Tag Archives: Ted Cruz

A Ted Cruz 2016 News Sandwich

(For those who are not familiar with the News Sandwich format, my goal is always to sandwich some bad news between at least two items of good news. Read “About,” above, for more on this blog.)

Yesterday Ted Cruz delivered this speech

in which he formally announced that he is running for President in the 2016 election. Cruz gave us ample reason to continue to believe that he is the best option we have in the field, reiterating his intention to sign legislation repealing every word of Obamacare and every word of Common Core; to abolish the IRS and have us file our taxes–which would be levied at a flat rate–on a postcard-sized form; to unapologetically stand with Israel and prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon; to protect our privacy, and more.

The date Cruz chose to announce his candidacy could not have been more perfect. He reminded us that, 240 years earlier, Patrick Henry delivered his legendary “Give me liberty, or give me death” speech in a church about 100 miles away; and that 5 years earlier, Barack Obama had signed Obamacare into law. Anyone in whom there remains a glimmer of appreciation for what the United States once was–as Ayn Rand repeatedly said, the most moral and most noble nation on earth–could see the evidence of decline in that single snapshot. And Cruz who, as usual, came across as earnest and knowledgeable (speaking, as many have noted, entirely without teleprompter), is offering us the promise of taking significant steps towards returning this country to what it once was.

I wasn’t surprised that Cruz–a religious man speaking from Liberty University–promised to do some things that would, in my view, violate individual rights: restrict (perhaps even ban–Cruz was a bit vague here) a woman’s right to abortion, as well as gay marriage. What was surprising is that, immediately after promising to repeal every word of Common Core, Cruz spoke of a “fundamental right to education,” something that, to my knowledge, has not yet existed at the federal level. (Many states, in their own constitutions, purport to guarantee such a right, but our federal constitution leaves education as the province of the state governments.) Hearing that, I fear that Cruz, were he to succeed in his plans, might create more freedom in education in the short term, but only at the price of having a bigger federal government takeover of education down the road. I am eager to hear more details about his plans.

Another thing that has not surprised me is many Objectivists’ reluctance to support Ted Cruz because of his religious views. As I reiterated on my show last night, my support for Cruz is a contextual decision, based on my judgement that he is likely to be the best candidate in the field–substantially better than any other–and that our country’s situation is dire enough to take a chance on a good, albeit religious, candidate.

What has surprised me is the vehemence with which many who purport to be limited government conservatives have criticized and, at least so far, rejected Cruz. Assuming these conservatives agree with most or all of Cruz’s policy positions, why the vehemence? I fear there are a couple things that might be going on, and neither bodes well for the future of this country.

First, I fear that many reject Cruz for the same reason that Greg Gutfeld and others have criticized him: that Cruz is, at least to some extent, selfish. In Gutfeld’s terms, “Cruz is in it for himself.” Cruz has twice, on the floor of the Senate during filibuster-type speeches, cited Ayn Rand. Once, during his Obamacare “filibuster,” he went so far as to name Rand as “one of my all-time heroes,” and urged people to read her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged. As I’ve said repeatedly on my show, I think the difference that has made the difference with Cruz is his genuine appreciation for Ayn Rand and his earnest and surprisingly successful attempt to integrate her view of rational self-interest with his religious views. Could it be that many conservatives reject Cruz precisely because of this fact? As Rand demonstrated in her novels and nonfiction works (e.g., The Virtue of Selfishness), it is the morality of rational self-interest that provides the only defensible philosophical foundation for the right to the pursuit of happiness. If many of those who are supposed to be the proponents of limited government reject the ideas on which it rests, tyranny is closer than we think.

The second thing I fear could be seen as a variation on the first: that the thirty-plus years that have passed since we elected Ronald Reagan–thirty-plus additional years of progressive education and inculcating dependence via the welfare state–have taken their toll on the American sense of life. The principle of individual rights and the goal of restoring limited government are, for many, no longer ideas grounded in reality, but fantasies to be achieved “someday.” “The country isn’t ready for a Ted Cruz,” many of these critics say, choosing instead to embrace the milquetoast alternatives of Jeb Bush or Chris Christie, even Scott Walker.

Of course there is no such thing as “milquetoast” when we’re talking about moderating the protection of individual rights. And with Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion becoming more entrenched by the day, the FCC’s recent takeover of the Internet, and much more, the situation is becoming dire. So it baffles me that so many who say they are for individual rights and limited government, so vehemently reject the only candidate who seems to be offering a clear path toward achieving both. Let’s hope that Cruz wins over critics like these over the next 18 months. The support of some talk radio heavyweights–Limbaugh, Beck and Levin–will no doubt help in this.

In the meantime, I thank those who participated in the chatroom during last night’s show for helping me formulate my four-question interview for Ted Cruz, should he ever accept my standing invitation to be interviewed for my show:

1. What would you tell limited-government atheists who would like to support you, but worry that you will ban abortion and prohibit marriage among homosexuals?

2. You say that, on the one hand, you would like to repeal Common Core, but that you would also like to recognize a federal “fundamental right to education.” Don’t you think the latter would create a dangerous new precedent, which would someday invite something even worse than Common Core?

