Monthly Archives: January 2016

Ted, Donald and the Politics of Meaning

I spent some of the best years of my young life living in the great state of Texas. I learned to swim in Texas. I had my first high school crush (Theresa, 2nd period) in Texas. I played high school football in Texas. My grandfather and I watched his Dallas Cowboys play on TV nearly every Sunday. I helped my parents build a home on the shore of a small lake in Texas. I survived the great Texas heat wave of 63 consecutive days of over 100 degrees. I learned about respect in Texas when, at a funeral I saw everyone on the road pull to the shoulder to allow the procession to pass (even when the opposite traffic was on a divided highway). I learned to hunt, fish, shoot and camp in Texas. On a black and white TV set I watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon live with my grandfather in Texas. I learned how to wait alone at the end of the driveway for the school bus at seven am and about the care and feeding of cows on grandpas 10 acre farm. I guess you could say I was inculcated with Texas values at a young age.

I suspect I have much more in common with Senator Ted Cruz than a well-coifed billionaire.

The recent dust up, launched by the aforementioned well-coifed billionaire, between Cruz and Trump has helped me to understand a little more about the rich man wanting to be president. In a nutshell, he has become a first rate politician. Allow me to elaborate.

When Ted Cruz mentioned Donald’s “New York” values I instantly knew to what he was referring to. I suspect everyone did. The thing is, so did Trump. As a long time supporter and even funder of “New York” values Trump knew instinctively just how damaging his past record could be in the upcoming primaries. With Cruz closing fast or even leading in some of the upcoming primary polls Trump did what any consummate politician would do, he lied.

On stage, in front of a national audience, for just a moment, wrapping himself in the compassion of 9-11 in the way Bush II was always accused of, he displayed his liberal progressive core. In the process he also managed to insult the people of the other 49 states. During his doubtlessly focus group tested, liberal approved defense of “New York” values he carefully avoided mentioning anything relevant to Teds comment. I am going to set the record straight Donald. We in Texas could have “handled” 9-11 just as well as New York did. I expect the great Americans in every state would have responded to such an event just as magnificently as New Yorkers did. That kind of response is not just the “American” way. It is the human thing to do.

The artful dodge he offered on stage that night was revealing. I don’t mean that in a positive way. What his “emotional” monologue demonstrated was that he is now willing to use the establishment politicians favorite device, demagogic misdirection. And he did it sincerely, even effortlessly. The establishment GOP’ers must be much comforted. Strawberries McCain and Amnesty Graham must be consumed with jealousy. In one fell swoop he accomplished what their years of attacking conservatives could not give them, a fawning media.

Fact is though, Teds observation hit to close to home. Donald had to cover for a lifetimes devotion to the enemies of reason. He had to cover for his support of not just abortion but partial birth abortion, the single most hideous evil I can think of. He had to cover for his long-standing support of gay marriage. He had to cover for his fondness in exercising “eminent domain” in the pursuit of profit. He had to cover for his desire to put a radical pro-abortion zealot on the Supreme Court. He had to cover for the fact that he supported a governor who said in 2014 that pro-life, pro-Second Amendment conservatives “have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are’. He had to cover for the fact that he supported Mayor de Blasio, an avowed Marxist who honeymooned in Cuba (home of political prisoners and summary executions), raised money for the Sandinistas (terrorists) and turned his back on the N.Y.P.D. He had to cover a history of supporting a government run single-payer health care system, massive big bank bailouts and higher taxes. The list of his “transgressions” against reason is nearly endless and his conversion to conservatism is extremely recent so forgive me for doubting his sincerity. It smacks a little too much of a deathbed conversion to me.

Still, despite all my misgivings I like much of what Trump is saying. The difficulty I have with him as a “conservative” arises when I do a side by side comparison of his record against Ted’s record. Ted Cruz has never wavered in the things he believes in. He has been a tireless fighter for regular, non-billionaire types. Unlike everyone else running for the highest office in the land, with the possible exception of Dr. Carson, he actually understands the Constitution. I can’t seem to shake the idea that Trumps understanding of the Constitution is a lot like his understanding of Two Corinthians.

Is Ted perfect? Not exactly but his record as a conservative is much longer and far more consistent than Trumps. That means something.

Demands for Ted to apologize came swiftly. Ted did offer an apology and I think it was illustrative of his character. Rather than playing the “hurt feel bads” game of establishment media types he demonstrated where his concerns lay. I will let him speak for himself.

I apologize to the millions of New Yorkers who have been let down by liberal politicians in that state.

I apologize to the hard working men and women of the state of New York who have been
denied jobs because Governor Cuomo won’t allow fracking…

I apologize to all the pro-life and pro-marriage and pro-second amendment New Yorkers who were told by Governor Cuomo that they have no place in New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.

I apologize to all the small businesses who have been driven out of New York city by
crushing taxes and regulations.

I apologize to the millions of unborn children, many African-American and Hispanic, whose lives have been taken by politicians who relentlessly promote abortion on demand with no limitations.

I apologize to all of the African-American children who Mayor de Blasio tried to throw out of their charter schools that were providing a lifeline to the American Dream.

Ted could have added so much more. He could have mentioned how New Yorkers cannot be trusted to buy the right size of soda. How New Yorkers must maintain safer working conditions for criminals by disarming the law abiding public. How New Yorkers believe teaching kids in kindergarten that homosexuality is normal. (sorry but this is not education this is recruiting for pedophiles) How New Yorkers support fining someone as much as $250,000 for “mis-genderizing” some pervert.

These are “New York” values. Trump not only knows it but has financed and supported them. It is only since he decided to run for president he has began speaking out against them. For that reason alone Trump has a lot to answer for.

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