My Bitter and Begrudging Yet Full-Throated Cruz Endorsement

A message to my fellow Marco Rubio supporters

We lost.

Reform Conservatives (or conservatives who see the need to compromise at all) lost the fight for the Republican party this election. And we have lost more than that. We have probably lost the national election. Possibly the Republican party will implode despite my well-reasoned exhortations. We will likely lose the Supreme Court. We have missed the window to repeal the Affordable Care Act in any meaningful sense. Our war against ISIS will likely continue to be to lob a few missiles every bad news cycle for Hillary Clinton before she declares normal relations with the Islamic State. We have lost the opportunity to change the way the federal government works. We have lost.

And yet we can still decide how we lose. I choose to lose with Ted Cruz.

Let me explain how equally difficult this is yet how commensurately enthusiastic I am about it.

I probably agree with Ted Cruz on governance and philosophy on 90% of the issues in principle (though if I thought his current immigration stance were his true position, I probably could not support him). And initially my opposition to him was solely that he was not nearly as electable to the general public as Marco Rubio was. Or the same reason I did not rally around Bobby Jindal, with whom I also agreed a great deal. (And he was an experienced governor to boot. But why risk it in a layup election? Ah well.) I initially supported his effort to shutdown the government over the ACA, but later repented of this position as it was never going to win and likely only a chance for Cruz to begin his Presidential campaign. But as the election season wore on, I came to personally loathe Ted Cruz. His campaign’s self-righteous conservatism flowed from the leader and divided conservatives on very core issues like defunding Planned Parenthood. His dishonest attacks on his primary opposition were repugnant. His artificial southern Baptist preacher act grew tiresome. (Some Southern Baptist who made $10m with his wife over 5 years and gave less than 1% to any charity, let alone his church; he explained this away by first attacking the accusers.) His campaign’s dirty tricks and race baiting are reprehensible.

His campaign has not only not disavowed the endorsement of lunatic preachers like Mike Bickle, they actually defended him and, to some degree, the scriptural basis for some of his beliefs about Jews. Cruz later disavowed Bickle’s beliefs but not his endorsement as John McCain had done. Also his dad is a weirdo and a fraud, who likely created Cruz’s messianic complex but Cruz uses him for his political career anyway. His very voice is grating.

Most of Cruz’s supporters are wonderful people in real life. A few are not. And a few are just charged by the election. But as any non-Cruz supporter on political Twitter will tell you, quite a few are as insufferable as their political idol.

An Insufferable Cruz Supporter

These sorts of comments are particularly rich given Cruz’s history with Trump which Cruz supporters have completely ignored or explained away while simultaneously attacking us for enabling Trump by not supporting Cruz.

Cruz is a political neophyte who is only 6 months older than Marco Rubio, has held only one elected position in his life and that only for 3 plus years. He’s a brilliant lawyer but he and his style, tactics, and brand of conservatism represent some of the worst aspects of the Right and why most of the country is reluctant to embrace conservatives and our philosophy.

And yet…

He is our only chance to stop Donald Trump. As it stands Donald Trump needs 60% of the remaining delegates to earn the nomination outright before the process moves to a contested convention. He has been hovering at about 43% of the delegates. If you love your country, if you have any notion of preserving the tattered remains of the Republican party, if you have any fidelity to conservatism- Donald Trump cannot be allowed to represent us. Ted Cruz is likely not going to earn our vote. He is not going to suddenly play the conciliatory leader even amongst conservatives. He and many of his adherents will be as insufferable as they were the day prior. (The same people who refused to vote for Rubio in Florida to stop Trump.) That is immaterial. We must stop Trump in the remaining primaries to the best of our ability. And then we must thwart Trump, and Kasich from enabling him, at the Convention. It is imperative.

A slight chance still exists that 1) Trump can be stopped 2)Cruz can win the nomination and 3) Cruz can win the general election. It’s not a great chance. But we must seize it for the only conservative candidate remaining in the race.

You’re tired. You feel defeated and drained. You have suffered through a nonstop Trump barrage on television and online. You have seen supposedly conservative thought leaders and politicians sell out our movement. You have suffered the condescension of Cruz and a number of his more crazed supporters. You defended against every dishonest Jeb Bush PAC attack. You have fought the Twitter and Facebook wars for the best conservative candidate we have seen since Ronald Reagan, only to see him lose his home state to Donald Trump. You feel broken.

I do too.

But let us stand, together, one more time as conservatives who love our country and as people who will not go quietly into that good night. Not for Cruz’s sake nor some belief in him as the Conservative Messiah. But for our own conscience and the chance to reclaim what should have been an easy election.

Rubio would have wanted it that way.

We are adults. We are supposed to be realists and not absolutists. We have only one choice to make.

I endorse Ted Cruz.