In this crazy GOP primary season, I have come out frequently for John Kasich although I could have lived with Marco Rubio as well. Given the available choices, a Kasich/Rubio ticket would be a pretty formidable duo to face either Clinton or Sanders in November.
For me, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are non-starters. In this post, I want to outline why I can’t vote for Ted Cruz.
Cruz promises to deport 12 million illegal immigrants
Not only does Cruz hold a morally reprehensible policy in my view, but he toughened his position to pander to the pro-Trump crowd. In February, Cruz told Bill O’Reilly that he would deport all undocumented immigrants who are in the U.S. However, in January, he said he wouldn’t send immigration authorities to homes to round them up. Furthermore, he made a point to say that those he evicts won’t be allowed to try for legal entry later as favored by Trump.
Watch Cruz on the O’Reilly Factor:
In practice, I believe the forced eviction of 12 million people would be a humanitarian disaster, comparable to the forced migration of Native Americans during the Trail of Tears between 1830 and 1850. It is conceivable that some will resist deportation setting up possible violent stand-offs with authorities. Many have children who were born here. I can imagine children left behind in makeshift arrangement with many tragic stories. I can also imagine myself taking some kind of action to protest mass deportation; I certainly won’t vote to make it more likely to happen.
In addition to the logistical and moral problems, it would be quite costly, Forbes Magazine estimated that the deportation of approximately 12 million people would cost $114 billion. More recently, a Wall Street Journal analysis pegged the cost at around $400 billion, In addition, the hit to the GDP would be about $1 trillion.
I have to believe that Cruz is aware of the costs but is making the pledge to deport anyway for political reasons. This leads me to my next problem with Cruz
Cruz surrounds himself with people who have a problem with truth
David Barton and Glenn Beck immediately leap to mind. Barton was one of those who anointed Cruz in 2013 and Glenn Beck has been Cruz’s surrogate in the media and on the campaign trail since Beck endorsed Cruz during the Iowa primaries. Space doesn’t permit an examination of Barton’s historical and current misadventures but you can read about them here.
At Cruz’s rallies in Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada, Beck floated several fraudulent stories about George Washington (see here, here, and here). Beck issued a statement admitting the deception to Huffington Post, but he blamed HuffPo for his mistakes on his own website and never apologized or admitted the truth to Cruz’s supporters.
Barton and Beck aren’t peripheral figures in the Cruz universe. Barton heads one of Cruz’s Super PACs and Beck has become a spokesman for Cruz. Along with foreign policy advisor and conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney, Beck and Barton as close advisors call into question Cruz’s judgment. An administration full of these appointments is unthinkable.
Despite Cruz’s religious tones, I don’t trust him – In part because of his advisors, I don’t trust Cruz. Their claim that Cruz is God’s candidate is icing on the distrust cake. His father, his wife, David Barton and Glenn Beck have all expressed in one way or another that Cruz is divinely anointed to be president. In Israel’s history, God intervened and chose kings. However, America is not Israel and those who claim to know God’s will on this matter immediately arouse my suspicion.
I became more keenly aware of how little I trust Cruz when he recently said in a town hall meeting that one should be skeptical of a candidate who claims God’s favor. He was essentially holding himself up for scrutiny since he is the only candidate with that platform in this campaign.
Cruz has not spoken much about how his belief in special knowledge would inform his policy decisions. There is no religious test to become president but since Cruz has previously gotten direction through interpreting “words” given to his wife, I want to know if he will continue getting directions on big decisions in this manner as president.
To me, how he makes decisions is important because Cruz’s willingness to compromise (something he hasn’t shown much willingness to do) might be hindered by a believe that his position is God’s position. One of his advisors, David Barton, believes man’s law cannot contradict God’s law. He also believes the Bible speaks authoritatively on public policy. It is a fair question to ask: Will Cruz run the country as a pastor or politician? Given his rhetoric and advisors, I can’t support a candidate who thinks his positions are gospel rather than the offerings of a fallible man who is open to give and take.
Cruz dismisses climate change as religion
He has made several false statements about climate change science, including that the Earth has not warmed over the last 18 years (it has) and that there was a scientific consensus about “global cooling” in the 70s (not true). He seems to be on the same page as that great climate scientist David Barton.
He does with climate science what Barton and Beck do with history and social science. While some might feel that a candidate’s position on this topic shouldn’t disqualify, I believe Cruz’s approach signals how he would approach other similar issues. Instead of approaching climate change objectively, he views the topic through his religion. He views climate science as an ideology to be defeated. In other words, to me, it looks like his religious views compromise his ability to be objective about the science — not a quality that inspires trust and confidence.
Cruz’s behavior toward Arab Christians
For the American Conservative, Rod Dreher wrote about a Cruz appearance before an Arab Christian audience where Cruz walked off in the middle of his speech. Dreher wrote:
Personally, I strongly believe in the US-Israel alliance. But it is not unlimited and unconditional, and you have to be out of your mind to expect Arab Christians to share the views of American Christian Zionists on the Israel issue. The idea that Ted Cruz would take the opportunity of these Arab Christians meeting in Washington to raise awareness of the genocide being perpetrated on their people — sorry, our people, the Arab Christian people — tells me everything I need to know about his sorry character. Whenever people talk about what a sleazebag Donald Trump is, I find myself nodding along in agreement, but then I remember that Ted Cruz did this to some of the most desperate people in the world. His own people! Christian people!
Cruz’s promise to carpet bomb ISIS is reckless
Cruz promised on more than one occasion to carpet bomb ISIS. Either he doesn’t know what carpet bombing is or he intends to target civilians. Either possibility is a serious problem. I also think his uninformed tough talk does little to build alliances in the Muslim world just when we need them the most. This problem is probably the result of my next serious concern.
Cruz would have to learn on the job
The Republicans rightly criticized Barack Obama’s lack of experience in 2008. Cruz is open to the same concern. When Barack Obama left the Senate in November 2008, he had served just shy of four years. If Cruz wins the presidency, he will have served the same amount of time in the Senate. Most of what Cruz talks about is theoretical since he has no strong record of legislative accomplishment. Shutting down the government and alienating most GOP colleagues doesn’t seem like a solid foundation for the kind of wise, experienced leadership one hopes for in a president. As is true of Trump, Cruz would not be ready to be president on day one.
I could go on and I might add to the list. Generally, Cruz is to the right of Ronald Reagan while he claims to be a Reagan Republican. I would not trust or feel safe with Cruz as president. I do not believe a mass deportation is moral and I don’t believe the economy would survive it. Imagining his advisors as administration officials is frightening. There is no reason to expect that the partisan divide in D.C. would do anything but expand. Cruz has been unable to forge a working relationship with his own party, let along the political opposition. He seems to put his religious ideology ahead of sound science and political compromise.
Besides all of these considerations, Cruz consistently loses to Hillary Clinton in polls asking about voter preference in the general election. It should not be hard to see why Cruz’s positions won’t be attractive in the general election.
For all of these reasons, I simply can’t vote for Ted Cruz in PA’s primary or in November.