Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Few Words about Ted Cruz

At the Republican debate last night, Senator Ted Cruz said, “[P]olitical correctness is killing people.”

I’m sure that what the senator actually meant to say was, “Bashing political correctness is a useful device for assholes like me to appeal to the bigots in the electorate.”

OK, maybe not. Maybe he really meant what he said, even though what he said was bull hockey, if you know what I mean. 

In case you don’t know what I mean, what I mean is bullshit.

If Senator Cruz is really hostile to political correctness, he is hostile to a general sensibility that says it is a bad idea, even unethical, to disparage people using racist epithets and to otherwise promote negative stereotypes. If you think people shouldn’t be treated with racist or ethnocentric contempt, you too believe in political correctness.

Naturally, some people take the idea of universal respect for people too far and use political correctness as a way to strike a moralistic pose or to pat themselves on the back. Shame on them. But shame, even more, on people like Ted Cruz, who obviously practice political correctness themselves while striking a moralistic pose suggesting they are dead set against it.

Of all the people in both parties now running for president (all 1,674 of them), Cruz is the worst. He is undoubtedly an intelligent man, which makes him that much more odious. He, more than any of his rivals, reminds me of Richard Nixon. People who listened to Nixon’s White House tapes have reported with disgust that every staff meeting seemed to be focused on how to advance his, Nixon’s, political interests. Never was the issue of what’s good for the nation brought up. I imagine that if we could hear Ted Cruz’s thoughts, we would be similarly struck by their repugnantly selfish and utterly unethical qualities. The man just seems to breathe a raging, narcissistic ambition.

He has been called out for his declaration that if he were president he would “carpet bomb” ISIS. This is a lie. Nobody in the American military believes that carpet bombing is an appropriate or effective tactic. Cruz probably knows this, but in his inimitably sleazy way, he broadcasts his commitment to carpet bombing as a way to sound tough. “President Obama is such a wimp that he refuses to carpet bomb ISIS and kill hundreds of thousands of civilians, but I will!”

When Cruz was called on his carpet bombing claim during the debate, he tried to double-talk his way out with this gem: “[I] would carpet bomb where ISIS is, not a city, but the location of the troops.”

News flash, Senator Cruz, the ISIS fighters are in the cities.

Imagine for a moment that Ted Cruz were a decent, honest man.

I know, I know, but just try.

With his intelligence and his superior debating skills, he could bring a lot to a presidential campaign. But instead, he insults us with a well rehearsed, thoroughly dishonest series of sound bites, many of which he himself does not believe, but which he has calculated might attract naïve voters to his cause. Gross.

But, you ask, doesn’t every politician do this? Well, except maybe for Bernie Sanders, I think they all do it to some extent. But Cruz is special because that is all he does. So now I find myself watching with fascinated horror to see just how high the Republican electorate is willing to lift this duplicitous poser. May the Force protect us.

(Thanks to Jezebel for the picture.)