I’ve made no secret over the past few months about the fact that I support Ted Cruz, and hope very much that he will be the Republican nominee. His intelligence, his political courage, his quite unexpected ability to speak to ordinary people in accessible ways about complex matters, his grasp of the issues, his consistent conservativism, his wicked sense of humor and, above all, his fealty to he Constitution make me believe that he is the best candidate for what is proving to be both a troubled and pivotal time in American history.
I’ve also been open about the fact that the possibility of having Donald Trump as the Republican candidate concerns me. I truly admire the way he’s bulldozed the media stranglehold and ridden roughshod over political correctness. I also recognize that he’s made all the right noises for a vast American middle that’s fed up with unlimited illegal immigration and worried about radicalized Muslims riding into the US on the illegal immigrant train. I believe I’ve said all along that Trump has added something important to this campaign season. It’s just that I can never get away from a few major concerns, such as my sense that the campaign is more about Trump than it is about America, and that he’s a performer and will say whatever he needs to get to his current audience (whether he really means it or not).
Most of all, though, I worry that Trump does not value the Constitution any more than Obama does. To me, an America without the Constitution as its political centerpiece is just another First World leftist country heading downhill fast. After eight years of Obama’s deep and abiding disdain for the Constitution, I’m not sure we can handle any more of that and still be the unique, exceptional country we are.
I won’t lie, therefore, and pretend that I’m anything but delighted about the outcome in Iowa. To me, the strongest constitutionalist won, and that’s the correct outcome.
Iowa is the beginning, not the end, though, and history has shown that a win in Iowa doesn’t necessarily predict the final primary winner. Cruz, Trump, and Rubio are going to keep on swinging, as will Christie, Carson, and even Kasich (beloved of the New York Times). Their supporters will keep swinging too. That’s okay. If you don’t believe in your candidate, why even bother to show up?
As the campaign heats up, though, it’s very important for each of us to remind ourselves that the people who support a different Republican candidate than the one we support are still our friends. All of them are people who love their country (something I don’t necessarily feel is true of those supporting Bernie or Hillary), and all are working hard to find the candidate they believe is the best person to keep America strong, safe, and true to her core values of individual liberty, free market capitalism, and a delightful optimism that’s been absent for a while.
What’s funny is that many of us are fairly forgiving of Bernie and Hillary supporters because, at a certain level, we think they’re so foolish, unpatriotic, or uninformed that they can’t be expected to do better. Being hostile to the more credulous Leftists is like staying angry at one of those dogs that eats its own excrement — it’s just so beyond help that you give up on anger. You don’t want the reins of power in their hands, but as long as they lose, you can’t take them too seriously.
With people from our own side of the aisle, though, we know they’re intelligent and we know that they probably share our core values. That’s why, when we see them supporting someone else, it’s too easy to get really angry at them. After all, when you see smart people making foolish choices, it’s a terrible and irritating waste of a good mind. And those people supporting that other candidate, of course, look at us and have the same thought.
The thing is, though, when this campaign season ends, it’s going to be up to all of us to rally together and support the candidate who must beat the pathologically corrupt Hillary or the Leftist tyrant-wannabe Bernie. If we’ve been intemperate during the primary season, it’s harder to get everyone excited about the ultimate Republican candidate — or at the very least, not actively hostile to that candidate.
So here’s the deal: I will continue to promote Ted Cruz and explain why I think he’s the best candidate. When I criticize another candidate, I’ll mean it, but I hope that I do so in polite terms and that I don’t attack that candidate’s supporters.
I also promise that, no matter which Republican candidate you support, I still think well of you. I may be bewildered by your candidate choice, but I understand that you too want to see America returned to the roots that made her a strong, prosperous, and free country for so long. And no matter which candidate wins the Republican nomination, I trust that we can all put our egos aside and pull together for America’s sake.