Posted by: maboulette | January 21, 2016

Before You Vote for Cruz – Read This

Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas,  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

In 1997, Michael Wayne Haley was arrested after stealing a calculator from Walmart. This crime merited a maximum two-year prison term. But prosecutors incorrectly applied a ‘habitual offender’ law. Neither the judge nor defense lawyer caught the error so Haley was sentenced to 16 years.

Finally, the mistake came to light and Haley endeavored to fix it. Ted Cruz at this time was solicitor general of Texas and Instead of just letting Haley go with time served, Cruz took the case to the Supreme Court to keep Haley in prison for the full 16 years.

The case reveals something interesting about Cruz’s character. Ted Cruz is now running strongly among evangelical voters, particularly in Iowa. But in his career and public presentation Cruz is a stranger to most of what would normally be considered Christian virtues: humility, mercy, compassion and grace. Cruz’s behavior in the Haley case is almost the dictionary definition of pharisaism which is a zealous solicitation of the letter of the law in a way that infringes the spirit of the law, as well as mercy and fairness.

In the end, Haley was released after serving six years. During the Supreme Court hearing, Justice Anthony Kennedy—left suspicious by Cruz’s position—asked him: “Is there some rule that you can’t confess error in your state?”

Would hearing this story undercut Cruz’s support among Republican primary voters? A person who would fight such a case all the way to the Supreme Court is lacks something very basic—something important not only for Christians, but for any of us, and certainly for anyone seeking to become the most powerful individual in the world.

Traditionally, candidates who have attracted strong evangelical support have in part emphasized the need to lend a helping hand to the economically stressed and the least fortunate among us. Such candidates include George W. Bush, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.

But Cruz’s speeches are striking by what could be called ‘pagan brutalism’. There is not a hint of compassion, gentleness and mercy. Instead, his speeches are marked by a long list of enemies, and vows to crush, shred, destroy, and bomb them. When he is speaking in a church the contrast between the setting and the emotional tone he sets is jarring.

Cruz lays down an air of apocalyptic fear. America is heading off “the cliff to oblivion.” After one Democratic debate he said, “We’re seeing our freedoms taken away every day, and last night was an audition for who would wear the jackboot best.’’

The fact is this diagnosis is ridiculous. The Obama administration has done things people strongly disagree with. But America is in better economic shape than any other major nation on earth. Crime is down. Abortion rates are down. Fourteen million new jobs have been created in five years.

Cruz rallies an atmosphere of hazard in which there is no room for compassion, moderation anything but disassembling and counteroffensive. And that is what he offers. Cruz’s programmatic agenda, to the extent that it exists in his speeches, is to destroy things: destroy the I.R.S., crush the “jackals” of the E.P.A., end funding for Planned Parenthood, reverse Obama’s executive orders, make the desert glow in Syria, destroy the Iran nuclear accord.

But the lack of any positive status, any hint of reform conservatism, any help for the working class, or even any humane gesture toward cooperation all is striking. If you aren’t sure – just do some research. Cruz should have never been elected Senator from Texas.





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