stay that way. Every decision a Politician makes is thus to some degree existential, in terms of job security. So when something seemingly incomprehensible occurs, here Cruz’s decision to even backhandedly endorse Trump after successfully and skillfully positioning himself as above the corrupted farce we are all enduring, remembering that all such decisions are based ultimately upon self-preservation should provide no small amount of clarity.
And yet here it doesn’t. If anything, Cruz’s choice seems suicidal. As a true Conservative, he is loathed by the Media, while at the same time held to a higher standard (which in this election cycle equates to “any whatsoever”) by both the Media and the Electorate. He is always expected to be the adult in the room, the one required to behave with the morals and character everyone deep down knows we should, if only because they also know deep down that is who a Conservative claims to be. Cruz is, 99 point (some variation of a length of nines) percent of the time, also the smartest guy in the room. So for this decision to be delivered Clintonian fashion, late on a Friday afternoon, we can know he knew it would not go over well and was hoping to lessen its impact. That can as well tell us he did not want to do it, but believed it necessary. But from there is little but confusion to be found, as it is so easy to argue he did not have to do anything, and might well have reaped rewards for staying exactly where he was. Yet all too clearly, he did not believe that to be the case, and felt compelled to plant his flag on a hill, for better or worse.
We know which one he chose; the question is why. And we lack one vital piece of information in the equation, which would take us the furthest towards even beginning to explain his motivations: we don’t know who Cruz expects to win in November. This was by no means about joining the winning team and working together towards a brighter tomorrow; this was an ugly-as-sin, pragmatic Political choice designed to put himself in a stronger position for the future, with Politics offering such a convoluted world that there are times the losing horse can take one the greatest distance. This is all it could be thought to be, given the damage this decision so clearly has done, at least in the short-term and amongst his most adamant supporters. But we lack probably the most important piece of information we need to deduce his true motives, and there is no reason to believe we will have it anytime soon. It would help if his supporters could piece it all together and, even among ourselves, arrive at a solid explanation for what we are seeing. But what we need in order for that to be possible, we do not have.