Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Shed No Tears

The moment Ted Cruz announced he was suspending his campaign for President, one audience member yelled "You’re a great man, Ted!"

Across the country, many- even dozens of- people held that same sentiment. Perhaps.

Cruz continually cites Ronald Reagan but he lacks not only his hero's malleable commitment to principle but also the ex-President's personal touch, primarily an inability to fake authenticity. Salon's Gary Legum recognizes  

Cruz had the mechanics of running a presidential campaign down cold. But Republican voters didn’t want an “authentic” conservative who probably has well-worn flash cards he used to memorize every policy position that an intern pulled from the #tcot hashtag on Twitter. They want an authentic human being, and that is where Trump, with his improvised speeches, his insults, his rough outer-borough accent, his entire gestalt, had Cruz easily beaten. Even if Trump is just playing the part, he’s a hell of a better actor than the senator from Texas.

In other words, Ted Cruz could not out-bullshit a genuine bullshitter. That reality is finally breaking through to him this week. It would be sad to watch, if he hadn’t engendered enough disgust to make it enjoyable.

For those of us reluctant to see the nation lurch dramatically rightward, it could only have been enjoyable.  As Legum puts it, "With Cruz, no myth was too outlandish or ridiculous to be stated as fact to his audiences. (That he is losing to a conspiracy theorist like Trump only makes this more hilarious.)"  The country is much better off without him, even though as a U.S. Senator he will continue to try to wreak havoc.

"No myth was too outlandish," like the inference that he was following in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.   "Even from a Montgomery jail." the Texas Senator said last night, "our voice for justice and equality rings out for the ages. America is hopeful, optimistic."

Even from a Montgomery jail he pleads, in an outlandish case of chutzpah, or gall. Reverend King lost his life on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had traveled to join unionized sanitation workers on strike.  "Our needs are labor's needs," he declared in 1961. Both observant and prescient, he added "those who in the second half of the nineteenth century could not tolerate organized labor have had a rebirth of power and seek to regain the despotism of that era while retaining the wealth and privileges of the twentieth century."

It is now the twenty-first century and there still are individuals who seek to concentrate wealth and privileges in the hands of a few. Among them are Ted Cruz, who a mere five weeks ago praised Governor Scott Walker's union busting, including euphemistically, ridiculously named "right-to-work" laws, such as the one Walker is responsible for in Wisconsin. Such an approach, Cruz threatened, "is exactly what we need to do in Washington."

So we are done with carpet-bombing Ted in the Executive branch, at least for now, and for everyone not among the elite who rule society atop their perch of extreme wealth, that is an unmitigated blessing.

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