As I write this, I am at a Wallbuilders conference in Dallas, where my husband is speaking. I have just come back to the room after hearing Ted Cruz. Do you remember the tense weeks back in 2000 when the Bush/Gore election was undecided? A Bush-supporting acquaintance of mine confessed that she and her Gore-championing friend agreed to cut back on their interactions until there was a decisive result. Both of their emotions were so raw that no matter how innocuously their conversations started, each ended up exasperated by the other’s political obtuseness.
Ted Cruz evokes the same kind of passion, though the division is between Republican and Republican, conservative and conservative rather than between blue and red voters. Over the past few weeks establishment Republicans, such as John McCain, have attacked Senator Cruz with intemperate and angry language, more suitable to describing the Boston Marathon bomber. Others who share Senator McCain’s party affiliation view Ted Cruz as a principled straight shooter, championing ideas that need to be aired.
Many respected and responsible pundits, including economist Thomas Sowell, seem to admire and like Cruz but suggest that his move to defund Obamacare was poor politics. I usually come close to violating the 10th Commandment when I read Mr. Sowell’s articles because I covet his rare ability for articulating complex issues in a brilliant and straightforward manner. His writings are illuminating and instructive. However, in this case, I have a slightly different view than his.
I believe that it is irrelevant whether Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and those who stood with them acted brilliantly or with political naiveté or even stupidity. What matters is that they understand that the political landscape has changed—a fact that completely eluded Mitt Romney, leading him to lose a winnable election. Senators Cruz and Lee give voice to those who believe that there are two revolutions going on in the United States today. The first is characterized by President Obama and his staunchest supporters in the Democratic Party. If successful, it will undermine the traditional foundations of this country. The second revolution appeals deeply to those who fall under the sometimes disparate and conflicting umbrellas of Tea Party, Libertarian and/or ‘plain old disgusted,’ who may or may not be official members of the Republican Party. These Americans have little faith or confidence in those they consider ‘Establishment Republicans’.
I think there are millions of Americans who see the Republican Party that nominated John McCain and then Mitt Romney, heading towards losing the presidential election of 2016. Even if the party does win the election, these citizens do not believe that it will save the country they love. To keep America thriving, they see a need for bold, unapologetic leadership. They may vehemently disagree on the direction that leadership should take in regard to cultural, social and economic issues, but they are fed up with lack of conviction, timidity and always being on the defensive. A large number of citizens think that while bold, radical action may not work, incremental tweaking and hesitancy most certainly won’t.
I do not know very much about Mr. Cruz and Mr. Lee and I will cautiously follow their actions and statements. However, unlike those who vehemently condemn them, these men do understand that the ‘same old, same old’ is a losing strategy in a world that is rapidly changing. Revolutions are not compatible with backroom negotiations that place practical politics ahead of overarching principle. Unless the establishment Republican Party recognizes and respects this widespread uprising, working with it rather than trying to delegitimize it, I worry for the future of the Grand Old Party.
6 thoughts on “Ted Cruz Fireworks”
It seems that today, what is defined as “moderation” and “compromise” ends up being “do it OUR way.” In truth, there is no compromise between the Democrat’s “government uber alles” position and the conservative’s (note I do NOT say, “Republican”) “the individual should determine his / her own outcomes” positions. Like many people I feel disenfranchised by the establishment Republican party. My goal in life – to live as a free person and to be left alone by the government UNLESS I breach the God-given rights of another person. Establishment Repubs seem to want to be leftist-light, rather than distinguishing themselves as champions of the individual. Cruz may have lost his battle – so did the men at the Alamo, and those brave fighters at Masada – but in doing so, he drew clearly defined battle lines. He also proved to be prescient – after the devastatingly inept roll-out of the Obamacare website, followed by the financial realities of the program – several Democrats publicly began calling for delays in implementation of the individual mandate, and now, many formerly supportive media outlets are opining that Obamacare in its present form be scrapped and new legislation put through.
Reading your musing and the several comments reminds me of the story of the middle aged couple as they were cruising along the open road in their aging, 30 year old classic pickup truck. She on the passenger side, gazing to her right across the expanse of the prairie, reminisced to her husband:
“Honey, do you remember the days when this truck was new you and we would ride together, holding hands, sitting together like two love birds over on your side? I sure do miss those joyful times.
Her husband responded: “Sweetheart . . . I haven’t moved.”
