July 26, 2016
Somebody check the temperature in Hell. I suspect it's snowing there right now. I never dreamed there would come a time I would type these words: I applaud Ted Cruz.
Granted, I still think the man is an arrogant jerk who, if elected, would probably act to take away a woman's right to vote. Politically I agree with him on nothing. But personally, he gets my approval this week. He was right when he encouraged attendees of the Republican National Convention to vote their conscience in November and when he refused to endorse Donald Trump. Both of these acts earned him a chorus of boos from those on the RNC floor last week.
The Texas senator explained his reasoning by stating, "I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father."
Good for him. Being loyal to your family is more important than being loyal to your political party. There's something wrong with you if opportunity is more valuable than defending the people you love.
I will be the first to admit I've made some cracks at my family's expense — in conversation, in this column, in therapy sessions. But if anyone ever actually agreed with me and said, "Yeah, your family sounds weird," I would unleash a whole different level of crazy. I get to make fun of them, but no one gets to actually concur.
Earlier this year Mr. Trump went after his rival by going after Ted Cruz's family. He took a jab at Mrs. Cruz's appearance and suggested Ted Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The attacks were so childish and baseless, I was half waiting for Trump to also tweet something that starts with, "Your mamma's so fat…".
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Ted Cruz was right to refuse to promote someone who verbally and digitally assaulted his family. And there's something really wrong with anyone who claims personal insults like this should be dismissed at the voting booth.
In addition to defending his family, Ted Cruz urged convention goers to "vote your conscience" in November. The statement earned him scorn from fellow Republicans and another round of boos. Neither of which I understand. How is it possible for Constitution-loving conservatives to ridicule someone practicing one of the most sacred and basic freedoms we enjoy as Americans? If you believe in free speech, you don't get to boo the speech you don't agree with. The reality of free speech is that you will hear things you don't agree with. You'll hear things that make you mad and things that hurt you. But that doesn't mean you get to silence your critics. An evolved society requires differing points of view.
Which is the only way to make sense of the now official Republican ticket, though I hesitate to consider either name on it evolved. I don't quite understand how Mike Pence got on the ticket. He and Trump don't seem to agree on much. Their views are so opposite I imagine the bumper stickers will feature two elephants butting heads. Pence has gone on the record a number of times disagreeing with Donald Trump. He's said, "Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional." Pence supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which Trump considers a disaster for American businesses. Pence disagreed with Trump's comments on Indiana-born judge Golanzo Curiel, when Trump suggested the judge should not oversee lawsuits against him, given Curiel's Mexican heritage.
Most people who speak out against Trump get insulted on Twitter, but Mike Pence got nominated for a promotion. One has to wonder how that happened. I suspect the conversation went something like this:
Trump: "I'm good on hating Mexicans and Muslims, but I think I could be more anti women and gays."
Aide: "Mike Pence is available."
Trump: "Lock it up."
Pence of course has a long and, frankly, terrifying record of being so far to the religious right, even many conservatives don't agree with him. For starters, he voted against legislation aimed at preventing job discrimination based on sexual orientation and he's opposed prosecution of sexually oriented hate crimes. He has also attempted to decimate a woman's legal right to abortion, and signed into a law a measure that mandated fetuses from abortion or miscarriage must be interred or cremated.
With that in mind, Pence actually has a lot more in common with Ted Cruz than he does Donald Trump. And there will be a blizzard in Hell before I vote for any of them.
Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident, and the proud owner of two rescued Dalmatians, Stanley and Willis. The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer. Follow her on Twitter @amycroberts.
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