Presidential candidate Ted Cruz has a reputation as being a staunch conservative, one who always votes to the right in his role as a Senator and who believes in conservative principles like small government, limiting taxes, and strong national defense. That’s the perception. The reality is that he’s conservative in all the right places, leaving room for pragmatic doctrine in situations when right versus left is really a question of right versus wrong.
On taxes, there are no plans that are as squarely rooted in Tea Party values. His flat tax is pro-small- and medium-sized business, low enough to give every American a tax break but sensible enough to help the economy grow and still pay our bills. It’s liked by Forbes, who said with the Cruz tax plan “we’re all richer while still being able to fund the government.”
— Tim Worstall (@worstall) October 30, 2015
It’s liked by former Reagan economic adviser Art Laffer who said of the Cruz plan and the very similar plan by Rand Paul that, “these would be the lowest tax rates since the income tax was devised 100 years ago. Both are estimated by the Tax Foundation to grow the economy by a gigantic $2 trillion in extra GDP per year after 10 years.”
Art Laffer: Rand Paul and Ted Cruz Have Best Tax Plans https://t.co/GdwbGOXg3R
— Pat Peters, Ph.D. (@PatVPeters) November 29, 2015
Even the Tax Foundation determined that it would improve GDP growth, wages across the board, and investment in American companies while creating 4 million jobs.
— Jenks Boston (@Tbonedeluxe) November 18, 2015
All of this seems very aligned with the Tea Party, of course. That’s the reason the Tea Party came into existence in the first place as mainstream Republicans started abandoning the tenets of Ronald Reagan in order to act more like tax-and-spend Democrats. Enough is enough.
Then, there’s national security where Cruz seems to be less of a hawk than his less conservative friends and foes in Washington DC. In fact, he’s even less hawkish than the Republican Establishment’s poster boy, Marco Rubio. This is where he’s able to bridge the gap with mainstream Republicans and even with Democrats who view the nation-building concepts of the “neocons” as detrimental to the United States and the rest of the world.
Ted Cruz is using his moment to test the limits of the GOP's hawkishness: https://t.co/yfl84IYI4t
— Peter Suderman (@petersuderman) December 2, 2015
He’s not an isolationist, though. Cruz has positioned himself nicely between Rand Paul’s desire to never fight and Rubio’s desire to seek out fights. For Cruz, the right foreign policy in any situation is what will be best for Americans. If that means leaving Bashar al-Assad in power over Syria rather than having al Qaeda or other radical Islamic groups seize control of the country, so be it.
Some Republicans might view this as harmful, but the reality is that we’ve demonstrated as a country over the last four Presidential terms that interfering with stable governments invariably leads to a worse situation for both the people in the countries affected and the United States itself. If you asked Libyans whether they liked Muammar Gaddafi when he was Prime Minister, they would have said no. If you ask them today whether things are better now that he’s dead, they would also say no. Many have said they wish things would go back to the way they were rather than the turmoil that has engulfed the country ever since.
The same can be said about Egypt. The same can be said about Iraq. The same will be said about Syria if Assad is ousted. At this point, that’s unlikely with Russia’s support in place, so all of the turmoil that we attempted to stimulate by supporting the rebels to allegedly fight Assad and the Islamic State has been for naught.
A thorough review of the concepts that Ted Cruz has put forth in regards to foreign policy sound an awful lot like Ronald Reagan when the largest country we invaded was Granada. We were strong back then. We led from a position of power. We were respected and the world was changed as a result. That hasn’t been the case for a long time. Cruz is the only candidate on either side of the aisle with a tangible plan to strengthen the military and defend the country without isolating us or sending troops everywhere across the globe.
On immigration, his ideas are close to those of Donald Trump but do not go so far as to call for immediate and logistically impossible mass deportations. Secure the borders. That’s something that every Republican can appreciate. E-Verify is a technique to establish a deportation plan without going so far off the map that his ideas cannot appeal to the majority of Americans. Trump’s plan sounds great on the campaign trail to the most illiterate GOP voters, but it will not fly with the Republican base and would be vehemently opposed by Democrats and Independents.
It would be easy for Cruz to adopt the Trump talking points, but he’s not just trying to stay ahead on the GOP polls like Trump. He has a pragmatic approach to immigration that is tangible, realistic, and has the same end goals of securing the border and removing illegal immigrants in an appropriate amount of time. This is, of course, very different from the Republican Establishment candidates of Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie while still being within an acceptable bridging point for the entire party.
It’s only three issues: the economy, foreign policy, and illegal immigration, but in these three areas his views are the most effective possible plans to solve the problems the right way. Cruz is the conservative that can initiate real change without alienating huge parts of the electorate. He can win the nomination. More importantly, he can win the general election.
The majority of Republicans are looking for conservatism that is blanketed in tangible reality. When it comes to the Constitution, nobody is further to the right. When it comes to policy, Cruz is the bridge to common sense reforms that all can embrace.