This weekend, I will be posting on The New Americana about how the Ted Cruz endorsement of Donald Trump for President is the rallying call conservatives have needed to finally break free from the bonds of the GOP in order to form a new conservative party. This was based upon initial reactions from many NeverTrumpers who looked to Cruz as a leader. Their reactions were not as Trump or Cruz had likely hoped.
Before we get into that, it’s important to understand that I hold no bitterness towards Cruz. It became clear through his primary campaign that many of the things we clung to regarding Cruz as a principled conservative were negotiable. This didn’t make him any worse of a candidate in most of our eyes. It simply made us realize that he’s much more of a politician than we had initially hoped. No big deal, really. Just as we put our best foot forward easily during a first date but often struggle to maintain it as a relationship continues, the revelations early on that Cruz was a politician didn’t take away from the fact that he was the best candidate for the job.
This latest “betrayal” was simply a political move, one that will prove to be a poor one. By turning the attention away from Trump’s shortcomings and towards the existential threat that Hillary Clinton poses, Cruz attempted to justify his decision as a righteous one. He, Trump, and the GOP hoped that it would be a wakeup call to those of us opposed to Trump that we have a bigger battle to fight. It was the standard “lesser of two evils” argument that we’ve been hearing for months.
That’s the problem. We already know Hillary is an existential threat. Our concern is that Trump may be a little less of an existential threat or may be even worse. At this point, we don’t know and it was people like Cruz who we looked to in order to act as the conservative dissent against Trump’s leftward lurch. Cruz pointed to a mode disciplined campaign in recent weeks as justification for changing his mind. What he failed to mention is that Trump has changed in other ways since the convention as well. He’s exposed more of his liberal ideologies, pulling down his tax cuts, promoting big government spending, proposing a minimum wage increase, pushing for government-funded maternity leave, and a handful of other Democratic ideas being adopted by the GOP. In other words, Trump may be campaigning nicer, but he’s even MORE of a threat to society today than when Cruz failed to endorse him at the convention.
This is going to hurt the GOP. It brings to light the thing that conservatives have feared the most: an unchecked Trump. Please don’t take this as support for Hillary in any way, but the one thing she has going for her in the eyes of conservatives is that she’s a clear force for us to unite against an oppose. With Trump, the opposition from the right is currently scattered. It was people like Cruz who gave us at least a little hope that Trump could be reined in by conservatives if he were to win the Presidency. By endorsing, he loses his standing as a conservative dissenter to Trump’s liberal ways.
Some would say that an endorsement does not mean that someone has embraced them fully. I disagree. That’s not to say that endorses are incapable of dissent, but it takes away their core argument. Trump represents the new Republican Party, one that can finally achieve its long-term goal of being the moderate party rather than the conservative one. The more that conservatives like Cruz endorse Trump, the more relevant a new party becomes.
We will be building this party. With or without Cruz, the need for conservatives to have a valid and tangible voice has never been more clear. If anything, Cruz boarding the Trump Train is further justification and an example of how lost the GOP has become.