Politicians Should Be Treated As Investments, Not Gods

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz speaks during the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at the National Rifle Association's 142 Annual Meetings and Exhibits in the George R. Brown Convention Center Friday, May 3, 2013, in Houston. The 2013 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits runs from Friday, May 3, through Sunday, May 5. More than 70,000 are expected to attend the event with more than 500 exhibitors represented. The convention will features training and education demos, the Antiques Guns and Gold Showcase, book signings, speakers including Glenn Beck, Ted Nugent and Sarah Palin as well as NRA Youth Day on Sunday ( Johnny Hanson / Houston Chronicle )

If the stock market tanks one day, any financial adviser worth his or her salt would tell you not to make any rash judgment regarding your financial future. Typically, the market will recover, though maybe not fully, but still land you with decent returns. This all assumes that you play the long game, and one based one logistics. Making emotional decisions based on one day is a terrible idea, and not just in terms of investments.

We’re now on Day Two of The Great Ted Cruz Decision, and people are still upset, confused, irritated, and any other manner of generally negative emotion. They don’t know if they can trust him or if he really was what he said he was. And, I would agree that they are right to question him and his standards. They have every reason to. Of course, one of the big concerns is that we as a society tend to follow cults of personality when it comes to politicians.

The same can and should be said of Ted Cruz, or more broadly, politicians as a group, to include Ted Cruz. Ted was deified as the arch conservative. Possibly even the second coming of Ronald Reagan, who today is revered like a god of old within conservative circles. It’s true that for the conservative movement, both men have heralded the right ideas and very much seem to have supported them.

But, it’s when we put guys like Ted Cruz (or Marco Rubio, or Rick Perry, or, again, anyone else for that matter) up on these immortal pedestals that we get in trouble when they screw up. As they inevitably will. The question then becomes whether we dump them or not.

Several people I know and trust will swear off Cruz forever. Several more will stick with him. Even more will say they never liked the guy because they always knew he was a self-serving, ambitious impostor of a conservative. Many people, many more than exist on Political Twitter or in your Facebook feed, will just be confused. Because these are extremely confusing times.

This becomes the very reason why we should (but won’t) stop deifying politicians. Instead we should treat Cruz, Rubio, and anyone we send to any political office like an investment. Any time a politician screws up – and they will because (PAY ATTENTION HERE) they are human – you should not dump them immediately. You need to look at their body of work. Is this one event in a pattern of screw-ups? Or is this something new?

As Erick Erickson said over at The Resurgent, this is a colossal error in judgment and this is usually how it starts.

There comes a moment in elected office when some politicians rationalize that if they do not do something, they may lose. And if they lose, they won’t be able to stay around and fight for the cause. They rationalize that this one cave for election purposes is okay because of the greater good.

That is always the moment a politician ceases being effective and principled. This may be that time for Cruz.

Right now, one bad decision is all that most conservatives have to judge Cruz by. And, yes, it is a big one and, yes, it is one that we will judge him on more harshly than, say, him voting to increase the federal budget. It is just one decision, however, and the question is whether or not conservatives think it outweighs the good Cruz has done and can continue to do.

I don’t have an answer to that. I like Cruz, but he wasn’t my choice in 2016. Rubio was. I was one of the ones who figured Cruz didn’t have the likability for it, but look at what Rubio has done since then. He has continued to fight and, with the exception of voicing support of Trump over Hillary, he has stayed true to the beliefs I hold him accountable for having.

If Rubio or Cruz, or anyone else for that matter, decide to stay the course and this be the only stain on their record, I’m ultimately fine with it. I’ll support them. Not in 2020, mind you, but in the Senate, or Congress, or wherever other politicians I agree with end up. They are an investment I make in the future. And that is how they should be treated. By me, by you, by everyone. Left, Right, or Center, we shouldn’t make gods of men. We should treat them as vessels for improving our situation. They are investments, which may go down on some days, but as long as they have a history of good returns, I’ll hold on to them.