Does Ted Cruz Have the Qualifications for President?
With the nation plunged into existential crisis and faced with deep cultural and moral divisions, critics scoffed at the notion of the Republican Party nominating a lawyer turned one-term legislator for President of the United States.
“The country needs an experienced hand and someone with executive experience,” they said. “Not to mention someone who has served in the U.S military and is therefore ready to be a wartime president.”
Though an experienced governor was considered the favorite for the nomination, Republicans instead chose this lawyer turned first-term legislator. Mainly because they believed he had the ability to command the bully pulpit, and inspire the American people to fight for their way of life.
His name was Abraham Lincoln. And the rest, as they say, is history.
For most of our lifetimes Lincoln has routinely been ranked among our greatest presidents in public opinion polls, and he was just named the greatest president of all-time in a 2014 survey of over 100 scholars. Furthermore, George Washington was ranked second and Dwight Eisenhower was seventh. Neither one of them had any political executive experience before being elected to the highest office in all the land.
In fact, only 17 of our 44 presidents were governors prior to being elected to the presidency, despite the conventional wisdom “voters prefer to vote for governors for president.” That list includes historical giants like FDR, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan, but also colossal failures like Jimmy Carter. It also contains the only two presidents in American history to face formal impeachment charges – Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Not to mention a bunch of guys who are mere footnotes to most Americans like Rutherford B. Hayes, John Tyler, and Grover Cleveland.
Those of you reading this who would love to see a true constitutionalist elected president in 2016 should note James Madison, known as “the father of the Constitution,” had never been elected to an executive political office prior to becoming president.
The point of this exercise is to show that our history proves there is no singular path to the White House that assures a candidate is likely to be a success once there—or even mitigates the risk they’ll disappoint for that matter.
However, we do know what traits are found in all of our most successful presidents regardless of party and ideology: courage of conviction, steadfast perseverance in the face of his enemies either foreign or domestic, and the ability to command the mightiest bully pulpit in the world.
Enter, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, whose critics scoff that he lacks the experience to be president. “What has Ted Cruz accomplished?” they sneeringly ask.
Well, for starters Cruz has been one of the most successful conservative/constitutional advocacy litigators in recent memory. He’s been on the winning side of numerous landmark cases involving states’ rights, religious freedom, and the Second Amendment (just to name a few) before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Like it or not (and I don’t by the way), with every governor in this country for the last several decades surrendering their constitutional authority to judicial tyranny (and that includes all the GOP current and former governors in this field), the federal courts where Cruz has a documented record of success are where the real conservative policy fights take place. And there, Cruz fights and wins, on issues a lot more nationally significant than a governor’s ability to make the trains run on time or sign pro-life legislation that courts will just nullify later on anyway.
Thus, it could be argued there isn’t a candidate in the 2016 GOP field who has done more to defend our liberties than Cruz has.
We have three branches of government, and right now (unfortunately) the most powerful among them is the judicial branch. No one in this race has Cruz’s experience and track record of success within that branch.
Another branch of government is the legislative branch. To win the seat in the U.S. Senate he now holds, Cruz had to assemble a campaign capable of beating the GOP establishment—including Karl Rove and the Bushes. And he had to do it in one of the most expensive campaign states in the country. Texas claims six of the nation’s top 100 television markets, and its vast size makes a trip from Dallas to El Paso within its own borders twice as far as one from Chicago (Illinois) to St. Louis (Missouri).
And Cruz didn’t just beat the establishment, but he beat the hand-picked Lt. Governor backed by Governor Rick Perry at the time to do it. Therefore, in addition to defeating Leftist judges in court, Cruz has proven he can defeat the feckless GOP establishment that often nominates and/or confirms those same judges. For example, fourteen of the judges who have attempted to nullify pro-marriage laws were Republican appointees.
So tell me, who else in this strong 2016 presidential field has shown they have what it takes to beat the courts and the GOP establishment – the two biggest obstacles standing between conservatives and the Democrats?
Cruz has already compiled a record of success at the highest levels of two of our three branches of government. That doesn’t mean he’s automatically entitled to your support as the next head of the executive branch. But it does mean he’s earned at least an opportunity to make his case.
Unless you don’t think a Lincoln, Eisenhower, or Madison has anything to offer.
First published at Conservative Review
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