Like millions of Americans last evening, I eagerly awaited Sen. Ted Cruz’s speech at the Republican National Convention. It’s no secret, Sen. Cruz was my first choice. As I listened to his speech, I was reminded of why he was my first choice. He started with a beautiful tribute to slain Dallas Police Officer Michael Smith. He mentioned President Obama and Hillary Clinton by name, and said how the Democratic Party was “the party that thinks ISIS is a “JV team,” that responds to the death of Americans at Benghazi by asking, “What difference does it make?” That thinks it’s possible to make a deal with Iran, which celebrates as holidays “Death to America Day” and “Death to Israel Day.” He went on to touch on subjects that are truly dear to me, such as the failure known as Obamacare, taxes that are out of control, keeping the Internet unregulated, free speech, freedom of religion, the right to keep and bear arms, a Supreme Court that adheres to the Constitution, and so much more. I was happy to see him taking an active part in the Republican Party. It was beautiful! Until he uttered these words: “Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.” At that moment, it dawned on me: he would not be endorsing Donald Trump. My elation quickly turned to great disappointment.
While I can say I respect Sen. Cruz for refusing to endorse the man who maligned his wife and father, for standing by his principles, and for having the courage to give a speech knowing fully well the crowd would turn on him, I was greatly displeased that he didn’t endorse the man the people of the Republican Party chose as their nominee. To make matters worse, my position puts me at odds with people who generally share many of my political beliefs! “Never Trump” folks are not pleased that I did not support Sen. Cruz’s speech, Trump supporters are livid that I still respect Sen. Cruz after his speech, and libertarians are annoyed that I am voting for Trump rather than seeking an alternative! It’s quite the conundrum.
Just because someone I support does something I do not agree with, is not cause in and of itself for me to stop supporting him. No one is perfect, and it is truly rare to agree with everything a person says or does. As a husband, father, and family man, I can certainly empathize with Sen. Cruz’s deep resentment and animosity towards the man who said the things Donald Trump said about his wife and his father. Which is why I do respect him for what he did.
The issue I have with what Sen. Cruz has done is, simply put, it was crass, it was boorish and it was classless. It not only made the Senator look like a petulant, sore loser, it reflects poorly on conservatives and the Republican Party in general. Will it hurt Donald Trump? I don’t think it will. I think, like so many other things that have happened during this election cycle, it will be forgotten in a week. Just like Melania’s speech. But that doesn’t excuse it.
I am also upset because had he simply endorsed Trump, he would have earned the gratitude of a man who is known to reward loyalty. He may have been given the opportunity to contribute to the Trump administration as an adviser, cabinet member, or even an appointment on the Supreme Court. Should the unthinkable happen, and Trump were to lose to Hillary in November, he would have positioned himself to be the Republican nominee to defeat her in 2020. However, as a result of his speech last night, none of those things are likely to happen. I believe that is a great loss to the country. Sen. Cruz has the intelligence, the knowledge, and the ability to fix so many things that are wrong, and he greatly diminished his ability to do that with his actions last evening.
It really is very simple for me: the primary season is like a wedding engagement. During an engagement, family members and good friends should be honest with the groom and/or bride regarding their thoughts and opinion on the upcoming marriage. People who truly love you, should be strong enough to take the difficult path, being candid, frank and upfront with you, even though you may not like to hear what they have to say. There may be heated discussions, or possibly even fights during this time, and that’s okay. Ultimately, the bride and groom must decide for themselves, and once they do, family and good friends should support their decision. Well Sen. Cruz, the engagement is over. You did your best to convince Republicans that you were their best choice. You almost succeeded by placing second, but people have spoken, and they chose Donald Trump. You had the opportunity to be a “good friend” to the American public, accepting the marriage of Donald Trump and the Republican Party, but you did not. I’m very sorry that you chose not to. By doing so, you essentially estranged yourself from your Republican family.
Donald Trump has said and done many things that I disagree with. He was quite literally my least favorite candidate. But now he has become the head of my “Republican Family”. I am confident that he will lead this country down a better path than Hillary Clinton. I will continue to voice my concerns whenever he says or does something I disagree with, but I wholeheartedly support him and will be voting for him in November.by