(Photo from Fox Business News last night in their review of the evening’s events.)
Ted Cruz has always fancied himself as the second coming of Ronald Reagan. After last night’s speech at the Republican convention, he should start hoping it wasn’t his Good Night in America speech instead.1
The bitter struggle which saw the Republicans narrow seventeen candidates down to one has a few who disregard the loyalty agreement of last year. Even Ohio governor Kasich, who had thought Donald Trump’s loyalty was the one suspect from the beginning, disappointed his constituents by not appearing to greet his party on Day One.
While some voiced their dissatisfaction by not attending the convention, the senator from Texas did the best job of alienating party faithful by being present last night.
Many, except the most perceptive, didn’t see the bus wreck coming. Cruz began his speech with a touching story of one of the children who lost her father in the Dallas police murders. He skillfully wove a narrative tying our need and respect for law enforcement with the Constitutional rights which we cherish so much.
He contrasted these to the track record of Hillary Clinton and reiterated the differences between the Democratic Party and those values dear to the Revolutionary founders and to current Republicans.
But as his time at the podium began winding down, it became obvious that no attempt at extending a unifying olive branch was going to be given to Donald Trump that evening. The tide began turning with his request: “to those listening, please don’t stay home in November.” It accelerated as Cruz exhorted the crowd “to vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket, who YOU trust to defend our freedom to be faithful to the Constitution.”
By then, chants of “We want Trump” became obvious and Cruz aggravated his situation by saying, “I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation.” He tried to play the crowd with a continuation of his family’s story of immigration to the U.S. and restating the image of the murdered policeman’s daughter. Those with cowboy hats tried to offset the growing unhappiness in the rest of the audience with their approval. The catcalls indicated Cruz had lost his credibility despite statesman-like: “We must make the most of our moment, to fight for freedom, to protect our God-given rights even of those with whom we don’t agree.” “We want Trump” and other comments of disapproval were not going away. Cruz’s “L” was cemented in the loss column as the boos strengthened.
Trump was shown watching and skillfully began to emerge from the side curtain with smiles, clapping with his followers and a reassuring thumb up as if to say “All is well, I’m still the candidate and definitely in charge.” He Tweeted later that he had seen the Cruz speech two hours earlier, but he “let him speak anyway. No big deal!”
In the final analysis, Ted Cruz attempted to solidify his independent crusader-at-all-costs image. For the time being, it cost him his image.
“trusTED” had tossed himself under the busTED.
1 – “’Prouder, Stronger, Better’, commonly referred to by the name ‘Morning in America’, is a 1984 political campaign television commercial, known for its opening line, “It’s morning again in America.” The ad was part of the U.S. presidential campaign of Republican Party candidate Ronald Reagan. It featured a montage of images of Americans going to work, and a calm, optimistic narration that suggested the improvements to the U.S. economy since his 1980 election were due to Reagan’s policies. It asked voters why they would want to return to the pre-Reagan policies of Democrats like his opponent Walter Mondale, who had served as the Vice President under Reagan’s immediate predecessor Jimmy Carter.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morning_in_America