Conservative Republicans tend to agree that Ted Cruz is the “true conservative”; in fact, most GOP conservatives will tell you the same thing Cruz himself reiterates, he is “the only true constitutional conservative” Republican Party presidential candidate.
On the other hand, the front runner GOP candidate, Donald Trump, has from day one, been either tossed aside as a joke or referred to as a RINO (Republican in name only) or “Populist” (the new label being tallied about). He is seen by many as a pseudo conservative at best and a rank liberal at worst. Trump is often described by many as a complete polar opposite to Cruz.
Given the apparent differences so often emphasized by the Cruz campaign, a little analysis of Ted Cruz as a Presidential candidate seems in order. As both a retired Baptist pastor and Christian Psychologist, my analysis comes from a very difficult, how be it logical position.
Ted Cruz is a Baptist and he claims and demonstrates (as much as can be seen and read in the media) a relatively true and sincere Christian lifestyle. This writer has liked Ted as a Senator and politician in every respect. I voted for Ted for the United States Senate and am delighted that Ted is one of our two Senators representing the great state of Texas.
There is no doubt; Ted Cruz is a good and decent man. The Senator does indeed seem to be a man of his word and Ted goes out of his way to emphasize such. In both psychology and ministry however, there is an old saying, “Beware of a person who repeatedly emphasizes a positive personal character trait, it’s probably flawed”. It should be added that such repetition is usually indicative of a much darker side of that person’s character.
This is often seen in many people, especially leaders and yet most people simply don’t see the proverbial forest for the trees; the flaw is over shadowed by the person’s repetitive positive emphasis. An example is a preacher constantly preaching against adultery, cursing or alcoholism but ends up being the adulterer, has a filthy mouth and is actually a closet alcoholic.
The idea is that your sin will indeed find you out because the sin (or character flaw) has become so intrinsically part the person’s unconscious that they can’t help but see it in others and talk about it. It usually gives them away.
Ted is consistently emphasizing the American people can “count on him. Even his campaign slogan is “TrusTed” with an even scarier symbol of a flame (often associated with the Pentecostal and Christian Charismatic Super Spirituality movement) in red, white and blue. It’s cute, obviously relates to many Christians and makes his point. But it also says much about the Senator. Why is trusting Ted such a big issue? The resulting obvious question then is, can Ted really be trusted? No matter what the good Senator might say or think, he is still a politician and nobody really trusts a politician.
That said, being a Senator from Texas and being the President of the United States are two very different things; our current President is a perfect example of such.
Senator Cruz’s outward appearance as the good guy and only genuine conservative is actually opposite to the reality of his current senatorial performance record.
Although certain to bring vehement disagreement from the first term Texas senator and his supporters, the truth is, Ted Cruz is not unlike our current President; he has done very little and accomplished practically nothing other than gaining notoriety as being a United States Senator. Senator Cruz is constantly preaching that voters can be assured he will keep his promises just as he has done in the United Senate. So what does that mean?
Is the reality that like President Obama, Senator Cruz spent his entire first term, senatorial career actually campaigning for president?
Oh, say it isn’t so Ted? The Tea Party select, a Texas favorite son and dedicated Christian actually using his senate seat as a jumping off point to the presidency would make the good senator a politician. Do you understand that? Ted is a normal politician. He is using one political office to get to another and in this case, the highest office in the land. He has played fast and loose with the position to which he was elected. His only notable accomplishment is his “Filibuster marathon” in which he tried to shut the government down and actually failed.
At least when Rand Paul (another Tea Party favorite) Filibustered against continuing the previous NSA law, he succeeded.
Cruz is supposed to be the anti-establishment candidate but in reality he’s no different than Obama. They both used their senate seats as a way to get noticed and run as candidates for the presidency.
Admittedly, Obama is a rank liberal Democrat and Cruz a genuine Republican constitutional conservative but that’s where the differences end. The fact that most conservatives totally ignore the obvious and try to equate the popularity of Trump with the popularity of the Obama candidacy is the most troubling. Trump is not a career politician and has not used another political office to launch his decision to run for president. Trump actually believes he can make a difference and woke up one morning and said “I’m going to do for America what I have done for my business”. Like it or not, Trump has accomplished a great deal.
Being an honorable person, having strong faith, holding to one’s principles as Senator Cruz is and yet not capable of getting things accomplished you promise to get done, doesn’t make one a good leader; in fact it can make you a loser or even a complete failure.
The truth is, as a senator, Ted Cruz has been a failure. He is not a team player, which many conservatives point to as a good thing and make the Texas Senator a true anti-establishment candidate. Instead it makes Ted unworkable. Few people in congress will work with him including many of the Tea Party favorites. If a politician can’t get fellow politicians to work with him, it doesn’t matter how good his intentions are, the plans he has or the values he holds; it simply makes him a do nothing, non-accomplished “more of the same” politician.
As the old adage goes, “Sometimes you have to pick your battles”. That’s not to say a politician must compromise his faith or values but it does mean he needs to know when to “knock heads” and when it’s absolutely useless.
Senator Cruz hasn’t quite figured that out yet. He simply hasn’t known how to choose his battles in the senate and there’s no reason to believe he would accomplish anything more as president. Although difficult to swallow for many (including this writer), reluctantly, this makes Senator Cruz a most dangerous presidential candidate.
Although Ted Cruz seems like a really nice guy, you know what they say about nice guys, “they finish last” and this is one Presidential election Republicans cannot afford to lose.