Let me begin by saying that my support for Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) before, during and after his presidential bid is well-documented. The reason for my support was based primarily on his commitment to the Constitution along with the appearance that he was a man committed to his principles–such as we witnessed in July, 2015 when he called out Mitch McConnell from the Senate floor for doing what he always does . . . lie to the American people.
However, in the aftermath of Cruz’s endorsement of Donald Trump for president–something Cruz claimed would never happen in light of Trump’s personal attacks on his wife and father–he indicated that protecting the Constitution can wait, and that his principles are negotiable depending on the political implications.
There are those who defend Cruz’s cave to the GOP establishment due to recent threats from Lord Priebus. With Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Jeb Bush withholding their endorsements, the Sith Lord warned them that failure to come to the Dark Side by embracing Donald Trump would destroy any presidential aspirations they might have for 2020. This threat followed earlier rumors from Republican power brokers that they would raise up a primary challenger to run against Cruz in his 2018 re-election bid–a threat that Trump himself made following Cruz’s appearance at the Republican Convention.
While the realness of these threats can be argued, Cruz failed miserably by allowing them to become an excuse to sacrifice his values and constitutional principles in exchange for his endorsement of Cheeto Jesus. As we read in Conservative Review, there are five rules for political endorsements, and Cruz failed them all. In order of priority, they are:
- It must advance your convictions/principles, otherwise it will have minimal impact and isn’t worth the risk.
- It cannot violate your “brand” because if it does you risk substantial backfire, which can long out-live the endorsement itself.
- It must mobilize your base to action and not split your base, otherwise the endorsement will pit you versus your own base.
- It should have a reasonable expectation of return on political investment; whether that’s adding credit to your integrity, reinforcing your brand, electoral success, and/or raising your own profile.
- It cannot risk you descending into self-parody, where you become an object of scorn in the social media age—because the internet never forgets.
Trump often referred to Ted Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted” during the primaries. Cruz’s decision to endorse the New York liberal makes it look like Trump was right.
Cruz’s opponents considered him a self-interested politician. It’s difficult to deny that now.
Cruz used to embrace his anti-GOP establishment reputation. Now he’s a card-carrying member of Team McConnell.
The GOP establishment hates Ted Cruz. This endorsement has them dancing in the streets. Meanwhile, the millions who defended him as the champion of Constitutional Conservatism have been betrayed.
America can survive without Ted Cruz in Washington. It cannot survive with men and women who compromise when it comes to the values and constitutional principles that made America great. It’s a shame that Ted chose compromise over conviction.
For his decision to abandon his principles in the name of political convenience, we enshrine Sen. Ted Cruz in the Gutless On Principles (GOP) Hall of Shame.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that’s politically-incorrect and always “right.” His articles can also be found on RedState.com.
His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.