I’m with Ted.
To see the real contest between Ted and Trump, compare something other than what the news outlets permit you to see. Start with the Cruz and Trump official websites. Note the way that they speak about (or if they even mention at all) education, family, the Constitution, and religious liberty. Compare the clarity and substance of their points. Compare their histories of real action versus talk.
To me, there is no real contest after you do this.
The only thing I sincerely like about Trump is his slogan: “Make America Great Again”.
I wonder: how, precisely, would Trump do that –without having outlined steps to actively uphold religious freedom, educational freedom, the First Amendment, religious liberty, and the family as the central unit of society, traditionally defined? On these issues –my issues– Trump seems stumped.
Cruz has real, defined solutions based on foundational principles, but Trump has not. What Trump has is hot air, angry bravado, a memorable slogan, and a nifty hat.
In researching which candidate upholds my priorities, I first took a look at Cruz’s and Trump’s official websites:
On Trump’s site, you see a lot of stuff for sale and you see narcissistic campaign articles about the Trump movement itself. You don’t learn anything substantive. There’s no mention of my priorities on his site. That scares me. Trump’s “issues” page only lists:
- HEALTHCARE REFORM
- U.S.-CHINA TRADE REFORM
- VETERANS ADMINISTRATION REFORMS
- TAX REFORM
- SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS
- IMMIGRATION REFORM
On Cruz’ site, however, the “issues” page mentions all three of my top issues. His list is:
The Cruz website focuses on principles and gives information about how Cruz has taken action on those principles, such as the vital detail of why religious freedom is so important. The site says:
- “America was founded on a revolutionary idea. Our rights do not come from government. They come from God.
- Ted has spent his career defending religious liberty. He has fought to protect our First Amendment rights in a number of Supreme Court cases, and as U.S. Senator, he has been a tireless fighter for the right to freely live according to our faith.
- As a presidential candidate, Ted Cruz has hosted two national religious liberties rallies and has brought together Christians who have been persecuted for their beliefs so that people across the country can listen to their stories and stand united for our first freedom.
- On day one, a President Cruz will instruct the Department of Justice, the IRS, and every other federal agency that the persecution of religious liberty ends today.”
Aside from the websites, think about their histories. I especially like the story of Cruz, as Texas Solicitor General in 2005, who stood up to and beat the combined forces of murderer-rapist Jose Medellin plus the U.S. federal government plus the U.N. “International Court”. The U.S. and U.N. courts attempted to side with Medellin, who had raped and killed two Texas teenagers as part of a gang initiation. The U.S./U.N. courts argued that although Medellin was guilty, Medellin should not be tried by Texas, but by Mexico. Cruz won the case for Texas. The murderer-rapist, Medellin, was executed.
Trump has what history? He has made money, despite a lot of bankruptcies, and he had a reality show that a lot of people watched. And?
This is not a high school popularity contest. Choosing the wrong candidate can have devastating, even deadly, consequences.
As Mitt Romney pointed out this week, “Trump’s bombast is already alarming our allies and fueling the enmity of our enemies… What he said on “60 Minutes,” about Syria and ISIS, has to go down as the most ridiculous and dangerous idea of the campaign season… This is recklessness in the extreme. Donald Trump lacks the temperament to be president. …[He] mocked a disabled reporter… attributed a reporter’s questions to her menstrual cycle… mocked a brilliant rival who happened to be a woman, due to her appearance… bragged about his marital affairs, and who laces his public speeches with vulgarity…. Mr. Trump is directing our anger for less than noble purposes… He calls for the use of torture and for killing the innocent children and family members of terrorists. He cheers assaults on protesters. He applauds the prospect of twisting the Constitution to limit first amendment freedom of the press. This is the very brand of anger that has led other nations into the abyss.”
The anger that Trump displays, which so many Americans feel, does not suddenly translate into a reversal of those things that make us mad. Anger is not enough. We need a president with substantive, defined plans; with honest, noble character; with a proven track record of dedication to honorable and Constitutional principles. That is not Donald Trump, nor Hillary Clinton, nor Bernie Sanders. The best available embodiment of noble aims and history is Ted Cruz.
Finally, what about Common Core?
Ted Cruz has a simple, excellent plan that moves us in the right direction, called Five for Freedom. It calls for elimination of unconstitutional agencies, including eliminating the federal Department of Education. Trump, on the other hand, makes no mention of education on his website.
It was a year ago that Ted Cruz tweeted: “Federal government has no business sticking its nose in education. We need to repeal every word of Common Core.”
Nowadays, all the Republican candidates are suddently posturing as if they are opposed to Common Core. How convenient for them, now that Common Core has become a byword.
About five minutes ago, when Trump seemed to realize that millions of grassroots Americans won’t vote for anyone who admits they’re working with, or cashing in on, the common core/common data alignment monopoly, he started making statements like “We’re cutting Common Core!” That statement elicits cheers. But Trump does not demonstrate understanding of how deep and penetrating the unwanted, common alignment of all things educational has grown, nor how sobering and difficult a task it will be to untangle it and retrieve freedom.
Know, too, that paid Common Core endorsers are top Trump endorsers.)