Neither have the Declaration of Independence nor the U.S. Constitution moved. But the Democrat and Republican parties have moved – left. Today’s Democrat party has a platform that is virtually identical to the platform of the CPUSA of the 1930s (that’s Communist Party USA). The Ruling Class comprised of both major parties continues to move left, with the Democrats in the lead. Can you name a moderate Democrat alive today? The last one I recall was the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York who coined the phrase “defining deviancy down” to describe the moral descent of the “inside the beltway” crowd of his day.
This nonsense about characterizing Ted Cruz and his supporters as “radical Cruzers” or “extremists” is absurd – but only absurd if we understand and believe in what they are standing up for. They are standing up for the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution with its Bill of Rights. I supposed one could say that compared to the Communist Party USA’s 1930s platform, the “radical Cruzers” are taking an extreme position.
The American people are being played like a fiddle by the national media, most of whom love to spend time cocktailing with government officials. The reasons for the alignment of the MSM and the Democrat Party – ambition, shared politics, and a pinch of fear – is understandable if we recognize human nature and spiritual gravity for what it is.
“The path of least resistance makes men, and rivers, crooked.”
Main stream news organizations suppress more stories than they report. The Left chooses the stories that make the news, and the “conservative” media follow their lead. In so doing, the Left applies Saul Alinsky’s rulebook, especially Rule No. 13: “Pick a target. Freeze it, isolate it, and attack it.” This explains the demonization of Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and the Tea Party. The American public has become indoctrinated with the MSM’s Goebbels-esk propaganda designed to destroy all of them.
Here’s one of my favorite quotes by your husband, our wonderful Rabbi Lapin: “Politics is nothing less than the practical application of our values system”. Before I could begin teaching this truth to my children, I’ve had to teach it to myself. Really learn it. In my heart, not my head.
What are our values today? This is the question that I would hope each and every American would ask themselves. For the dividing line of today’s Cold Civil War runs not between political parties, but through the heart of every man, woman, and child in America.
I am not as educated in politics but I see the problem not as “the same old” Republicans . I was a Democrat strongly for years . Then I became a Republican around the same time I gave birth to my second child and became a Christian , I had a complete 180 on my view of everything. Being a Republican was short lived , I believe the Republicans are no longer a conservative party at all , I would like to be able to vote FOR someone but year after year I vote against .I believe the Republicans are running as fast as they can to be “liberal agenda lite” .
I’m seeing a lot of readers and only two comments (thanks James and Menorahnorth). Can you explain why? Since the two comments disagree with each other, it would be great to hear from more of you.
Bravo, Ms. Susan! You are right, right and RIGHT. It was not the Republicans who shut down the Government, but the blackmailing Democrats with their head honcho the rigid ideologue who will accept no departure from his chosen program, his Five-Year Plan.
The Republicans are the dense party, for many of them apparently cannot see that we are up against revolutionaries loyal to Fearless Leader the Community Organizer, dedicated to the “fundamental transformation of the USA.” The outlook of many of these Democratic Socialists has been molded, remolded or retrofitted using Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals (dedicated to Lucifer the first Radical). The rest have been duped or bullied into submission or acquiescence. For these people the end justifies the means, however unsavory or immoral.
Ted Cruz comes from stock who experienced first-hand the bitter fruits of communist socialism and understand its roots and beginnings. Cruz understands that this is a socialist revolution or a counter-revolution. This is no longer politics as usual, Republicans. Make up your minds and choose sides. But choose wisely and choose quickly. Senator McCain with his “politics as usual” seems actually to have sided with the revolution. I find it perhaps a blessing that he didn’t make the Presidency.
Susan, I don’t see what you want. Cruz and Lee are so extreme that they shut down the entire government (admittedly abetted by a stubborn, equally polarizing President)rather than work out their issues and fund the government. In the end, the Cruzers didn’t get what they wanted, and added to the general public’s disgust with politics–now painted with a broader brush to include both Democrats AND Republicans.
What does that leave? The sensible, realistic, moderate middle. The people who practice the virtue of “moderation in all things,” the ones who are demonized by the radical Cruzers as RINOs and “squish’s”. But in case you weren’t aware, more citizens either sit in the middle or don’t particularly care about politics at all than support the Tea Party or the far Left Wing. They’ll vote, but if you ask them to name the leaders in our government, they shrug. Not desirable, but reality.
Frankly, Susan, the “same old, same old” pretty much describes our Torah, and as I recall, a wise man once said, “the more things change, the more we must depend on those things that don’t change,” like a conservative middle path that minimizes departures from time-tested values and policies.
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