In order to really start off this revisit of the Winners of 2016 Alternate Election series right, we need to go into some background on our new focus, Ted Cruz. For this first installment of the Cruz Win scenario, I wanted to give readers an idea of what Cruz’s campaign was about, and what the candidate believed. This would then make it easier later on when I start to change these views in different ways. If you don’t really care for this entry, and are looking to get right into the timeline-twisting aspect of the series, go ahead and move on to Part 5. However, if you are one who wants or needs a refresh on the candidate and his campaign, please keep reading.
TED CRUZ’S CAMPAIGN PROMISES/BELIEFS
First off, let’s go over Ted Cruz’s initial campaign stances. On economics Cruz was fully anti-Obama-economy, and criticized the Republican establishment for not being more strong when it came to legislative passages. Cruz in 2014 did not support the increase in the debt limit; this made Cruz an anti-debt kind of guy. He also criticized the Republicans on their positions in these spheres as well.
In trade areas, Cruz was vehemently in favor of trade deals. He wanted to pass them quickly in his time in the Senate, and even wrote a Wall Street Journal column in favor of one agreement-related legislative act. However, on that legislature’s voting day, Cruz flipped his position, and stopped supporting it. Cruz was against the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and constantly criticized TPP and Obama’s “weak” trade deals with China.
On taxation, Cruz was for the abolishment of the IRS, which is a federal agency, to end it’s ‘abuse of power’. Cruz also was in favor of emplacing a ‘Flat Tax’, where everyone pays an equal percentage on their paycheck (not an equal amount, but a percentage). Cruz was also against an internet sales-and-use tax, which he called a ‘burdensome tax’ (By the way, this has already been implemented as of 2019).
In the minimum wage area, Cruz was highly against raising the wage. Cruz was even against raising the wage to $10.10 per hour. This would be a potential issue over time, as the public has been growing more and more soft to an idea of a higher wage. In addition, Cruz has stated in the past that the wage ‘consistently hurts the most vulnerable’.
In the area relating to the ‘scope of government’, Cruz has said that the government’s role in life should be smaller and less intrusive. He was for the elimination or decrease of the Departments of Energy, Education, Commerce, and HUD (Housing and Urban Development). These ideals are considered a fundamental principle of conservatism, however, the elimination of these departments overall are not entirely popular in the Right’s base.
On abortion, Cruz has said that he’s very against it. This breaks in cases ‘involving the life of the mother’. He also stated that Planned Parenthood should be cut off from federal funding. Also of interest, Cruz had one coalition of support called the “Pro-Lifers for Cruz”, which was chaired by Tony Perkins and Troy Newman. In the past, Newman stated that abortion doctors needed to be executed, which was a fact that may have sparked the criticism from many moderates on the issue.
Cruz favored the use of capital punishment (the death penalty), and this drew fire from more moderate Pro-Lifers like Marco Rubio, John Kasich, and Donald Trump. After Pope Francis addressed Congress in 2015 and called for the abolition of the death penalty, Cruz (who does not share like faith of Francis in that he is a Protestant and the Pope is the literal head of Catholicism) came out and said that the Pope shouldn’t be making these kinds of statements.
On civil liberties and government/cooperation-led electronic surveillance, Cruz voted in favor of the USA Freedom Act, which reauthorized the Patriot Act. Libertarians such as Styxhexenhammer and others criticized Cruz over this; the Patriot Act was very unpopular among these groups of peoples. However, the outrage from the Right subsided when it came up that the Freedom Act was a reform on the Patriot Act, and not a full reinstatement of it. Cruz was also against NSA surveillance actions in 2012-2015. He voted against the National Defense Authorization Act, since it didn’t end the surveillance actions by the NSA. This would clash with his other opponents later on in the campaign.
In the removal of the controversial Confederate monuments, Cruz was opposed to such actions, since it was doing something to the effect of ‘erasing the Civil War’. This kind of stance was widely agreed upon by the Right, and did not separate Cruz from his opponents.
Unlike Jeb Bush, Cruz was against Common Core, for charter schools and School of Choice, and wanted to abolish the Department of Education. Cruz believed that the idea of the Department of Education was unnecessary, and that it wasn’t helpful to everyone. As a solution, Cruz wanted to give back management of the school systems and education to the states, which would kill off a certain amount of jobs and pay in the federal budget, as well as a section of that budget that could be allocated elsewhere.
In upper-level education, Cruz was opposed to Sanders’ ideas of a free college education, as that would be a huge burden on the country’s taxpayers. But, in addition, Cruz was opposed to the Student Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which was proposed by one Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
On gun rights, Cruz was a very strong supporter of the NRA and the 2nd Amendment. In his defense of his position, Cruz cited several cases including Heller v. DC, which was an important victory for gun rights’ advocates. Cruz also supported better arming of service members after the Fort Hood shooting, as well as better rules regarding what citizens and soldiers could carry.
On the healthcare debate, Cruz always talked about defunding and abolishing the ACA (or “Obamacare”) from the healthcare plan. His solution was never widely published, since his campaign focused mostly on getting rid of Obamacare. In the past, though, Cruz did compromise to avoid a government shutdown in 2013, and he even gave the fourth longest speech in US history (more than 21 hours) prior to the 100-0 vote to keep the government open. Cruz criticized his colleagues in the Senate countless times for either not trying to defund the ACA or stopping passage of several other laws relating to it.
