Texas Senator Ted Cruz still thinks that he is going to be elected president and as a result talked down the camera lens to the people at home whilst also giving out so much misinformation that it’s hard to fathom such stupidity exists inside one person’s head. Very much trying to appeal to the fundamentalist Christians and libertarian-right, Cruz is more ideologically in line with the GOP base than say Chris Christie, but by constantly speaking like what people characterise politicians as sounding like, he will be overlooked for the nomination, even if his nomination would certainly result in any Democrat winning the election.
He spent a large amount of time speaking about foreign policy, particularly the Iran nuclear deal. Cruz said that “a nuclear Iran is the biggest national security threat”, which would be false as there are many things that could be legitimately argued as more important such as Russian expansionism, Chinese cyber-attacks, ISIS-inspired terrorism within the United States etc. He also went on to argue that the Iran deal is “catastrophic” which “gives $100 billion to Ayatollah Khomeini, making Obama the biggest sponsor of radical Islamic terrorism”; this is apoplectically stupid as the $100 billion figure is not American money, so Obama isn’t sponsoring any terrorism. Even if we pretended that Obama was supporting terrorism, Iran supports Hezbollah, who do attack U.S. ally Israel, but who are also working in Syria to fight against ISIS. Cruz said that the deal “abandons four US hostages in Iran”, which is an absurd thing to say because diplomatically it would be stupid to talk about the hostages in a nuclear deal as Iran would then be encouraged to take more hostages in future in order to obtain leverage in further treaty negotiations. His final comments about Iran were an unsubtle attack on the Democratic front-runner: “a vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for Ayatollah Khomeini”.
Obviously I’m not going address that last statement because is so clearly bullshit that no real analysis is required but I would like to address why Cruz is so vociferously opposed to Iran: his unwavering support for Israel. In many countries around the world Zionists support the state of Israel for many reasons but it is often centred around the idea of giving land to the Jewish people in their historic homeland to give them a place of refuge, which is in my view inherently anti-Semitic, but that’s not the point I’m making. Christian fundamentalists, in the US especially, have a more sinister reason for unquestioning loyalty to Israel: Biblical prophecy. I’m not going to claim to be an expert on religion but there are passages in the Bible that discusses the state of Israel that many who are Biblical literalists like Senator Cruz see as the reason for supporting the persecution of the Palestinians.
The Bible itself is hugely open to interpretation but passage after passage speaks about how Israel is blessed by God and Jews are the chosen people; as a result of these beliefs a common strain of thought among the American Christian Right is that when Israel is in control of all Palestinian land, because the Palestinians are not blessed by God, the Rapture will begin. For those who don’t know, the Rapture is apparently when all the believers in Jesus ascend to Heaven, and this is swiftly followed by the Second Coming of Jesus who proceeds to fight against Satan, killing every non-believer left on Earth in the process. It is this belief in so called ‘End Times Prophecy’ that makes people like Ted Cruz dangerous because what he would do as President in regards to Israel is promote the occupation of Palestinian land, which is illegal under international law, in order to bring about the return to Earth of a crucified Jew he believes to be divine. Fuck me that’s scary.
After his horseshit about the Iran deal Cruz segwayed into his record of “defending the US’ sovereignty”, by citing a case when he was Solicitor General for Texas entitled Medellín v. Texas in which he succeeded in arguing that “the UN has no right to bind the US and give up our sovereignty”. The case itself was about 18-year-old José Ernesto Medellín and several other gang members who had raped and murdered Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Peña; at the time Medellín was almost certainly going to face the death penalty if found guilty.
Medellín was a Mexican citizen and although he was read his Miranda rights as is required under the US Constitution, the Mexican Consulate or Embassy were not notified of his arrest as was required under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, thus enabling Medellín to argue that he had not received full habeas corpus. Medellín was found guilty, which wasn’t surprising because he gloated about the committing the crime, but the point of law is that it is applied to all people equally and by not notifying the Mexican Consulate or Embassy, I believe that Medellín, who let’s be clear was a vile human being, was denied full habeas corpus. The reason I have gone into detail about this case is that Cruz cited this case as him standing up against people who want to take away the US’ sovereignty, but actually all the case did was sidestep international law which, although nothing new for the United States, shouldn’t be his “proudest achievement”.
Cruz was then asked about Planned Parenthood in which he said that he was “proud to stand for life”, before saying that the organisation confessed to felonies, which is untrue. He complained that the GOP leadership has “pre-emptively surrendered to Barack Obama because he threatened to veto any budget that doesn’t fund Planned Parenthood”, but this is incredibly false as all the GOP leadership did was acknowledge that passing a budget without Planned Parenthood’s funding in it wouldn’t be signed by the President and the GOP doesn’t have the necessary votes in the Senate to overturn that veto.
Cruz next spoke about immigration: “A majority of people on this stage has supported amnesty, I never have. I’ve been trying to secure the border.” Granted he has been trying to secure the border through many authoritarian means that he went on to list such as tripling the border staff, building walls and fences, and biometric checks, but I would like to challenge his first point. According to Blacks Law Dictionary ‘amnesty’ is defined as “a pardon extended by the government to a group or class of persons, usually for a political offense [sic]; the act of a sovereign power officially forgiving certain classes of persons who are subject to trial but have not yet been convicted”; in accordance with this pretty comprehensive definition no candidate on the stage with Cruz supported amnesty. Cruz is flatly lying as what he is doing is asserting that any attempt at comprehensive immigration reform that established a pathway to citizenship is amnesty.
On the issue of the Supreme Court, which I can’t believe is a legitimate political issue, Cruz said that “Justice Roberts forced Obamacare on the American people”; to argue that Justice Roberts has forced Obamacare on the citizenry is nonsense as if anybody ‘forced’ the law on the country it would be the Democratic Congress that passed the law or President Obama who has vetoed the defunding and repeal of the law over fifty times. Cruz then boasted that had he appointed Justices to the Supreme Court Obamacare would have been struck down and same-sex marriage wouldn’t have been deemed constitutional; he then went on to argue that “we have an out of control Court” which is interesting considering that in the statement prior he admitted that he would only appoint Justices that ideologically agreed with him on political issues irrespective of the legal arguments put forward.
His final chance to speak come on the issue of the 2nd Amendment: “I have been defending the 2nd Amendment and have been supported by Gun Owners of America”. Gun Owners of America (GOA) is an extreme group, with links to white supremacist groups, whose official stance is to “never compromise or accept the status quo” when it comes to the 2nd Amendment and as a result has been vocally opposed to any form of gun control laws. Cruz’s decision to promote this link between the two shows how fundamentally ignorant he is of what the American people believe because a 2014 Gallup poll showed that when asked whether or not gun laws should be made ‘more strict’: 47% said they should be, 38% said they should be kept the same, and only 14% said they should be relaxed. Considering that GOA’s stance is opposed by 85% of the poll’s respondents, it would seem that Ted Cruz’s chances of winning a general election would be close to zero.
Ted Cruz will not win the Republican nomination, but even if he did he would be easily swept aside by his Democratic challenger simply because he is far too extreme on every issue for the majority of the American people. As I have said about other candidates part of me would like to see Ted Cruz to be the GOP nominee because he would almost certainly lose the election, but the concept of a Mitt Romney presidency was enough to keep me up at night in terror; I would probably shit myself if Ted Cruz came close to being the President because the global ramifications would be horrible.