Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A few thoughts on Ted Cruz's non-endorsement of Donald Trump.

Ted Cruz's official senate portrait. 

Ted Cruz spoke at the GOP convention tonight and... he made an interesting choice. Instead of endorsing Republican nominee Donald Trump for president he encouraged GOP party members to "vote their conscience " this November. He was booed off the stage for it, and for good reason. The GOP convention is supposed to be where the party unites and the wounds inflicted during the primaries are healed. 

Indeed, that seemed to be what was happening throughout the convention. Obviously, many former Trump opponents endorsed him. Some of them were pretty tepid endorsements to be sure, but in the end everyone was getting along. The convention was largely free from #NeverTrump shenanigans and it the fears of discord were largely unfounded. Then Ted Cruz came along and ripped open all the wounds inflicted during the primary season.

Why did he do it? Well Ted Cruz has always stood by what he thought. That's why he's one of the most hated people in Washington DC, he doesn't get with the program, even if it hurts his party. After all he was the one behind the government shutdown which greatly hurt the party. He does what he thinks is right even if it hurts a lot of innocent people. And this will hurt the GOP, especially if it causes Hillary Clinton to be elected. I don't think it will happen but Cruz's actions could hurt Trump's chances in November. It certainly won't help things. 

I think he has personal reasons to be upset with Donald Trump as well. The campaign devolved into a close range knife fight near the end and many personal insults were delivered on both sides. Both campaigns went after the candidates wives, which is a sure sign that neither candidate liked each other. But most damaging of all was the Ted Cruz sex scandal. That scandal was never proven one way or the other but it was not a good moment for Ted Cruz. Though Trump wasn't directly responsible for it, his ally Rodger Stone was involved in the National Enquirer story that broke the scandal open. He's got reason to be mad at Trump no matter if the allegations were true or not. 

But there are professional reasons for Cruz to do this as well. Like I said before Cruz is the guy that "does what he thinks is right" even if it hurts the party. He needs to keep that reputation in the future. I also think that he is trying to set himself up for the 2020 election as well. Either as a primary challenger for Donald Trump or as Hillary Clinton's opponent. If Trump is an unpopular president he can say he never endorsed him and if Clinton is the opponent he can also say that he knew Trump would fail. 

In theory that is a win win for Cruz but I think he just killed his political career. I think that Trump is going to win and be somewhat popular. And even if he doesn't win, people will not forgive Cruz for not endorsing him and helping stop Hillary Clinton. I know that I will never vote for him in an election if he is a candidate. The amount of boos he got from the GOP delegates shows me that I am not alone in this opinion... 

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