Today, Ted Cruz announced his candidacy for President. It’s no secret that I tend to be a bit more liberal than those who might support Mr. Cruz, but I do try and be somewhat objective when I look at the field of people who want to be our next leader.
It strikes me somewhat that he made the announcement from the campus of Liberty University. If you recall, this is the university founded and funded by Jerry Falwell. In case you slept through the Reagan years, Falwell was a pretty vocal preacher who managed to accumulate a ton of money and dabble in politics from behind the scenes. I’m trying to be polite. I have preachers in my family.
It is also noteworthy to mention that the Wall Street Journal article I read stated that while there were 10,000 people attending his announcement, attendance by students was mandatory.
He seems to be following a path that has proven to be a rocky road for past candidates of all parties. How to reach out and embrace the far religious right but yet remain attractive to the rest of the country. I’m baffled as to why any candidate spends so much energy trying to appear in line with the conservative religious right.
Although 83% of Americans identify as christian, less than 20% actually go to church. In fact, the number is more like 17%. I think many Americans identify as Christian in much the same manner they identify with being a Floridian, or a Hoosier – they really don’t give it much thought except when being asked. 14.1% of America identifies as Black, and certainly a greater majority of them practice their religion and go to church regularly.
Mr. Cruz wants to eliminate the Health care law known as Obamacare, even though figures now show that it is working very well, despite the 22 states with Republican governors who chose not to participate. The number of Americans without health care has dropped to some 12%. Many millions of Americans have health care that otherwise would not be able to afford it at all. Most Americans who say that they hate Obamacare actually like all the various components of it when they are asked questions about features of the plan and those features are not connected to the word “Obama”.
What Mr. Cruz may have going for him as his best weapon is American apathy, especially among the young. Voting is at an all time low, and while the country as a whole is skewing more liberal, the conservative voting block actually goes to the polls. It’s possible a buffoon like Mr. Cruz could make it all the way, although since most in his own party can’t stand him, I’m hoping that he’s going to do a great job at splintering the party and the money.
If only we had a really outstanding middle of the road candidate that everyone could back.