So now Ted Cruz has said he will vote for Donald Trump. He didn’t go so far as to say, when asked pointedly, that Trump is fit to be president; in fact, he deflected that specific question and went in a different direction in his answer. In his heart, I think he still knows Trump is unqualified for the office.
I had hoped the day wouldn’t come when Cruz would bow the knee to a con man. I remember all so clearly Cruz’s comments on May 3, the day Trump secured the nomination and the Republican party threw away its heritage.
On that day, after Trump incredibly floated the absurd idea that Cruz’s father was somehow implicated in the JFK assassination, Cruz said this (and I will quote at length):
This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And, in a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology textbook, his response is to accuse everybody else of lying. . . .
The man cannot tell the truth, but he combines it with being a narcissist. A narcissist at a level – I don’t think this country’s ever seen. Donald Trump is such a narcissist that Barack Obama looks at him and goes, “Dude, what’s your problem?” Everything in Donald’s world is about Donald. . . .
I say pathological because I actually think Donald, if you hooked him up to a lie detector test, he could say one thing in the morning, one thing at noon, and one thing in the evening, all contradictory, and he’d pass the lie detector test each time. Whatever lie he’s telling at that minute, he believes it. . . .
The man is utterly amoral. Morality does not exist for him. . . .
Donald is a bully. . . . Bullies don’t come from strength, bullies come from weakness. Bullies come from a deep, yawning cavern of insecurity. There is a reason Donald builds giant buildings and puts his name on them everywhere he goes. . . .
Donald will betray his supporters on every issue. If you care about immigration, Donald is laughing at you. And he’s telling the moneyed elites that he doesn’t believe what he’s saying, he’s not gonna build a wall – that’s what he told the New York Times, he will betray you on every issue across the board.
I couldn’t agree more with Cruz’s words on that day. So what has changed?
Cruz says he has forgiven Trump for the insults and innuendoes about his wife and father. As a Christian, I certainly appreciate that Cruz has chosen not to allow bitterness to dominate. However, it is instructive to note that Trump has never acknowledged doing anything wrong, has not even uttered one word of regret for his lies, and acts as if Cruz owes him an endorsement, despite Trump’s despicable actions.
Trump now heaps praise on Cruz for having been a formidable challenger. In his mind, are they now best buddies? Hardly. If Cruz were to say something critical tomorrow, Trump would respond with his typical “loser” designation and say that he will find someone to run against Cruz in his next Senate race.
So why did Cruz make this endorsement? Theories abound. He himself says it’s because Hillary must be stopped and this is a binary election. In other words, the same old tired reasons given by every Republican who has capitulated to the Trump nomination. At least he’s not Hillary.
Never mind the future of the Republican brand; it has now morphed into the Trump brand.
So, I ask: Has Cruz really changed his mind about Trump’s acceptability as the nominee? Or did he not really mean the things he said back in May? Or is he more concerned about his own political future?
From what I’ve read from more than one source, Texas Republicans have been putting on the pressure and major donors have threatened not to support Cruz in his Senate reelection bid.
If that’s the real reason, I am simply sad because it will mean that another man has succumbed to the desire to maintain political office at the expense of principle.
Cruz has undermined his biggest supporters with this Trump endorsement. When he talks about principle and constitutionalism from now on, many will take it with that proverbial grain of salt.
I won’t judge Cruz too harshly at this point. One bad decision does not override everything good a man has done. But neither will I immediately respond to a call to arms for a 2020 presidential bid. He will have to earn my support all over again.