3. During your announcement speech you didn’t mention the Federal Reserve or the vast debt our country has accumulated. Do you have particular plans for those?

4. Rawls or Rand? You have expressed affinity for both thinkers, but they held contradictory views. Can you explain?

Over the next 17 months or so I will do what I can to get these questions before Cruz. Let me know if you can help. And, if you like this post, and would like to see me get this interview, please share with your friends and followers. Thanks!

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A “Life to America” News Sandwich

This week I was relieved to hear that a number of Democrat Senators–enough to, along with Republicans, create veto-proof legislation–oppose the “deal” with Iran that is currently being negotiated in Switzerland by John Kerry. These Senators thankfully didn’t get the memo from two Cato scholars that Islamic terrorism “poses no existential threat to America.” Writes Francesca Chambers at the Daily Mail,

[A] dozen Democratic senators, including Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the highest-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Affairs committee, have said they will join with the GOP majority to pass bills inserting themselves into the [negotiation] process.

One would levy additional sanctions on Iran after June 30 if it doesn’t agree to the final terms of a deal, though monthly waivers would be allowed should more time be requested. The other would give the Senate the power to reject within 60 days any pact the executive branch makes with Iran.

(HT Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch)

If Iran were to develop or acquire a nuclear weapon, it would have the means and opportunity to “pose an existential threat” to many Americans. What about motive? This week, even while the negotiations are going on with John Kerry in Switzerland (did he bring James Taylor with him?), Khameni is back in Iran doing a “Death to America” reprise.

The Islamic doctrine of taqiyya, which permits Muslims to lie to “Infidels” like us, should be enough to keep any sane person away from the negotiation table with a theocracy like Iran. But, in addition, the New York Times today provides us with evidence that the doctrine is alive and well, and part of Iran’s strategy for developing its nuclear capacity. Yesterday the paper reported that, in late 2012, our intelligence agencies “uncovered an Iranian businessman’s scheme to buy specialty aluminum tubing, a type the United States bans for export to Iran because it can be used in centrifuges that enrich uranium, the exact machines at the center of negotiations entering a crucial phase in Switzerland this week.” Why should we think, if a “deal” were to be reached–even a deal that Senators would approve–that it would be worth anything at all? In fact, such a deal would likely aid Iran in its nuclear ambitions, because no doubt part of the “deal” would include us sending some of our tax dollars to them, among other “concessions.”

While the Senate may succeed in preventing some of the damage that would result from a “deal” with Iran, our real hope is to elect a candidate in 2016 who can begin to undo the accumulated foreign policy damage. This is no small task because, while the damage done has increased substantially under Obama, it goes back much further than that, arguably spanning decades. Ted Cruz, who is slated to announce his candidacy tomorrow, has been a vocal opponent of Jihad and shows signs that he is not the typical neoconservative. This is only one of many reasons we have to believe that a Ted Cruz presidency would bring back Life to America.

Is Ted Cruz “The Guy”? That’s a question we asked on my podcast back in 2013. Listen here.

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Squandering Political Capital

While there’s little chance of this story distracting from Obama’s failure effectively to deal with ISIS/Ebola/Economy, the White House is facing another scandal as the Washington Post reports that Obama aides “knew of possible White House link to Cartagena, Columbia prostitution scandal.” The article states that “new details drawn from government documents and interviews show that senior White House aides were given information at the time suggesting that a prostitute was an overnight guest in the hotel room of a presidential advance-team member — yet that information was never thoroughly investigated or publicly acknowledged.”

Read more here. Even if no particular action is taken in response to the latest of many lies told by the Obama administration, it’s nice to see what little credibility he has left be further eroded. It’s not surprising to see that, as this AP Story reports, Obama allies are “getting harder to find.”

It may turn out that during the last two years of his presidency, all Obama will have is his pen and his phone—without many people being willing to pick up the phone. (Certainly government bureaucrats should be less willing to pick up the phone, if they don’t want to end up in Lois Lerner’s situation.)

While I’m happy to see Obama squander what little political capital he has left, I was sorry to see this week that Ted Cruz—who may be the best, potentially electable candidate for 2016—denounced the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to hear any of the same-sex marriage cases. He has even vowed to introduce a Constitutional Amendment defending “traditional marriage.” I have loved Cruz’s principled stand on free speech, Obamacare, and other crucial issues, and here I think that Cruz is not only wrong (I support same-sex marriage), but that he is also wasting time, energy and political capital. I feel like I could quote right back to him the beginning of the speech he made in opposition to the Senate Democrats’ proposed Constitutional Amendment to curb free speech. In fact, I hope the Democrats do that.

Given that the 2014 elections are nearly upon us, I was happy to see Jason Mattera help Senate Majority Fossil Harry Reid squander a bunch of his political capital this week. It seems Mr. Reid doesn’t like being questioned about his multi-million-dollar net worth. Reid’s “aide” (as one source called him) actually physically attacked Mattera, who was doing nothing more than asking Reid how he made so much money while living on a government salary his entire career. Reid has vehemently denounced the Koch brothers, who spend their own money to influence politics so that politics doesn’t have as much influence over our lives. In the meantime, Majority Fossil Reid has apparently used political influence—and our tax dollars—to line his own pockets. It’s time we showed him the door.

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