TRUSTED vs. mendacity

Falsehoods are flying about Republican presidential candidate U. S. Senator Ted Cruz—thanks to his nemesis Donald Trump. Actually, the “lyin’ Ted” label that Trump sent out for the media to stick on post-it notes, with every 24/7 political broadcast featuring primarily him, apparently also stuck on the minds of some voters. Typically, Trump did not explain why he slandered Cruz with this term—but it persists with some Trumpsters.

And “establishment” Republicans are only too happy to perpetuate that mendacity. They hate Cruz because he has had the audacity to challenge (and expose) their willingness to let congressional Democrats and Obama have their way with our government.

I support Sen. Cruz. But, from the beginning of the campaign, I’ve listened to what Trump has said about the current subversive Obama government— the problems it has created for our country—and I generally agree with him. His habit of making nasty, personal comments about some of his Republican colleagues running for president, however, is unseemly and unnecessary. Trump’s message was sufficient to carry the political day for him without being malicious.

When seeking truth, it’s always good to go to more than one source. Those who read Obama’s autobiography could see that he was raised by Marxists, lived in Muslim societies and learned to resent Christian white people and hate America.

I haven’t read Trump’s “Art of the Deal,” but I’m sure it would reveal much about him—at least how he conducts business deals. But I’m more interested in the personal character and principles held by political candidates than how they work with other people. In fact, with our current political environment, it’s much more important to know how they will stand against the people who avow they are our political enemies and propose policies that would damage our society.

I’m suspicious of candidates such as Gov. John Kasich who tell us that they know how to get along with our political enemies. They are a part of the problem, and here’s why:

***

  In 2015 Ted Cruz wrote a book titled, “A Time for Truth.” In the introductory chapter titled, “Mendacity,” he describes a situation in the Senate that illustrates why many voters have lost faith in the political class of both parties that control and live lavishly on the vast network of corruption in Washington, D.C.

Worse, we conservatives are fed up with Republican leadership refusing to stand and fight against Democrats with press typists spreading their lies and threats. So-called “Tea Party” candidates were elected to stop this. The result was Republican control of the House in 2014. But these people have not been able to reform their own entrenched members.

Early that year the Senate had only 45 Republicans to 55 Democrats, but the Senate rules (set by Democrats) required 60 votes to pass a debt-ceiling increase; the issue Cruz stood almost single-handedly against. To win, Democrats would need at least 5 Republican votes

Sen. Cruz met with the Republicans regularly at luncheons in various rooms in the Capitol. One of them he describes as “combative.” A few days before, Mitch McConnell had appeared on Fox News Sunday. Publically, he said that Obama was irresponsible to demand a “clean” debt-ceiling increase—meaning no decrease in spending to offset new debt. McConnell suggested that the Senate do “something about the debt…”

The previous week House Leader John Boehner “had joined with 193 Democrats to run over 199 House Republicans” and give Obama the debt increase he demanded with no reduction in spending. Cruz wasn’t shocked.

“I had figured all along that our GOP leadership, like so many times before, would offer some half-hearted proposal to deal with spending and then, under pressure, eventually surrender to the Democrats.”

But the Senate Republican leadership had a scheme that also would provide Obama a clean debt increase bill. They wanted to lower the 60-vote threshold to 50, thereby allowing the 55 Democrats to pass the bill. That, they reasoned, would allow all the Republicans to vote no and back home tell their voters that they voted against the bill to raise the national debt. Of course, they wouldn’t tell them that the vote was, as Cruz writes, “right after consenting to let it happen.

Sen. Mike Lee of Utah was the only senator to support Cruz.

Prior to the vote Cruz was harangued and asked, “Why can’t you just go along?” He wasn’t arguing for never raising the debt ceiling, but he believed his side should bargain for something. He offered several, “concrete, relatively modest suggestions for what Republicans could get out of the debt ceiling.” All were rejected—“they didn’t want us to fight for anything.”

But Cruz wasn’t there to work for the Senate leadership. His allegiance was to “26 million Texans” who he represented and who trusted him to do what he had promised them. Although being “reviled” by his colleagues Cruz stuck to his guns.

Because he and Sen. Lee wouldn’t vote to change the voting rules, 60 votes were still needed to pass the debt bill.  After some manipulations of the process and pressure to vote yes, twelve Republicans voted with the Democrats who were “sitting back and smiling.” Still, 33 Republican senators “stood against out-of-control spending and the Obama administration.”

GOP leaders retaliated against Senators Cruz and Lee: they stopped their campaign donations from “K Street lobbyists and political action committees”; Cruz’s PAC fund raiser quit under pressure from the GOP. He describes another “punishment”: a “public flogging.”

“Anonymous quotes appear in Capitol Hill publications from unnamed Republican sources—they’re usually Republican leadership staff members—wielding nasty personal insults”:

Ted Cruz came here to throw bombs and fund-raise off the attacks on fellow Republicans. He’s a joke, plain and simple.

He’s an amateur. A fraud. A hypocrite. A wacko bird.

Cruz explains another devious tactic used by the GOP establishment to bring members in line with their insider comfort zone:

“The Republican leadership’s attacks are amplified and made more effective by using friendly media sources. When leadership is displeased, they place hit pieces with journalists only too happy to cooperate.”

I was surprised to learn in Cruz’s book, “none is more potent than the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal.” Within a few days after the debt ceiling battle a WSJ “blistering” editorial attacked Cruz for making the Republican leadership look bad.

These people don’t need Cruz to make them look bad. Many American citizens have already figured out that much of the Washington political class is corrupt. But, I believe, Senator Cruz is the candidate we need for president.

He has come through this grueling campaign without making ad hominem attacks on colleagues or opponents—he simple tells the truth. Despite the vicious assaults on him from his own party, he has shown unusual courage in resisting their hatred.

Senator Cruz is honest and trustworthy. I don’t think he deserves the label “insider” although he does have experience inside the “Washington cartel,” as he describes it. He understands what he faces in this corrupt system. His love of country, courage, high principles, knowledge and experience all point to a person who could make a great American president.

For voters who want to know more about him, I suggest reading “A Time for Truth, Reigniting the Promise of America” by Ted Cruz.

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About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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