To The Daily Sun,
There is a misconception that Ted Cruz is a fire-breathing extremist. He is a polarizing figure perceived as a hard-line conservative. By casting himself as someone outside the GOP establishment, to the right of his colleagues, he has fostered the perception. He campaigned in 2012 as an insurgent and has staged numerous fights in Congress, in opposition to the "Washington Cartel."
There's no question that Cruz is a conservative but he's not as extreme or ideological as people assume. He's for states' rights, and for all the Constitution. He will not allow gay bashing or let anybody do jihad on the Christians. He is contemptuous of conservatives who assert principled convictions they do nothing to advance. He has said, "In any two-party system you welcome people with a variety of views..." Cruz does not cast his opponents as evil or stupid. His provocations are far more subtle.
The perception that he is a ferocious hard-liner serves his interests, and he's not likely to dispute it. But fielding questions, his answers are more nuanced than his reputation suggests. As the campaign goes on he is likely to devote more attention to issues such as economic opportunity.
Cruz is not a wild-eyed maniac nor is the misconception that Cruz is unstable, erratic, or even unhinged correct. He has called the characterizations part of a critique by the mainstream media. What's ironic is that Cruz is one of the least erratic people in national politics. The oddities in his behavior are strategic rather than spontaneous. Both his composure and calm are striking.
He remains even-tempered at all times, even in unscheduled potentially charged encounters. Ten months into a grueling campaign, under intense media scrutiny and while being attacked from all directions, Cruz has remained focused and unruffled. If anything, his preternatural self-possession is the most unsettling thing about him.
Cruz is smarter than the average bear. He has the kind of intelligence that is universally recognized. That is not to say he holds himself out as superior or that Americans should follow blindly. He doesn't consider himself as always right. When kCruz says or does something that doesn't make sense to me, I find myself asking what I'm missing, taking a step back and rethinking why this person, with strategic objectives, would do that.
Cruz is meticulous with his words. He was a champion debater in college and now he's an unusually good speaker, a talent which will serve him in the general election. He's intelligent, thoughtful, disciplined and on message. He has an unusual expertise with and commitment to constitutional issues. Cruz is fiscally conservative, socially conservative, and pragmatic rather than ideological.
Cruz really is into the Constitution. He has it memorized. He's studied the "Federalist Papers." His thesis, at Princeton, was about the historical and theoretical underpinnings of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. After attending law school, at Harvard, he landed clerkships in a federal appeals court, then at the Supreme Court. Whatever one may conclude of his plans, ultimately it is only reasonable to conclude they are constrained by his own commitment to the U.S. Constitution.
That's why I get off the couch to campaign for the man. He has done for the people of Texas what he said he will do. Integrity in D.C. is in short supply.
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