Back when the 2016 presidential campaign season began I was pretty much of the same opinion as everyone else when it came to Donald Trump. I thought he’d be around for a while and then fade away. So I was very much in the camp of Ted Cruz. To the point where when it came time for my state to hold its primary election I very proudly cast my vote for Mr. Cruz. But as the campaign progressed, despite accusations of questionable campaign tactics, I remained a Cruz supporter albeit, perhaps, a less enthusiastic one. And it was only after he announced the end of his bid to become our next president that I, feeling I had no other option, resigned myself to climbing onboard the ‘Trump Train’ where I have remained ever since.
So when I heard that Mr. Cruz was going to be speaking at the convention I had some pretty high hopes that he too had finally resigned himself to the fact that Mr. Trump is going to be the man to represent we Republicans come this November. And I also had high hopes that he was going to be man enough to put the country above any personal ambitions, as well as any hurt feelings he might still possess as a result of a what we all agree was a very contentious and hard fought primary season. My wife told me not to get my hopes up, and she said I was only going to be disappointed. And, as is usually the case, she was right. You’d think that after 31 years of being married to her that I’d know by now to trust her intuition.
I think we’re all familiar with the old adage that describes politics as being a nasty business. So you would assume that anyone who chooses to involve themselves in such a ‘business’ would have a rather thick skin. But when all was said and done at the end of Mr. Cruz’s convention speech, it was obvious to everyone watching that when it comes to Mr. Cruz, such is not the case. However, when Mr. Cruz first began his speech I started to feel a bit more comfortable, even breathing a sigh of relief. I remember thinking that he was actually going to come through for us, he was going to climb onboard the ‘Trump train’, however begrudgingly, and proceed to put both the party and the country above any petty differences he may have with Trump.
Mr. Cruz was greeted with rousing cheers as he began his 22-minute speech by congratulating Donald Trump on winning the nomination. He then spoke about the shooting of Dallas police officer Michael Smith. The hall fell silent as Mr. Cruz told the story of Smith's young daughter who kissed her father goodbye for the very last time on the day that he died. Things began to take a turn though when Mr. Cruz spoke of others who have "had their lives destroyed by evil." And he then asked the question: "What if this, right now, is our last time -- our last moment to do something for our families and our country? Did we live up to the values we say we believe? Did we do all we really could?” It was at this point that I began to sense that things were coming off the tracks.
And then he went on to say, "We're fighting, not for one particular candidate or one campaign, but because each of us wants to be able to tell our kids and our grandkids that we did our best for their future and our country." And that was when I think I knew where this speech was headed and how it was going to end, coming to the realization that it would not be how I had hoped. There was that little voice in the back of my head telling me, no screaming at me, that Mr. Cruz wasn’t going to come through for the team, that he seemed to be more interested in serving up a little revenge, a little payback, and was, perhaps, even hoping to derail the ‘Trump train’ in an attempt to gain some level of satisfaction for himself.
The theme of Mr. Cruz's speech was "freedom," and the crowd loved it, interrupting him repeatedly with cheers and applause. He said, "Our nation is exceptional because it was built it on the five most beautiful and powerful words in the English language -- I want to be free." Mr. Cruz said Americans are "rightly furious" at a political establishment that ignores the will of the people. He said, "We have to do better -- we owe our fallen heroes more than that." He also talked about the "profound difference" between the two parties' vision for the future. "I am here to tell you there is a better vision for our future. A return to freedom." At this point it wasn’t clear whether he was talking about Hitlery or Trump.
Mr. Cruz touched on all the right topics, mentioning free speech; religious freedom; the bill of rights guaranteeing everyone's freedom, regardless of sexual orientation; the right to keep and bear arms; the right to life; the requirement that Supreme Court justices to follow the Constitution; and the freedom for states to choose policies that reflect local values. And he made the point that Hitlery believes government should make those choices for the people. And it was at the end of his speech that Mr. Cruz described the November election as a fight for freedom. He said, "We deserve leaders who stand for principle, who unite us all behind shared values, who cast aside anger for love. That is the standard we should expect for everybody.”
