Monday, March 23, 2015

Senator Ted Cruz’s 2016 Presidential Campaign Message, uncompromising conservatism: the first among the Republican pack

Keywords or terms: Ted Cruz; Presidential Campaign; Republican Party; Extremism; Liberty University; Canadian-born; Natural-born Citizen; Foreign-born Citizen; Abolishing IRS; Repealing Affordable Care Act; American Taliban; Narrow and hallowed vision of Nationalism; Pro-Choice, Abortion; LGBT

There are many superlatives associated with the declaration of the first Republican to announce his run for the White House in 2016. Ted Cruz, born in Canada, recently naturalized as a citizen, US Senator from Texas, announced his candidacy yesterday before an audience of supporters at Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia; with the mantra: the most conservative of all Republican Candidates. He wants his supporters to imagine a President who would repeal the Affordable Care Act, abolish the Internal Revenue Service, defend the sanctity of human life and uphold the sacrament of marriage. If you are in a different world from where the hardliners, call them American Taliban resides, you will be aghast at such a mission; you will be appalled that a 2016 Presidential Candidate is seeking to be extreme in his submission or judgement regarding what Americans want; and, you will probably want to tell Ted Cruz, you are a long shot candidate.

However, if you reside in the world of Tea Party, conservative idea-logs, angry Anglo-Saxon White male and anti-establishment gurus, whose ultimate goal is to vanquish order in the World of American Politics, then you are definitely with the foreign-born American who is seeking to rule over America, by undoing an institution with its roots in over two centuries. If I quote strictly the constitution as purist will often do, Article II Section 1 Clause 5 says, “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.” Purely on this basis, Mr. Ted Cruz, is automatically disqualified. On the other hand, if I refuse to be a constitutional purist out of deference to other people; an accommodation that the extreme conservative brand of Senator Cruz’s candidacy and anti-establishment follower-ship hardly appreciates; then, I believe Ted Cruz’s 2016 candidacy is probably based on Amendment XIV, Section 1: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” To share in the fourteenth amendment, it is unfortunate that the Senator’s candidacy is based on a principle he is hardly aligned; since he considers himself, an extremist of a kind in the Republican Party; a member that cuddles the strict interpretation of the US Constitution.

Factor all these out, it is probably questionable if centrists among Republicans will offer a candidate seeking to abrogate the Internal Revenue Service, not to talk of repealing the affordable care act, an opportunity to fester his brand of presidential campaign beyond Iowa or South Carolinian primaries. Though libertarians are all for the abrogation of the only institution known to bring revenue to Uncle Sam to afford for governance, non-other factions in Republican party of today, has that much clout, to help the Canadian-born Ted Cruz achieve his improbable ambition. If Conservative Republicans are fed up with leadership of both major political parties in America, it is going to take more than a forty-four year old, Canadian-born, naturalized citizen of less than three years, to accomplish their mischievous dream.

Apart also from the question of eligibility in the case of Senator Ted Cruz, the issue regarding his Cuban father and American mother in a foreign land, giving birth to a Canadian child who ended up in Texas, who not till recently, three years’ US citizen I understand, will be one that the US Supreme Court may have to attend to lay to rest the question of eligibility. In case Cruz’s Presidential Campaign galvanizes enough support among the Republican Proletariat to move on to being the party’s flag bearer, the nation still has the question to answer: do we like or appreciate his kind of politics in 2016 and beyond? I have no issue with Ted Cruz’s candidacy based on his nature of birth: natural-born citizen vs. foreign-born citizen. My issue lies in his brand of politics, extremism.

To a great extent, controversy keeps everyone on his or her toes, and there are many academics who will argue that controversy is not only healthy for a bugging democracy; it ensures that the status-quo, does not just get over confident or complacent. The brand of controversy that Ted Cruz’s candidacy fans, is probably the disruptive kind. Imagine getting rid of the internal revenue service or denying females from having choices when it comes to issues of their health? Except Senator’s Cruz’s extremist rhetoric is different from his political reality, it is hard to appreciate his tone of advancements in political campaign message that may lead to further national government disruption or paralysis. It is not only benign, imagining what extremist groups and extremism have done to the current occupant of the White House, Ted Cruz candidacy’s message narrows democratic discourse to profanity: abortion, discrimination, pig-headiness and anti-establishments. These are subjects that close-off compromises and make governance very difficult. To adhere to the principal of my-way or the highway, as is often associated with conservative extremist’s rhetoric, hardly borders well for either a democracy, aristocracy, or theocracy.

