Some time ago Donald Trump stated he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue in New York and not lose a single supporter over it. He may have been right about that. The exaggerated loyalty of Trump’s supporters is so extreme as to suggest the movement is a cult.
This led me ask myself whether my own loyalty to my preferred candidate, Ted Cruz, could possibly be described as cult-like. Those of you who are familiar with my position know that I am quite a die-hard Cruz supporter. Are Trump supporters really behaving just like I am, only for a different candidate?
I started asking myself what it would take to make me abandon my support of Cruz. Thinking of some examples of things that would conceivably turn me against him might help me define the boundaries of my support and decide whether it was rational.
What would be an example of something that would persuade me to stop supporting Ted Cruz? Well, if I were to discover that Ted Cruz actually owns (or had until recently owned and had not repented of it) a gambling casino, that would do it. Despite the fact that Ted has been almost unparalleled in having done in the Senate exactly what he promised the people of Texas he would do, I’d still have to turn away. I’m deeply morally opposed to gambling, and I believe a casino-owner is a swindler. I couldn’t support a man like that.
Or if I were to learn that Ted Cruz owns a strip club, that would really do it. Such establishments are vile, exploiting and debasing both women and men, destroying families and bringing untold misery. Despite the fact that Ted stands almost alone in Congress in being consistently faithful to the Constitution, I couldn’t support him if he were involved in something like that.
Another thing that would drive me away would be cruelty. For example, if he were to mock a handicapped person, or tweet an unflattering picture of another candidate’s wife, or falsely claim that another candidate’s father had been involved in the Kennedy assassination, that would convince me of a fundamental flaw in his character, and I couldn’t support him. It wouldn’t matter that he has staunchly advocated the enforcement of our immigration laws longer and more consistently than any other candidate who was in this year’s primary campaign. I’d still turn away.
If I were confronted with sufficient credible evidence to convince me that he had been involved in adultery, that would do it. I’d be finished with him, despite the fact that he has shown unmatched courage in standing up both to Barack Obama and to the corrupt establishment of his own party. I couldn’t support a man I knew to be an unrepentant adulterer. Of course, if the offense had occurred often, and if he had even boasted about it, that would be all the worse. By the way, credible evidence does not appear in the National Enquirer. Ever.
And then there’s the matter of honesty. I know sometimes people misspeak, and sometimes we misunderstand. I might be willing to overlook one or two statements that didn’t seem quite right. But if I recognized a pattern of lying, that would be the end. You can’t trust anything a liar tells you. If a man has no integrity, it doesn’t matter how good his policy positions are. You have no way of knowing if he’ll carry them out. He might change them every week, or even five times in three days. And I’d be a fool if I thought he would lie only to our political enemies. If a man’s a liar, he’ll lie to us too. I wouldn’t support a man like that.
An especially heinous form of lying would be falsely accusing an honest man of lying, especially if the accusation was repeated over and over again as a sort of label, in a conscious effort to make people always doubt the veracity of that honest man. Doing something like that would be vile. A man who would do that, would do anything. I would have nothing to do with a candidate like that.
So, yes, there are definite limits to how loyal I would be to Ted Cruz. Even though I am convinced that he is the best presidential candidate we have ever had, my support for him is based on solid facts and is not, like that of Trump supporters, on the level of a cult.
But, in case you haven’t figured it out yet. Ted Cruz has done none of those things–not one–but Donald Trump has done every last one of them. He has shown himself to be devoid of conscience, principles, or integrity. There is nothing he might not do, no depth of evil to which he might not sink. I will not vote for Donald Trump. It doesn’t matter who is running against him. Our next president may be evil, but if so, he or she will get there without my vote.
Meanwhile, I’ll stand with Ted Cruz while he stands for what’s right. It doesn’t look as if he’s going to change, and neither am I.