Ted Cruz: The Real Deal

| March 4 2013
John Walker

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.

Cruz will stand out amidst a large cast at the conference. He will speak after Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, Governors Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and Jeb Bush.

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.

6 comments
anarchobuddy
anarchobuddy

I typically get confused by what "conservative" means these days; it seems that William Buckley and National Review were able to change the idea of what "conservativism" is. Speaking for myself, I prefer a conservatism that is highly skeptical of the State and centralized power. That is, one that vehemently believes that defense spending should be about actual defense and not being involved in countless foreign entanglements that have little to do with protecting Americans. It also would seem that a political philosophy that takes seriously the idea of personal responsibility would not want the State to dictate what adults can do with other consenting adults or put in their own body. As well, instead of begging the State to have a proper definition of marriage, I think conservatives should refuse to allow the State to insert itself into the business of marriage (or rather, things being what they are, to tell it to butt out). 

 

Not knowing much about Ted Cruz, I don't know what he would say to this.

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

 @TateFegley I think most conservatives share most of these. On national defense, a proper understanding of libertarianism and conservatism should lead to the same understanding: The state's first duty under the social contract is external security. The only question after that is how much and what actions are required---how dangerous is the world? That is a point about which there will be disagreement, but the core assumption is a sine qua non. On marriage, I wholeheartedly agree (http://www.westernfreepress.com/2012/11/14/can-social-conservatives-and-the-gop-break-up-but-stay-friends/), and I think a lot of socons would too if the argument were made properly. The drug thing is very tricky, but for now, I would like conservatives and libertarians to set aside some of the stuff on the periphery about which we disagree and focus on the huge core of stuff about which we agree. Statism is gunning for all of us. We must prioritize!

anarchobuddy
anarchobuddy

 @WesternFreePress Right. I think at the top of my list would be the defense issue: it costs a lot of lives, a lot of money, and is always an excuse for the federal government to expand its power. If we could all agree on this then I think it would entail major positive changes.

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

 @TateFegley I have had the same experience re: Medicare and tea partiers. And the average age thing....yep, sigh. See my point about the "factory" here (http://www.westernfreepress.com/2012/11/13/are-ron-paul-supporters-the-future-of-the-gop/)

 

And yes, we need to go for flat or consumption tax, but lower, not higher :-)

 

And regulation is out of control and yes, hard to scale back. It really has become the "administrative despotism" that de Tocqueville warned us about.

 

The key may be to start with a philosophy of "lessarchism." Don't come on too strong with full-blown minarchism. Just say, "hey, let's start to scale back and see how things go" :-)

anarchobuddy
anarchobuddy

 @WesternFreePress Well, those things would probably be my number two priorities (if I did have to make rankings. I would not sacrifice a positive coalition that could be made in order to advocate a policy that would fall on deaf ears). It's just that I find the warfare state to be especially upsetting. You are probably right about defense cuts being a nonstarter, but I find that to be a shame for people who believe they have a commitment to fiscal responsibility, care about military members, are pro-life, etc.

 

I would love to unify regarding entitlements, it's just that I haven't yet seen a lot of reason to be optimistic about it, at least locally. This is mostly due to my experience with local conservative and tea party members, who are overwhelmingly almost always at least twice my age (this repeatedly came to mind while watching the video about the demographic winter!). I was disappointed to see that one of their gripes with Obamacare was its cuts to Medicare when you and I both know that there is no possibility of a balanced budget if Medicare is not changed drastically with all its trillions in unfunded liabilities.

 

I think we can widely agree that unequal taxation is a bad thing. I just hope that the focus of discontent is not centered on the "47%" but on the Congress that made such a situation possible. As well, I hope we can agree that the optimal direction to move in is not to raise others' taxes to achieve equality, but to drastically reduce everyone's taxes.

 

 Regulation seems to be a favorite rhetorical whipping boy, but I don't know of any major repeals of regulation in recent memory. Of course, one of the problems is that the majority of these regulations are created by unelected bureaucrats. I'm not sure how to unify upon this issue in order to create change. Most people will not want to be considered totally anti-regulation, so it might be the case that we need to unify against particular regulations and/or reformation of the unaccountable system that creates them.

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

 @TateFegley Aw shucks, this is the tragedy of my hope for unity----people will differ so much on what we should unify on. I would argue that cuts to defense are going to be a nonstarter for most conservatives, but that entitlements, unequal taxation, regulation, government encroachment, etc. are a more likely area of agreement.