When choosing support for a political candidate, character matters. No matter how much you may agree on matters of policy, there are some people who have proven themselves so morally and ethically debased that voting for them can never be a viable option.
One such person is Senator Ted Cruz.
This may surprise some people. On many issues, after all, it would seem that Senator Cruz would be an ideal candidate. He has consistently argued for shrinking government, has sound economic principles, and says most of the right things. Yet he remains someone I would never support, and here is why: Senator Cruz has repeatedly and consistently acted in a manner that demonstrates that he simply lacks the most basic, most fundamental character traits needed to lead, revealing himself in the process to be a truly despicable individual.
It is a matter of public record that Senator Cruz has deliberately sabotaged efforts to cut spending just so he can fundraise off the failure to cut spending. He has consistently thrown his allies and supporters under the bus when it suited him. He has changed his stances frequently depending on how the political winds are shifting, and then blatantly lied about it. As in actually, flat out, lied (lying being, it seems, a rather frequent habit of the Senator’s. As is rewriting history and discarding former allies). In the words of Jennifer Rubin “This really is a guy who will say whatever needs to be said at any moment to further his political prospects”.
To use just one example, his actions in leading opposition to the Vitter Amendment is, in the words of Americans for Tax Reforms’ Ryan Ellis, “ a classic case study in how this entire affair was bungled by a few narcissistic conservative groups and senators, who actually did quite well from the shutdown. They themselves have profited handsomely in emails and donations, as reported in multiple press outlets. But the damage they caused may have inflicted a mortal wound to the cause of Obamacare repeal”.
To be clear – Senator Cruz deliberately torpedoed an effort to reduce government spending, just so he could make millions.
Can anyone who believes in smaller government truly support someone like this?
But what started it all for me was how, in September last year, he committed what Christian conservative writer writer Pascal Emmanuel Goby rightly described as “the most cynical and despicable political stunt of the year, which is certainly saying a lot.” An stunt for which I personally knew conservatives present in the room who walked in Ted Cruz supporters, and walked out saying they would rather spoil a ballot than vote for him.
This is, of course, simply one act of political bastardy – one act of many committed by the Senator – but it is one that I feel is telling, and deserves to be more widely shared.
But first, some context.
In September of 2014, as ISIS was sweeping through the Levant massacring Christians in its path in its genocidal terror, a new advocacy group, In Defence of Christians, pulled together what was “a major logistical miracle. At the time, ISIS’s genocidal campaign had not yet attracted significant mainstream attention, and this summit was designed to combat that. “Somehow they managed to get all the Patriarchs of the Middle East — Catholic & Orthodox of all the various rites, as well as evangelicals and others– to meet together to present a unified voice in Washington as advocates for their people across the Middle East.”
The Summit, held in Washington DC on September 9-10, was the largest gathering of Middle Eastern Christian leaders in centuries. For the first time Catholics, Orthodox, Assyrians, Copts, Evangelicals were together, united in the common goal of protecting their flocks from being butchered and slaughtered by the ISIS hordes. “The mood was one of “the ecumenism of the martyrs,” in Cardinal Sandri’s phrase, with all participants willing to put aside for a time their political and theological differences for the sake of something more important: defending defenceless and persecuted Christians around the world. “
And the conference was succeeding beyond anyone’s wildest expectations, with millennia-old conflicts and enmities set aside for the common good. And it was not just leaders who were there, many were victims of persecution who had fled their ancestral homes on pain of death; as one attendee noted: “ I sat next to an Iraqi man whose family had been turned out of their homes and had to flee the area their people had settled for thousands of years.
Enter Ted Cruz. Senator Cruz, who was invited to deliver the Keynote address. Read the rest of this entry »