Ted Cruz: The Real Deal
When Senator Ted Cruz delivers the keynote address at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington next week, he will take his place as the most plain speaking conservative officeholder in the United States.
The theme of the conference is “America’s Future: The Next Generation of Conservatives.” Cruz is the personification of the up-and-coming generation of conservatives who will shape the conservative movement and determine the destiny of the Republican Party.
Only two months after taking his seat as the junior senator from Texas, Cruz has grabbed the spotlight for his outspoken and fearless defense of conservative principles; he has refused to buckle under the phony smokescreen of so-called senatorial courtesy.
Cruz is not your ordinary freshman Senator. Newly minted Senators often stay in the background, waiting for their moment to emerge as leaders on pet issues. Not Cruz. From the word go he moved against Obama administration Cabinet nominees without the usual bobbing and weaving.
Cruz was one of only three Senators to vote against John Kerry for Secretary of State. He voted against Jack Lew for Treasury Secretary. But he really ruffled feathers when he aggressively challenged the nomination of Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary.
In the eyes of many observers, Cruz had the nerve to step forward and demand full disclosure in the Armed Services Committee regarding Hagel’s fitness for one of the most important cabinet posts. He was reprimanded by Committee Chairman Carl Levin and even raised an eyebrow or two among his Republican colleagues.
Nevertheless, Cruz never backed down. He must have known he had arrived when he was accused of McCarthyism, the tried and true condemnation of the left for Republicans who swim against the tide.
Swimming against the tide is precisely how Ted Cruz got to the United States Senate. It is the essence of his leadership of Tea Party conservatives. Like Marco Rubio and others, Cruz defied the odds and defeated the establishment.
Cruz stunned the old guard in Texas when he defeated Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst by a whopping 57 to 43 margin in the runoff for the senatorial nomination. He went on to defeat his Democratic opponent 56 to 41 in the general election.
A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Cruz is the left’s worst nightmare. His father escaped Castro’s Cuba and moved to Texas to attend college before he could speak English. His mother, a native of Delaware, was the first person in her family to attend college. Cruz shows none of the Ivy League elitism so common to the morally superior left.
What Cruz does display is proven competence. He was the youngest and longest-serving Solicitor General of Texas in the state’s history. He was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He served as a law clerk to Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist.
His devotion to conservative principles is without question or equivocation. He doesn’t give an inch on a whole host of issues, including abortion, gun control, immigration, same-sex marriage, and healthcare.
Time and circumstances will determine his future on the national political stage, but Cruz is certain to be a prime contender for President, Vice President, or the Supreme Court for years to come. At age 42, Cruz could easily have a long and productive Senate career as well.
At the CPAC conference next week, Cruz will speak directly to his conservative principles. No doubt he will reflect the clear message he delivered in 2009 in an interview in World Magazine.
“I’m a plain and simple conservative,” Cruz said. “I’m a fiscal conservative, I’m a social conservative. I think there are absolute truths about what is right and about what works.”
In today’s world of confusion and indecision in Washington, a message about what is right and what works will ring true and resonate with millions of voters nationwide.