|Credit: Mike Segar, Reuters|
Cruz's prime-time, televised snub of Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention was the moment when America's most extreme Republican became a heroic voice of conscience.
During the July 4 holiday weekend, my daughter texted me a selfie from the Connecticut coastline where she was visiting a friend’s family. At first, I could not fathom the image. Here was my 22-year-old, a Hillary Clinton supporter from a family of fervent Democrats, smiling with another vacationer on Fishers Island: The right-wing Republican senator and recently defeated candidate for the presidential nomination, Ted Cruz.
By now, three weeks later, I consider that snapshot a strange kind of presentiment for the entirely unexpected role Cruz has played in clarifying the stakes in this campaign and the starkly dangerous role Trump has in it. The provocateur behind a government shutdown in 2013, the advocate of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant positions nearly as extreme as Trump’s, a favorite of zealots in the Christian Right and the National Rifle Association, Cruz has stunned the American public by becoming the least likely hero.
His heroism is all the more confirmed by the hatred he has received from Trump’s convention clones, who booed the Texas senator off the stage, as well as more traditional conservatives who wanted him to obediently close ranks on the theory that Hillary Clinton is somehow a greater threat to the republic than the American version of Mussolini.
Cruz’s perfidy, of course, consisted of refusing to endorse Trump while addressing the Republican convention, contravening a written pledge all 17 Republican candidates had signed months ago. Rationally enough, amid a Republican race short on rationality from its frontrunner, Cruz contended that such a pledge was overridden by Trump’s scurrilous attacks on the senator’s wife (for her appearance) and father (for consorting with Lee Harvey Oswald in the JFK assassination).Read the rest of this op-ed HERE.
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