See through this. Trump got on the anti-Common Core, #StopFedEd bandwagon recently (in his speeches, but still not on his website). John Kasich started pretending to have fought against Common Core. (Look at Kasich’s track record.) And Marco Rubio? He’s unfortunately been confused or lukewarm on freedom in education, for years. Cruz has been with us all along.
When Senator Mike Lee endorsed Ted Cruz, he explained in a New York Times interview why Trump was not his pick: “Mr. Lee… said he worried about [Trump’s] policy positions and views on presidential power. ‘I’m still waiting to hear more detail from Donald Trump on where he stands on a whole host of issues,’ Mr. Lee said.”
We are all waiting for that. Where does Trump stand on common, aligned education standards when they alter their names? What about the common, aligned data standards? Where does Trump stand on privacy rights? Where does he stand on family rights? The right to life? Marriage or adoption of children by homosexuals? The restoration of the Constitution? Where does he stand on the Federal Reserve? Where does he stand on religious freedom? His silence is deafening on vital issues, yet he rants like a drunken sailor about making America great again. That is not meaningful to me.
Cruz is not perfect. He has said things that I don’t competely agree with. But I don’t completely agree with my own dear husband, all of the time. And that is okay. Cruz is not a danger to our nation; Trump is. So are (of course) Hillary and Bernie.
Trump seems almost a typecast for a dictatorship, a drunken one. I can’t resist sharing a video that uses Trump audio clips with a lip-synching actor; you’ll either laugh or want to cry. I know it’s immature, but it’s so darn poignant.
Please recall that last summer, a report card posted by Pulse 2016 and American Principles Project graded presidential candidates on their actions in getting rid of Common Core.
The only person who had an “A” then, who is still in the campaign, is Ted Cruz. Take a look at the grades and the criteria. It’s very telling.
Although I have a Cruz bumper sticker on my minivan and although I cheerlead for Ted Cruz on Facebook, I hadn’t, until recently, felt that making a specific Ted Cruz blog endorsement would be valuable. It felt like it would be preaching to the choir. I guess I’m naiive enough to have believed that people would see what I have seen, in comparing Trump and Cruz. I thought that the “pro-freedom-in-education” gang all agreed that it’s only been Ted Cruz who has consistently, and with more than a five-minute history, been outspoken against Common Core and the top-down suffocation of local control in every aspect of education.
It seemed like the most obvious thing in the world, to me, that Cruz was the best choice. But I was wrong about the obvious part. Some of my friends and family members are “yuge” Trump fans. They say that he’s strong. They say that he’s refreshingly blunt and politically incorrect. They say that he’s so rich that he doesn’t have to be beholden to lobbyists, the way all the other candidates on both left and right supposedly must. They say that he’ll intimidate our enemies. Tempting thoughts, all.
But I agree with what Gina Dalfonzo wrote, in an article for First Things entitled “Nikabrik’s Candidate” –that there’s a desperation, similar to the oppressed people in C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian– in the desperation of Trump supporters. Dalfonzo wrote:
“How could… the good guys in this story become corrupt enough to seek help from someone whose greed, brutality, and lust for power were legendary?
“…Nikabrik’s fears are legitimate. His enemies are real and powerful… He is right to recognize the need for help. He is wrong to decide that help must come from a force equally merciless—wrong when he tells Caspian, ‘I’ll believe in anyone or anything . . . that’ll batter these cursed Telmarine barbarians to pieces or drive them out of Narnia. Anyone or anything, Aslan or the White Witch, do you understand?’
“This is how good people with strong, ingrained values—people who have invested time and money in the sanctity of life, religious liberty, and similarly noble causes— …end up flocking to a reality-show star who spends his days on Twitter calling people ‘dumb’ and ‘loser.’ This is how some who have professed faith in Jesus Christ are lured by a man who openly puts all his faith in power and money, the very things Christ warned us against prizing too highly. As one wag on Twitter pointed out, “If elected, Donald Trump will be the first US president to own a strip club,” and yet he has the support of Christians who fervently believe that this country needs to clean up its morals.
“…Tired of waiting for Aslan—who may be nearer than we think—we turn elsewhere. It doesn’t matter if our candidate hates, bullies, and exploits other people, the reasoning goes… Hatred is a perfectly acceptable weapon, as long as it’s ‘on our side.’”
Are Trump supporters like Nikabrik in Prince Caspian, desperate for anything and anyone to defend them, even if that defender is evil? Have Americans forsaken the principles that really did make America great? Do Americans want Trump– regardless of his character, and regardless of the intended or unintended results that will come from unfettered rage and mannerlessness? Is something as transitory as anger the prerequisite to good leadership? Does blunt anger “trump” all other qualities? What lasting good can come from following such a man?
My church teaches that “honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold” because “when the wicked rule the people mourn”; also, that we must “befriend” the “constitutional law of the land”(Doctrine and Covenants 98: 6-10). It doesn’t say to seek or uphold perfect candidates; there aren’t any. It says to find the most honest, the most good, the one most seeming to befriend the Constitution.
By that, I choose Cruz.