For the baby boomers, a generation that experienced the Second World War and the nuclear arms race, the basic longing for team efforts in resolving national issues is very primordial. That generation understands what extremism can do to public psychic, just as we all saw in former USSR, Vietnam, and Eastern Germany. To maintain a thriving economy and a free democracy, no one must accommodate, let alone, tolerate extremism, the kind that is associated with Ted Cruz and his bedridden tea party supporters. With the rise of Tea Party and extremist groups, Establishment Republicans are gradually recognizing with dismay, that those mainstream Republican values they assumed will be passed on to succeeding generations, are now becoming mirage. Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign message is not only an affront to Democratic values; it is actually calling to question the authenticity of mainstream Republican values. No argument, no matter how good, will justify extremism in a democracy. Part of the lure for the brand of Ted Cruz’s extremism in presidential campaign message lies in the conception that you can passionately believe in an idea or ideas, and vigorously chase those to the end, without caring about whose  gore is being let out; who is being devalued and what institution is about to be damaged.

Expression of extreme single-minded vision of what the future of America must be, Germane to Tea party and fellowship, has tendency of creating uncertainty, complexity and frustrations, even among die-hard extremists. The challenge that this kind of group or politician faces, is the question of resolving needs of multiplicities of peoples and multitudes of opinions on the way to addressing national political problems. In addition to the potential of ostracizing many minority groups in a democracy, extremism ideas or initiatives have the potential of breaking alliances that make people feel a sense of shared responsibility, commitment and reward. It is not only dangerous for our kind of democracy, it evaporates confidence and endangers public interest in pluralistic democracy; and in the long run, citizens become disenchanted and increasingly troubled on the course of the nation.

The impression that extreme group(s) and political agenda fanned by Senator Cruz’s presidential candidacy have to do with narrow and hollow vision of nationalism. Hardly justifiable, there is a form of succor that makes people like him and fellowship, feel a sense of ephemeral achievement or accomplishment, one only recognized by the extremist group’s membership. This is why, it is difficult to build a teaming fellowship behind that kind of candidacy. In the following months, Senator Cruz will find out that many Americans, including the deep pockets, are unwilling to give their money to extremist candidates; and hardly share his vision for America. In comparing donation to other Republican candidates as Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, Ted Cruz’s campaign manager will ultimately find out that, whatever initial support that his candidacy may now be generating, will easily evaporate and the campaign left in shambles because of his chosen campaign message.

Further, the cornerstone on which Ted Cruz’s presidential candidacy rests can closely be aligned with hatred of others and governmental institutions. The campaign rhetoric is hardly built on the essence or reasonable persuasions of opposing groups, or others who hardly share his vision of America. Our Democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people; not a minority fringe group(s) working to bring down the whole system. Our democracy depends on the dual strategy of securing a balance of power between the three arms of government, the legislative, executive, and judiciary; and, an openness of cooperation of people inhabiting those arms or carrying out the duties of those offices. This dual strategy means that each arm of government must see each other as both a potential opponent and a possible and formidable partner. The complexity and the ambivalence of this dual strategy, does not mean that Americans seek alternative course that can quickly turn the whole thing to a menace, nightmare; or persistent gridlock of unsolvable differences.

Finally, America will never be strengthened by a candidacy built on division and discrimination. If a presidential candidacy is to succeed, it must not subordinate the interest of a particular minority group, just as Ted Cruz’s campaign message to defend the sanctity of human life, a code phrase for anti-abortion and denying women’s right to choice in matters affecting their bodies; and, uphold the sacrament of marriage; another phrase of denying equality of sexes, or ostracizing folks with alternative life-styles (LGBT communities). His campaign message is a difficult sell in current day America, because of growing shift in American public opinion towards these issues. To make a counter insurgence or opinion to what progressives have considered imperatives in modern day America, seems a political suicide for any candidate seeking votes to help him or her win the US Presidency.
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