Will our next president despise us? Don’t look now, but according to the latest polls, smarmy Ted Cruz has a real chance to win in November. And it’s frightening.
At the most recent GOP debate, the Republican senator from Texas actually made Donald Trump seem sympathetic. He attacked Trump for having “New York values,” and made it clear he didn’t mean tolerance and inclusiveness, two traits for which Cruz seems to have no use. The way he bashed New Yorkers seemed like a dog whistle to religious extremists and bigots.
For example, Cruz claimed New Yorkers excessively focus on “money and the media.” Hmm, which ethnic group associated with those two subjects might he be talking about? Give me a minute …
Unfortunately, when it comes to Cruz, this is merely the tip of the iceberg. In November, he spoke at a conference in Iowa headed up by Pastor Kevin Swanson, who believes gay people should be put to death.
Cruz’s father, a featured presenter at the conference, said gays should be given time to “repent” before being executed. Family values, indeed.
Both Democrats and Republicans who have dealt with Cruz over the years have expressed revulsion for the man, from former President George W. Bush (“I just don’t like the guy”), to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (“In one 30-second sound bite he was offensive to gays, he was offensive to women, he offended 18 million New Yorkers”) to Rep. Peter King (“Go back under a rock,” the Long Island Republican said of Cruz).
Strangely, Cruz seems to have no trouble at all with New York’s banks, including Goldman Sachs, where his wife is a managing director. When it was reported by The New York Times that Cruz failed to report a significant campaign loan from Goldman, Cruz said the Times was out to get him, then claimed it was an “oversight.” It was then revealed Cruz also didn’t disclose a loan from Citibank. Another oversight?
By bashing New Yorkers, I’ve got the feeling Cruz may have handed the Republican nomination to Donald Trump.
And when that’s the good news, we’re all in trouble.
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.