Ever since Ted Cruz’s epic speech on the RNC floor in Cleveland, pundits, politicians, and supporters alike have gone absolutely batty in their denunciations of Cruz. Heidi Cruz had to be rushed out of the building to avoid the lynch mob mentality that was sweeping the convention. Traitor, liar, sore loser, and worse in Ann Coulter’s case have been tossed the senator’s way. I won’t lie; I get it. I absolutely understand why the Trumpkins are furious with Ted Cruz. Last night, on the floor of the Republican National Convention, the senator held up a mirror in everybody’s face. Many were triggered by what they saw.
When Senator Cruz accepted an invitation to speak at the convention, I was admittedly distraught. I feared an endorsement would surely follow and I could not understand why. Donald Trump had repeatedly called Senator Cruz a liar throughout the primary. His birther attacks inspired many a deranged supporter to file frivolous lawsuits challenging Cruz’s citizenship and eligibility to run.
Trump’s lapdog, Roger Stone, pushed stories of an affair in the despicable National Enquirer, which would only cause heartache for the Senator’s family. Not content with just that attack on the Cruz family, Trump personally slandered Heidi’s looks and topped his attacks of by implying that the senator’s father was a conspirator in the JFK assassination. These were not good people (nor were their supporters); why would Senator Cruz humiliate his family by openly embracing them?
On Wednesday nigh, Cruz made his point. He would not endorse Donald Trump. You see, he wasn’t willing to sell his family out for a political party. He wasn’t willing compromise his beliefs by joining hands with a man who is an enemy of everything conservatism stands for. He wasn’t willing to stand and be counted with the army of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, 9/11 truthers, and other such filth that run with Trump’s cabal. He wasn’t willing to make a mockery of his faith in order to push a political cause nor blaspheme his Savior by paying homage to an amoral charlatan.
That’s why the Trumpkins were enraged. Because he wouldn’t do any of the above, and because they would. Many of the politicians in that hall would happily stab a spouse in the back or at least dishonor that spouse if it meant advancing a political agenda or career. So would many of the non-politicians; after all, how can you claim to be interested in honoring your wife when you fervently support a man who has a history of at least verbally abusing the women around him and openly boasts of his unfaithfulness to his multiple wives?
All of Trump’s supporters in that hall, no matter what they claim, have indicated that they will stand with the underworld that is Trump’s core support in the name of winning one for the party. They would also throw any principle they formerly claimed under the bus in order to win an election. Thus, a party that once called for conscience protections for nuns and other people of faith booed the thought of people voting their conscience on Wednesday night.
And yes, many of them would (and did) make a mockery of their claimed faith in order to push a politician that they support. Many try to justify this by claiming that they’re only opposing Hillary Clinton. To them, I ask: So? Guess who else isn’t Hillary Clinton? Jim Jones. Would you have supported him if he were your alternative? How about Charles Manson? Erick Erickson points out that yes, Hitler wasn’t Hillary Clinton either; would that justify supporting him?
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” asks Christ. I can’t help but think that some churchgoers today would protest, “But what about the Supreme Court?” Christ makes the answer to this question quite clear in both word and deed. He was offered the ultimate political solution: Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
If you’ve ever read of the temptations of Christ, you know His answer. No, not if that’s the cost. Not if my soul is what’s required of me. Not if I must violate my conscience in order to please others. That was the correct reply to the offer of power for sacrifice of principle two millennia ago. I happen to think it is still the correct answer today. So, apparently did Senator Cruz.
That’s why politicians, pundits, and people alike hated his speech. Because it stands in opposition to them. To the talk radio hosts who abandoned the conservative cause in favor of Trump-inflated ratings, to the “Christian” leaders who were willing to pass off a professed unrepentant man as a follower of Christ, and to the would-be political leaders who talked a good game about the dangers of Trump but were willing to say, “just kidding!” when the party called, Cruz represents a distinction and a picture of what all of them should have been.
I’m reminded of the movie, Kingdom of Heaven, when Balian is confronted over his refusal to engage in a political coup because it would require him to engage in murder of a political rival. When pressed over his refusal, he responds, “Did you think that I was like Guy? That I would sell my soul?” I put that question to Trumpkins: Did you think we were like you? That we would sell our souls for political power? You thought wrong and on Wednesday night, you learned this. That’s why you’re so angry.