South Carolina Sends a Message of Tough Love, Part 1
As a Christian I revel in absolutes, not so much in shades of gray. It’s why I use so much data in my analysis. Numbers are constants while opinions are variables.
However, a worldview predicated on absolutes comes with a trade-off. You must be willing to apply those principles to yourself, your biases and your preferences, not just others or those with whom you disagree. This is one of those times.
I am a proud Ted Cruz supporter. I want to see him be the next President of the United States, and have spent, when not on the air or with my family, almost every waking hour doing whatever I can to make that happen for months now. I’m also an evangelical. The five solas of the Protestant Reformation are the foundation of my own worldview that I take with me to work every day and which forms the core of my being.
Unfortunately, the troubling results coming out of the South Carolina primary on Saturday are sending both of my native tribes a message of tough love. And if we ignore them we are doomed to repeat them. One of them is political and the other is spiritual.
Today we’ll take a look at the political message, tomorrow the spiritual one.
While the makeup of the Palmetto State primary electorate is exactly what Team Cruz could have asked for, the result was not. That’s because the political message voters sent Team Cruz was to get back on message, and to get back to being the alpha male leader conservatives fell in love with in Iowa.
For example, Cruz should stop apologizing and meeting with Ben Carson, who has shown himself unworthy of such chivalry. Carson is owed nothing. He no more lost Iowa because of some irresponsible reporting from CNN than I can’t lose these last 30 pounds of belly-fat because I eat too much broccoli. He lost them because he never ran a legitimate campaign. He didn’t campaign regularly in Iowa or anywhere else for that matter for months, and voters have a tendency not to vote for people who don’t work for their support.
Carson’s campaign has accomplished nothing but book sales and commission checks. Team Cruz wrongly took Carson’s alleged piety for granted and tried to smooth the matter over privately, which Carson blew up publicly to seek his own relevance and advantage. Just like all the typical politicians he likes to criticize.
Let me tell you the truth about Cruz, dear reader. The truth about Cruz is he’s really not the ruthless opportunist the Washington Cartel paints him as. Thus, he thought he had a friend in Carson whom he felt bad for and went to personally. Carson returned that grace by milking this faux controversy for all it’s worth and then some. Doing so hurt Team Cruz, because it got the campaign off message and undermined what should’ve been huge momentum coming out of Iowa.
So instead of going on offense from winning the first contest, Team Cruz found itself on the defensive, and really didn’t get back on message until the sudden death of Justice Scalia. But by then it was too late to stem the tide in South Carolina. Rather than spending all that time doing what its candidate does best, speaking knowledgeably to the existential issues facing the country with command and confidence, Team Cruz found itself triangulated between Donald Trump and Marco Rubio.
Speaking of which, any focus on Rubio takes the focus off of Trump which helps him remain the frontrunner. Furthermore, it cements Trump’s branding as the face of the anti-establishment sentiment which, as I’ve documented before here at CR, is a total farce. Nevertheless, while Cruz and Rubio engage in typical GOP primary campaign hand-slapping on one side – sniping back and forth over expectations and narratives most voters either don’t understand or don’t care about – Trump is left to debate those very issues.
Guess who’s gonna win that contest?
The GOP establishment is never coming to Team Cruz. They’re never gonna side with Team Cruz to stop Trump, and would rather have Trump because they know he doesn’t really believe in anything other than himself — just like them. Therefore, the strategy of taking out Rubio to get Trump one-on-one was never gonna work.
The GOP establishment was never gonna be left without a candidate, and would rather the country be ruled by Hillary than conservatives, hence all the ridiculous hype in establishment media about Rubio’s string of greatest also-ran finishes ever. Though Rubio is more conservative than they’d like, the establishment knows that at least on amnesty he will play ball.
That means the target must be Trump. As long as he’s allowed to be seen as the face of the anti-establishment fervor in the country nothing will change. There is an element of Trump’s vote that is basically a cult and cannot be removed from their group-think no matter what Trump does. Even if he shoots someone in broad daylight, as Trump said himself. Yet there are conservatives who, the more they hear who this guy really is, recoil, which explains why Trump has struggled with late deciding voters.
Erick Erickson of The Resurgent reported only 4% of Super Pac money has been spent on exposing Trump, and that is political malfeasance bordering on the clinically insane. The American people fear losing their country. They don’t care about perceived momentum or consultant-driven expectations games those of us on the inside like to play. They want their darned country back, and they’re gonna vote for the guy they think will give it to them—period.
Be that guy again.
And start by completely destroying the fraud pretending to be that guy now, because we all know the same liberal media currently giving Trump unprecedented free pub will certainly do it once he’s the nominee.
Stop telling us how much you like Trump personally. Stop saying things like “everyone on this debate stage would be better than Hillary.” That’s typical GOP unity speech, and people don’t want typical GOP unity speech. They want their darned country back, which is why they’re aligning with the most divisive, craptastic figure ever to attempt to run for president. They especially don’t want it from the guy claiming to be the one the Washington Cartel hates the most. They want to see the Cruz that causes on-sight rashes and coronaries in Washington at the mere mention of his name.
Be that guy again.
When a people become desperate and afraid, regardless of language and custom, they have a tendency to latch on to the first megalomaniac who comes along. Making promises he knows he can’t keep just for the sake of acquiring power and affirming his own ego. Unless they see a better alternative, that is.
Be that alternative again.
If you’re not better than Trump, then why are you running? If Trump wouldn’t be a complete and total disaster for the party and the country, then why not get out of the way and get his nomination over with?
Trump is playing for first place or go home. Now go, and do likewise.
South Carolina just told us they don’t want to see clever Cruz, but the cut-throat one who calls Mitch McConnell a liar to his face on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
Be that bad you-know-what again.
In short, South Carolina’s electorate was tailor-made to vote for Ted Cruz. They just didn’t see the Ted Cruz they were hoping to vote for.
Show them that Ted Cruz again, by wiping the floor with this progressive poser at the Houston debate next week.
First published at Conservative Review
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