On immigration, Cruz again criticized his fellow Republicans for their stances on the situation. With Marco Rubio, it was the “Gang of Eight Amnesty Bill”. For Jeb Bush, it was the fact that he had constantly adopted soft stances on the situation. To his own credit, Cruz was a supposed ‘hard-liner’ when it came to the issue. He did not entirely support a wall, but he did support an upgraded border enforcement plan. He also agreed with Trump on the idea that deportation and trickle-back immigration was a good plan. In all, Cruz’s stances mostly lined up with Trump and his ideas.
On terrorism and dealing with it, Cruz supported ‘carpet-bombing’ ISIS into oblivion. Unlike Rubio, who supported other means of intervention, Cruz wanted a hard and explosive end to the situation. On the issue of potential terrorist immigrants (like the ones prior to San Berindino), Cruz did support a partial ‘Muslim Ban’ like Trump, but didn’t come out and fully support Trump in his proclamation.
On the issue of homosexuality and gay marriage, Cruz was of the strong religious belief that ‘marriage is between one man and one woman’. In addition, Cruz did want the issue to go back to the states, like it was before the Obama administration changed that. Cruz was seen by non-Christians as a homophobic bigot on this issue, but he never actually wanted to propose legislation that would harm these members of the population.
Like 2018, Cruz supported the state-level decision of the legalization of marijuana. However, like gay marriage, Cruz was against it overall.
On Net Neutrality, Cruz supported the ending of it. Cruz believed that the Internet had thrived in America under no regulation, and that the implementation of such regulations would curb the innovation and growth of such an entity. Thus, he was against the online monopolies and wanted to end corporate collusion and corruption.
Cruz is basically the anti-Sanders of the Right. Yes, he believes climate change is real, but he doesn’t think it’s man-caused. Thus, he was against things like the Paris Climate Accords and other “climate control” acts.
In the endorsements category, Cruz was quite popular on a more local than a national level. Of the possible 400+ Republican House Representatives that have served in the past 10 years (and who are still Republican and living), 38 only endorsed Cruz during his campaign. Of the current ~80 Republican Senators (retired, left, or who are still currently in office), only 8 endorsed Cruz. 12 governors in total endorsed Cruz, and 19 state-wide officials endorsed him as well. In a complete flip of support, a total of 435 state legislative members endorsed Cruz. Unlike Trump, who got 2 former Vice Presidents (Chaney and Quayle), Cruz only got one former Executive branch member to endorse him. 4 mayors also endorsed Cruz, and 12 RNC officials also endorsed him. 15 separate organizations endorsed Cruz, and several of those (like the Young Republicans of Texas), were based in Cruz’s home state of Texas. Cruz was also popular with the culture. 88 different celebrities and iconic figures endorsed Cruz. These included Thomas Sowell, Gavin McInnes, Dana Loesch, Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro, Glenn Beck, Bob Jones III, David Limbaugh, Phil Robertson, Tony Perkins, James Woods, Clint Howard, and Adam Carolla. Most of these personalities switched their backing when Cruz dropped out, or when Trump became the nominee. Some finally did that when Trump became President. One in particular, Ben Shapiro, was one of those who did this after the election. These actions caused Shapiro to gain the “Never Trumper” nickname by the Trump supporter crowd, and drew fire from these same groups of people.
If we compare this list to Trump’s mile-long endorsement name sheet, then it looks like there’s no contest. However, we also need to remember that Cruz dropped out in May, and continued to lose support for his campaign as the months went on. Many of his former supporters like McInnes, Shapiro, Sowell, Loesch, Woods, and others switched after he dropped out, and we never saw an increase of support from the wide base after the convention.
In some respects, Cruz represented the Christian/classically conservative voter bloc. He portrayed himself as the super-religious kind of guy; he hardly ever swore, he never talked disdainfully of women (let’s say calling them ugly or other words), and he never used God’s name in vain. In addition, Cruz acted like he supported those policies that all conservatives agree upon. These include abortion, gun rights, and taxation. This alienated the more liberal aspects of the party’s base, and those voters went over to Trump or even Marco Rubio.
There were several things that held Cruz back from gaining popularity among the Right. One issue that a majority of anti-Cruz people like Anthony Brian Logan and Styxhexenhammer both agreed upon was that Cruz was either very super prideful, fake, or an outright liar. When the Ben Carson-Iowa debacle occurred, Cruz acted like it was a mistake, and basically pushed responsibility off on someone else. Another one example of this arrogance was the convention mess. For one thing, Cruz delegates constantly threatened to change the rules of the convention to make it harder for Trump to gain the nomination. But, that’s not a huge issue; Reagan supporters did the same thing in ‘76 to Ford. But, the issue came when Cruz gave his speech. Cruz got on stage, and gave a moderately good speech. However, he refused to verbally endorse Trump. When you lose to another person, and they’re the leader of your party, it’s kind of a stupid move to not endorse them. This kind of show of “personal strength” was just moronic; even if it was a noble move, many agreed it was foolish and unneeded.
Another show of Cruz’s problems with the voters was that he and John Kasich tried to piggy-back supporters off of each other. In an effort to stop Trump in late April, Kasich and Cruz voters were told by the opposite parties to go vote for each other (Evidence comes from Anthony Brian Logan’s YouTube channel; go ahead and look up “Cruz and Kasich” on the Search tab). Many of these things sunk Cruz’s campaign, and cost him the nomination.