The events of this past week presage a Republican convention in July in Cleveland that will be riven with Big Violence in the streets — and perhaps elsewhere as well. As the prominence of Donald Trump in the race for the Republican nominee for President continues to burgeon apace, the Left in America is feeling additionally threatened by Hillary Clinton’s impending implosion as a likely criminal defendant on federal charges of disclosing classified information via e-mails sent from her personal server while serving as Secretary of State from 2009-13. Not to mention the almost cartoonish, shamelessly yet fecklessly pandering, siren campaign of socialist Senator Bernie Sanders. The offering of expensive stuff for free, such as healthcare and college education, always excites the young and naive.
Against this backdrop, Trump was forced last Friday to cancel a campaign rally in Chicago in the face of a large number of disruptive protesters intent on preventing him from speaking. Later, at another event, a team of Secret Service agents saved Trump’s pant leg from being tugged “longer and harder” from behind by a hostile attendee.
In response, Senator Ted Cruz was asked about the developing violence at Trump’s rallies and responded with concern about the tone of Trump’s rhetoric encouraging violence. Some conservative commenters have cut at Cruz’s response as deficient for not just resolutely defending Trump’s free-speech rights in an era of compulsive political correctness. That is, he should not have been heard to be “blaming the victim”, a time-honored leftist tactic. So, did Cruz make a terrible mistake?
Yes, Cruz made a mistake but a relatively minor one. The thuggish protesters in Chicago were clearly in the wrong and thus culpable of engaging in unAmerican suppression of free speech. Still, it is equally obvious that Trump has been degrading the GOP contest for presidential nominee from the start, constantly coarsening the discourse with personal invective and, more recently, gratuitously encouraging violence by advocating its use by his own supporters (e.g., “Go punch him in the face”). That is just plain irresponsible. Nonetheless, Cruz would have been better served by leading more forcefully with a condemnation of the Left’s cynical Alinskyite thug tactics, and only then bemoaning Trump’s pugilistic rhetoric. Better still, it should have been done from a place of sincere regret for its impact on the hyperintensive race to become the GOP’s presidential nominee.
If a majority of people are shallow enough to vote for Trump over Cruz on such a flimsy peccadillo in the coming weeks, the bread and circuses mentality of ancient Rome can be expected to triumph and our Republic will surely be lost. The noisy denizens (John Birch Society, Eagle Forum, Alex Jones, et al.) of the stultifying paleolithic Right are in danger of scuttling any substantive chance of America pulling back from the brink of the abyss now facing her in numerous dimensions — socially, fiscally, economically, culturally, politically, and strategically. While Ted Cruz is cerebral, cocky, and indeed a tad righteous, he is by far the most proven, truly conservative presidential candidate to come down the pike since 1980. And, should a majority of voters ignore him in favor of such a clownish, pompous poseur as Trump, they will have forsaken rationality and just roundly given in to the envy and resentment of the many less accomplished, less principled, and sensation-seeking people like Alex Jones.
Senator Cruz is not a member of the “D.C. crowd” as a freshman senator; rather, in his short tenure in the U.S. Senate — after an illustrious span as Texas’s solicitor general defending the 2nd Amendment, religious liberty, and American sovereignty before the U.S. Supreme Court — he has demonstrated both genuine independence from the dictates of the GOP establishment and strong initiative towards both repealing the Big Government onslaughts of Obama and working to enact substantive conservative policy prescriptions for the nation. All impressively bold.
In contrast, Trump’s history as a relentlessly self-aggrandizing commercial dealmaker does not augur well for protecting America’s national interests, unless they happen to dovetail with his conception of America as TRUMP, INC. Truth be told, Trump’s true core values and ideals are at best unknown, but his very public record betrays a great deal of amoral behavior (e.g., the aggressive, selfish use of eminent domain) and promiscuous support for liberal politicians’ campaigns and policies, from gun-rights infringements to government-financed bailouts of private companies. These are all bad omens for any future with a President Trump.
Even recognizing that only cocky egotists may well have the personal drives needed to sacrifice as much as is required to become President of the United States, America’s future will certainly be better served by a person whose conscious professional focus over many years has been on preserving a free people’s constitutional governance and liberties than a man whose central aim over a much longer four decades has been his own financial enrichment and attaining — and remaining in — the brightest celebrity spotlight. Republicans in particular, and Americans in general, are worthy of discerning this key difference and reaping the resulting rewards of sage stewardship for the nation. May we all rise to just such ringing clarity in the upcoming weeks before the Republican nominee is finally selected in July.