While I’m generally good at spotting narcissists and psychos, my great weakness is that I often let the opinions of my friends override my better judgment, which has blown up in my face more than once. For instance, the first time I saw Ted Cruz, I immediately wrote him off as a slimy fraud who was using conservatives to advance his personal agenda. Then a friend of mine told me that Cruz was a good guy because of his work fighting for conservative causes in court, so I gave him a second chance. And once again, I got hoodwinked.
I had the great displeasure of attending the Cruzin’ to Caucus pro-life rally in West Des Moines last night, and I can safely say that Ted Cruz is one of the most disgusting people I’ve ever shared a room with. Considering that I’ve been to a Hillary Clinton rally, that’s a strong statement. Cruz’s down-home huckster countenance, combined with his autistic inflexibility, left me wanting to hurl.
Ted Cruz’s claim to fame in the presidential race is his bizarre, BPD-esque relationship with Donald Trump. When Trump entered the race last summer, Cruz was the only candidate who didn’t immediately try to garrote him for being “bigoted.” Most assumed that he was either angling to be Trump’s running mate or hoping to pick up the man’s supporters should he drop out of the race. Turns out that Cruz was just trying to calculate the precise angle at which to plunge his knife into the Donald’s back.
I’m not the only one to pick up on this: virtually everyone who knows Ted Cruz despises him. He’s universally loathed in the Senate for his stubbornness and know-it-all attitude, and he so irritated George W. Bush that he refused to give Cruz a patronage job after his work on Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign. Cruz’s repugnance is so epic that he even forced Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to denounce him, breaking his promise of neutrality.
Granted, Cruz’s achievements as a lawyer defending conservative values are indeed commendable, in the same way that a mafia goon’s ability to dispose of corpses is worthy of praise. But you don’t vote a mafia goon into the White House. You especially don’t vote mafia goons who lie about taking felony levels of Goldman Sachs money into the White House.
I arrived at the Cruzin’ to Caucus rally forty-five minutes early and was able to score a seat in the front. Despite Cruz’s pretensions to being Trump’s number one opponent in Iowa, the turnout was anemic: five hundred people tops, and primarily old people at that. In a moment of unintended hilarity, when the Cruz people started playing music, the first song was “Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane, who is Canadian.
Though the rally was called “Cruzin’ to Caucus”—I’m not making that up—a more honest name would have been “Donald Trump Is a Big Meanie,” as virtually all of the speakers (including Cruz) spent their time grousing about the man. The rally was emceed by former Texas governor and walking malapropism machine Rick Perry, who was forced to quit the presidential race in embarrassment after Trump mocked him for wearing glasses in order to look smart.
Cruz has a real knack for ambiguously gay relationships with other men, as Perry breathlessly told the crowd the story of how Cruz offered to hang out with him for a day so they could get to know each other better. After a few hours of drinking near beer and playing marbles, Perry was convinced that he had peered into Cruz’s soul and seen the light of God. I also had to stifle a laugh at Perry’s Freudian slip: he referred to Cruz and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) as “convicted conservatives.”
But the real star of this standard cuck party was the CEO of FAMiLY LEADER [sic], Bob Vander Plaats. A gangly gelding with a disturbingly punchable face, Vander Plaats spent a good fifteen minutes whining about what a big jerk Trump is. I actually saw tears welling up in the man’s eyes as he recounted how Trump had the audacity to start a Twitter war with him.
All this was a warm-up act for the chief slimeball himself. And when Ted Cruz took the stage, the first order of business was—you guessed it—Donald Trump:
Ted Cruz exudes greasy confidence, like a mallard duck squirting oil to keep from getting wet. Whenever he smiles, you can practically see the gears turning in his head, making calculations on the most efficient way to talk the crowd out of their last dime. But when he’s discussing Trump, he comes off like a teenage girl who’s angry that the boy she has a crush on rejected her for someone prettier. Next Cruz will be calling the Donald at three in the morning just so he can bask in the sound of his voice.
Cruz also lacks the ability to change course even after the road ahead of him has been bombed out. His current tactic is to woo the evangelical vote by slamming Trump for his “New York values,” even after Trump defused that line by pointing out that the September 11th attacks—which politicians like Cruz invoke as justification for more Middle Eastern wars—happened in New York. Sorry, Cruz, but ISIS is never going to waste so much as a taharrush on whatever prefab suburb you live in.
Ted Cruz is the personification of what I’m going to call “Texas values”: selling out your countrymen in the name of graft and prestige. Texas politicians (both Republican and Democratic) were among the first to use illegal Mexican aliens as a tool to enrich the elite at the expense of ordinary Whites. It was President Lyndon Johnson, a Texan, who helped make White Americans an endangered species with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, and it was President George W. Bush who tanked the economy in 2008 by bribing Latinos with low-interest mortgages in exchange for votes.
Texan elites envision themselves as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind, only with Mexicans replacing blacks as the servant class, a vision of reality that is explicitly anti-nationalist. When Texan politicians make overtures to conservatives, it’s solely to lull the sheep to bed and keep the cashola flowing. For example, when he was governor, Rick Perry was one of the loudest opponents of building a border wall—never mind that his favorite country, Israel, has had great success with theirs. Ted Cruz is cut from the same rancid cloth.
Fortunately for us, as they say in Texas, Cruz’s campaign is all hat and no cattle. His now-extinguished lead in the Iowa polls can be explained easily: Midwesterners in general (and Iowans in particular) are generally trusting, welcoming people. In other words, they’re the perfect prey for a seasoned huckster like Cruz. In contrast, East Coasters like myself can see right through his act. (Guess it must be my New York values.) But even the nicest people aren’t going to cut you slack forever.
Ted Cruz is almost assuredly going to lose the Iowa caucuses; on the off chance that he wins, it’ll be by a whisker-thin margin akin to Rick Santorum’s in 2012. Either way, his campaign is going to hit a brick wall in New Hampshire, whose more secular, libertarian voters won’t cotton to his born-again persona. All the dry-drunk Mormon loonyboy endorsements in America won’t change the fact that Ted Cruz is a greasy weasel.
It’s time to start looking for new career opportunities, Mr. Cruz. Here’s one you might be qualified for: Prime Minister of Canada.