Atlanta, GA – The Junior Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz. In case you haven’t heard by now, he’s running for president.
On his yard signs, on his t-shirts on the banners that hang behind him when he speaks, Senator Cruz asks us to trust him. “TrusTed,” we are told. Ted is a “Proven Conservative,” Ted is a “Courageous Conservative,” Ted is a “Constitutional Conservative.” In other words, if you like conservatives, you will like this guy, and you should trust him too.
Putting aside for a moment the fact that it doesn’t actually take an awful lot of courage to talk and vote like a conservative when you’re from Texas, a place where, last time I checked, Republicans hadn’t lost a statewide election since 1990, lets deal with the question “should we really trust this guy?”
Ted Cruz, at age 18, said he wanted to rule the world. Granted, most 18 year olds do, which may be why some of his long time acquaintances, (I hesitate to call them friends,) don’t like him-they feel he is competition. However, as one digs deeper in the personal life of this man, you find more and more stories about people not liking him. One of his former college roommates, speaking about Cruz, said that he was a horrible person, “We should be afraid that someone like that has power.” Adding “I would rather have anybody else be the president of the United States. Anyone, I would rather pick somebody from the phone book."
This record of people seeming to have relational issues with the Senator has been played up in the media, and, if one is looking for anecdotes, they wouldn’t be hard to find. John Boehner, former speaker of the house, when asked about Cruz, raised the middle finger. Most of the other Senators seem not to like Cruz; they aren’t backing him in his run, and they don’t have much good to say about him. Senator Cruz would probably say that all of this is a god thing, indeed, in his stump speech he often says “if you see a candidate that is embraced by Washington, run away and hide.”
Oh, there is the catch. Cruz once tried to get himself embraced by Washington.
In the early two thousands, Ted Cruz was the one who argued at the Supreme Court level to ensure George Bush got the presidency, and then worked for a time in his administration. According to some reports, as late as 2012 he was still seeking Bush backing for a presidential run before they turned him down.
Ultimately Cruz’ attempt to join the machine was unsuccessful, and he fled to the wilderness, otherwise known as Texas, and started becoming a “courageous conservative.”
Politico and the New York Times both have tried to use these two factors: and lot of people don’t like Senator Cruz, and: he once tried to get himself embraced by the establishment, to say that Senator Cruz shouldn’t be trusted.
The first argument is malarkey. A lot of people don’t like him? A lot of people don’t like a lot of people. Tough. Get over it. Maybe Cruz was annoying when he was in college, (I’m told lots of people are), maybe those folks that don’t like him need to get a grip, and maybe the Washington Cartel doesn’t like him because they don’t like anyone who goes against the grain. Or maybe he is abrasive, (I’ve never met him), maybe he isn’t likable…so what?
As for the second argument, that he was once a member of the establishment, I’ll let my good friend Daniel Woodworth answer that one:
As a young man, he wanted a job. He didn't get the job, so he went on to do other things. That much is not particularly noteworthy. The author tries to equate wanting a job in the Bush White House to wanting to go along with all of Bush's agenda, but that doesn't follow at all with events.
It almost certainly is a good thing that Cruz didn't get the job, by the way. Who we associate with can play a big role in shaping what we believe. Had he not been forced out of the Washington mainstream as a young man, he might not have developed the same integrity and strength he shows today.
But, to answer the question “Should we TrusTed” I will have to give a resounding NO.
Not because he is a secret liberal or because he hates homeschoolers, (he doesn’t), or because John Boehner doesn’t like him. We shouldn’t trust him because he is a human.
In the years of the Bush Presidency, if you had listened to multitudes of conservative “talking heads,” you may have thought that George Bush could do no wrong. He was a saint. Every time the liberals attacked him, (sometimes with good reason), scores of conservatives would take to the airwaves like fighter pilots taking to the skies, to shoot out a stream of tracer bullets and memorized talking points.
Now that Barak Obama is in the White House, according to FOX and Conservative Talk Radio, he can’t even drink a cup of coffee right. Where was all that criticism when Bush was passing the PATRIOT Act? Could it be that some people just trusted him?
We should always hold our president accountable; we should always look over his shoulder and check on what he is doing. We should never trust him. You might choose to vote for Ted Cruz, you might choose to vote for Bernie Sanders, but whoever you pick, whoever becomes president, don’t ever trust them, because it is true that all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Andrew C. Abbott