In the 1950s, what separated conservatives and liberals was communism. Conservatives opposed communists and their fellow travelers. Fellow travelers included civil rights advocates and those who wished the U.S. would warm to non-aligned nations. Cruz would not have fared well in the 1950s.
In the 1960s, what separated conservatives and liberals was communism, race, and war. Cruz would not have fared well in the 1960s.
In the 1970s, conservatives took a hike. Liberals prevailed.
In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan dominated. Not as a conservative but as a remarkably likable individual. Cruz would not have measured up to Reagan in likability.
In the 1990s, Bill Clinton dominated. As a baby boomer, pot smoking, zipper-problem sort of guy. Cruz wouldn’t have stood a chance.
In the 2000s, GWB dominated. He was tough and strong willed. He didn’t have to deal with bathrooms or same-sex marriage. His deal was al Qaida. Cruz would have been too thoughtful.
The 2010s: The issues today are bathrooms, interest rates, stock market indices, jobs. What else?
Today is not a good environment for conservatives. Presidencies are not won over bathroom laws.
Ted Cruz is a great candidate. The question is, is he America’s candidate for the next 4 or 8 years?
Given the rate at which acceptable ideas are evolving, I say yes. But voters may prefer a more pliable candidate, Hillary. I hope it’s not Hillary. So, please, Senator Cruz, seize the mantle; be the forward looking candidate; dominate your space; win voters by being likable. Being correct in the public view is almost a sure way to lose.