We call ourselves conservatives and we’ve been yelling for decades for a presidential candidate who espoused conservative values instead of the bland, middle-of-the-road substitutes forced down our throats by the Republican establishment.
What defines a conservative? We can probably find multitudes of definitions of what constitutes a conservative depending on who’s doing the defining, but there are a number of traits that we can probably agree on.
It’s my belief that most definitions will include references to the following:
- Adherence to our Constitution and Bill of Rights
- Individual liberty & personal responsibility
- Limited government & lower taxes
- Religious freedom
- Maintain law & order
- Free market capitalism
- A strong national defense
Now, this election, we have a dyed-in-the-wool, honest-to-goodness conservative (Ted Cruz) as a candidate and yet many so-called conservatives have chosen to support Donald Trump. Assuming that most conservatives can agree on most (if not all) of those listed beliefs, how can conservatives reconcile supporting Donald Trump over Ted Cruz?
Recently, on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gave his definition of a conservative: TRUMP: “Well, I think it’s a person that doesn’t want to take risks. I think that’s a good thing. A person that wants to in terms of government I’m talking about. Person that wants to conserve, a person that wants to in financial sense balance budgets.” It then goes on and on, mentioning oil and the Iraq war, but never coming close to defining what a conservative is – Donald Trump doesn’t know what it means to be a conservative because Donald Trump is NO conservative.
So where are the arguments that Cruz isn’t a conservative? I haven’t seen those. I’ve seen the arguments that some make against Cruz. They’re usually comprised of one or more of the following:
- He is not eligible, re: the natural born citizen requirement
- He is a “globalist” because his wife (Heidi) worked for Goldman Sachs and was a board member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)
- He was given millions by Goldman Sachs
- He is in the pocket of “Big Oil”
- He utilized dirty tricks during his presidential campaign – specifically in Iowa against Ben Carson
- He voted for the TPA/TPP
- He blamed Donald Trump for the protests that caused the cancellation of a Trump rally
- He’s a lying deceitful person
Those are the ones that I’ve seen most often. They’re distributed by the Trump supporters. While honestly there is some truth in a few of them, the majority are total fabrications and easily disproven – to anyone who is interested in the truth.
I’ll take them one at a time:
- The eligibility issue isn’t going to be settled by individuals on blogs cutting and pasting arcane sections of historical discussions. The preponderance of the legal experts who have looked at the question and have issued opinions comes down on the side of Cruz being eligible – period.
- Yes, Ted’s wife did work for Goldman Sachs. She was an investment banker and has taken an unpaid leave of absence during Ted’s campaign. She was/is NOT a board member of the CFR; her only linkage to the CFR was when she was invited to participate in a working group whose task was to review a paper on the North American Union. Her sole contribution to the project was a one-paragraph response in the final appendix.
- Ted was NOT given millions from Goldman Sachs. Ted and Heidi took a margin loan against their investments ($1.43 million) and then loaned the proceeds to his campaign – a common practice for political campaigns. Goldman Sachs DID NOT make a million dollar contribution to Ted’s campaign.
- He’s accused of being “in the pocked of Big Oil.” Remember that Cruz is a Senator from Texas, where oil is big business. It is entirely reasonable for him to receive support from the oil industry. Even so, there is NO evidence that he’s done anything unusual or untoward for the oil industry.
- Cruz’s campaign was guilty of disseminating an incorrect news item that Ben Carson was ending his campaign. His staff relied on a news report by CNN that spoke of that possibility, but his campaign staff should not have proceeded with that conclusion without checking its veracity. That was wrong and Cruz apologized multiple times publicly to Ben Carson.
- Ted first voted for the TPA, and later voted against it. He didn’t vote for the TPP because there hasn’t been a vote on the TPP. He has vowed to vote against it.
- He didn’t specifically blame Trump for the protests, he blamed the protesters, but he did say that Trump shared responsibility when he suggested violent actions several times at his speeches and rallies and even said that he might pay the fine for a supporter who was arrested for punching a protester. Only later did Trump disavow any violence.
- As far as being a lying, deceitful person – some people have come to believe that about Ted Cruz because Donald Trump made it a staple of his attacks on Cruz. He said it loud and he said it often and consequently some have come to believe it. But just the opposite is true – Trump is actually easily the bigger liar of the two. Don’t take my word for it, see for yourself:
I’ve published the ratings from two fact-checking organizations (PolitiFact and FactCheck.org). Both organizations have applied their fact checking analysis to statements made by both Cruz and Trump and it wasn’t even close. These ratings were downloaded from the site on Wednesday, March 16, 2015, so they’re fully up-to-date.
Here are the PolitiFact’s findings for both men:
If we combine the Mostly False, False, and Pants on Fire categories (all lies), it’s easy to see who is the biggest liar, Trump wins easily (77% of his statements are false or partially false). And note the “Pants on Fire” category, those are especially egregious bald-faced whoppers. Trump takes the trophy there too.
Whatta you know, Trump wins again! Even when the category is the biggest liar – Trump wins that one too. And who is most truthful? More than a third (35%) of Cruz’s statements were judged to be true (or partially true) while only 22% of Trump’s statements have been true (or partially true). Any yet Trump supporters continue to support him. Would you trust a salesman that you KNEW was going to lie to you? Why would you?
And here is what FactCheck.org had to say about Donald Trump:
“It’s been a banner year for political whoppers — and for one teller of tall tales in particular: Donald Trump.”
“In the 12 years of FactCheck.org’s existence, we’ve never seen his match.”
“He stands out not only for the sheer number of his factually false claims, but also for his brazen refusals to admit error when proven wrong.”
“So, for the first time, we confer the title ‘King of Whoppers’ to Donald Trump.”
And if there is still any doubt about Trump’s truthfulness, here’s a LINK to another article that comes from Politico magazine. They also fact-checked Donald Trump’s statements (hint: he doesn’t come off well there either).
C’mon people, at least be intellectually honest with yourself. You don’t have to admit that Trump is a liar to me or anyone else; you can still support him for whatever reason, but at least be true to yourself and admit that the man is a serial liar and exaggerator and you’d do well to take his promises with a truckload of salt.