Okay, so I promised a write-up of Ted Cruz and his doomed to failure Presidential campaign. The anticipation has been a lot for some, thinking I was going to put up a straw man and gleefully rip it to shreds.
But believe it or not, that is beside the point. Cruz will fail, and his running for the nomination is actually one of the best things that could happen to the Republicans. Permit me to explain why.
It all comes down to his own contradictory acts. For example, he made his announcement at Liberty University, which was founded by Jerry Falwell. The New York Times dug up that those students weren't there because they supported Cruz, they were forced by the university to attend. A lot of them took to anonymous messaging services like YikYak to rip on the guy during his announcement. For someone who claims to be a Libertarian, the fact that he denied other people the liberty to support or reject him speaks volumes. But then again, Cruz is a Tea Partier. That lot isn't exactly known for their intelligence. I firmly believe that if Cruz and Michelle Bachmann reproduced, the resulting child would be so dense that you'd need an Einstein-Rosen bridge just to see him (science jokes! Yuk it up!).
But here's the thing. Cruz isn't going to win. And it's not just me that believes it. The R's don't believe it. Otherwise, they'd be putting out messages and counterspin to minimize the impact he can have on the party, like what they did to Tea Partiers during the 2014 midterms. Instead? Not a peep. Rubio and Bush and Jindal and all the rest are continuing on like Cruz isn't even there. Old schoolers like Santorum and Huckabee aren't throwing their support and endorsements Cruz's way, either. But they aren't the only ones who know he's finished.
Cruz knows it, too.
The obvious question going through your heads right now is, "He has to think he can win. Otherwise, why is he running?" The reason this question is occuring to you is because you mistakenly believe politics is about government.
No. Politics is all about money.
All the other candidates are trying to appear more centrist or at least more tolerant without giving up their core beliefs. They know they'll never defeat the D's unless they shed their image as a bunch of discriminatory assholes. Hell, they are fighting their own party. The recent measure to ban abortions fell apart when every single female Republican refused to endorse the deal, so they watered it down, making it identical to current policy. The make-up of the R's is changing and they can't stop it. And if they want to stay relevant, they have to change.
This will piss off the old guard that wants a return to the days when being white, Protestant, and male were the greatest things in the world. They want to shape social policy, but they disagree with all these young'uns that are ruining the party. So who will they give their money to?
Hey, look! Ted Cruz is saying the things we like! Let's help him buy an election!
And this is why it is a good thing. Cruz gets a ton of money that lets him live comfortably and possible remain in the Senate for life, especially with the Tea Party becoming anathema and no longer getting the contributions and public love it did just a scant eight years ago. He also gets to parlay his support into leverage to maybe get a cabinet post or something with the next President. Meanwhile, all those miserable discriminatory farts are on the sidelines. Their money can't get Cruz elected, there's too much baggage, too much hypocrisy. The way most party primaries go down is the reason the candidates for both are total shit. You spend your time getting delegates by trumpeting things that the party supporters want to hear. Then, once you get the nomination, you have to say things the general public wants to hear, oftenwhich contradicts what you said during the primaries. You can't just support the general public because the supporters in the party will see that as betrayal and not give any money. You can't say what the supporters in the party want because you'll alienate the general public and never win the election. Campaigning becomes walking a tightrope. That's greased. And you're carrying five unbalanced sacks of flour.
Cruz's candidacy removes the old guard from the equation. It enables the current crop to say things more centrist or not seem so stuck in the 1950's without putting the more general funding and support at risk. When Cruz finally bombs out, the old guard will either have to give their support to them or the removal of their money won't have as great an impact as it would have if they'd bought their candidates earlier and put them in the basket instead of Cruz.
I'm not saying we'll get an R candidate who will finally get liberty and equality and everything else. But we will get candidates that won't be as afraid to sidle up to those things. The only thing that can save the R's from obscurity is the general public, the same general public that refused to buy into the "anyone but Obama" campaign message of 2012.
In the tree of political life, Cruz is pruning his own branch. And good riddance to it.