And then he said, "And to those listening. Please. Don't stay home in November.” He said, "If you love our country and love your children as much as I know that you do -- stand and speak and vote your conscience -- vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution." It was right about here that the crowd began to get a bit testy as many in the crowd responded with cries of "We want Trump!" and "Endorse Trump!" To which Cruz responded, "I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation." Which some likely perceived, and perhaps rightly so, as an attempt by Cruz to make it quite clear that he didn’t possess the same level of enthusiasm for the candidate.
He went on to say, "And I will tell you, it is love of freedom that has allowed millions to achieve their dreams." He talked about his mother and father, but the restive crowd was no longer receptive. Cruz said, "We must make the most of our moments -- to fight for freedom, to protect our God-given rights, even of those with whom we don't agree -- so that when we are old and gray and when our work is done, and we give those we love one final kiss goodbye, we will be able to say freedom matters, and I was part of something beautiful." So does he mean that it’s only a Cruz candidacy that could have been seen as being that “something beautiful?” I wonder. Is he really that egotistical?
Cruz, speaking over the boos, continued saying, "The case we have to make to the American people...the case each person in this room has to make to the American people is to commit to each of them that we will defend freedom and be faithful to the Constitution. We will unite the party, we will unite the country by standing together for shared values, by standing for liberty." His final God-bless-yous were essentially drowned by the boos as the video cut to a waving Trump behind the scenes. Cruz accomplished little more than to make himself look very small. And in the end he came out likely doing more damage to himself than to Trump. But I suppose we’ll see.
Personally, I think the bottom line in all of this is that anyone with a conscience will have little choice but to vote for Trump. Because there is no magical alternative where if you do not vote for Trump it somehow keeps a pathological liar, treasonous criminal, anti-woman, anti-Black, Anti-Constitution greedy Hitlery Clinton from having control of America in order to finish the ‘fundamental transformation’ that was begun by Barry. Frankly, I am absolutely terrified for my country, and the fact that there are so many people willing to trust she who is deserving of no one’s trust when it comes to being able to lead this country. Say what you will about Trump, but on his worst day he would still be better the Hitlery.
And now comes word that Cruz is actually quite busy trying to do some fundraising off his much ballyhooed decision not to endorse Donald Trump for president during his speech last night at the convention which was supposedly in retaliation for Trump insulting his wife and father during the campaign. But in looking back who was it, exactly that fired the first shot in that skirmish? Wasn’t that Cruz’s PAC when they decided to go after Mr. Trump’s wife? So now, despite negative backlash from Chris Christie, Roger Stone, and many others, Cruz now trying to raise money off the controversy? Cruz blasted out an email asking for people to chip in between $5 and $50 to his 2018 Senate campaign.
Referring to his convention speech, Cruz wrote: “It was an honor to speak to the delegates at the Republican National Convention. As our cause goes forward, I want to remind you about the stakes. Americans are furious—rightly so—at a political establishment that cynically breaks its promises and ignores the will of the people. But there is a better vision for our future: a return to freedom. If we choose freedom, our future will be brighter.” So you tell me, what might be the real reason behind his decision not to endorse Trump? Was it truly because of some insult suffered by his wife and father, or was there maybe something more sinister, such as a deliberate attempt to sabotage the Trump campaign?
And so it was then that for the sake of revenge, the basis for a little fundraising scheme or nothing more than a little payback directed at Trump that has caused Ted Cruz to, quite possibly, have placed my daughter’s future very much at risk. I’m not some rich senator, I’m just a working stiff who was hoping we could all come together long enough to prevent Hitlery from again setting foot in the White House. But nope, he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. So despite his pledge to support our nominee and all his claims about how much he cares about our country, when you get right down to it all he REALLY cares about is himself. How sad, how truly sad that I could have been fooled into voting for him. Never again!