As we enter the final 18 months before the 2016 election, it’s high time Combat! blog endorsed a candidate for president. That candidate is Ted Cruz. Sure, we disagree with most of his political positions and all of his musical ones. But he has the three qualities this blog looks for in a candidate: 1) He is 15% worse at lying than he thinks he is. 2) He is neither a Bush nor a Clinton. 3) He has almost no chance of becoming president. That last element is crucial to our endorsement. We are proud to endorse Candidate Cruz, because we are confident that we will never have to answer for anything President Cruz might do. He clinched the Combat! blog endorsement with this poll.
Granted, some elements of that Public Policy Polling report are terrifying—for example, the news that Scott Walker leads the Republican field nationally. Combat! blog does not endorse Walker, because the President of the United States should not resemble a cartoon dog. He should resemble a wax statue of Napoleon and, if possible, should talk like such a statue come to life. Ted Cruz is that evil statue.
Also, he was never the First Lady, and his dad was never president. Ted Cruz’s dad is a crazy person. More importantly, other crazy dads love Ted Cruz, too. In the Public Policy Polling survey, 10% of Republican primary voters said they supported Cruz. But he polled at a robust 25% among self-identified tea party Republicans, making him the leading candidate in that demographic.
If the tea party has taught us one thing over the last six years, it’s that they influence the news cycle far beyond their actual numbers. Only 25% of Republican respondents to the PPP survey identified themselves as tea partiers. A quarter of a quarter of the GOP is not going to make Cruz president, but it will make him seem important to cable news.
And you know that his personality will keep him in the race long after he should drop out. Cruz is in many ways an improved Michele Bachmann: popular with the loudest and dumbest members of his party, committed to aggrandizing himself on television, but—and this is important—much smarter than the erstwhile representative from Minnesota.
At many times, Bachmann seemed genuinely dumb. That made mocking her feel kind of unseemly, although we did it plenty anyway. But Cruz is not dumb; he’s dishonest. His debate-team brand of smug mendacity, where “true” is a title awarded to whatever the winner said, promises much more entertainment than Bachmann’s vapid rambling.
Can you imagine an argument between Cruz and Ben Carson? It would be like watching your grandpa argue with a car salesman, only without the burden of loving one of the parties involved. So many of the Republican candidates for president appear to be earnestly wrong—wrong with good intentions and heartfelt beliefs. It will be thrilling to watch those people pit their worldviews against bona fide mendacity.
Also, Cruz was not born to the head of the CIA, nor has he previously lived in the White House. He is not named as a beneficiary in the will of any previous President of the United States. He will never win a national election, but if he did, it would not resemble the democracy of the Philippines.
For these and many other reasons, he stands almost zero chance of winning in 2016. We will be shocked if he makes it to the Republican convention. That makes him the perfect candidate for a blog devoted to the study of rhetoric and its kissing cousin lying. Nothing Cruz does will influence the course of American history after this summer, yet he seems important, somehow. That is the Combat! blog wheelhouse, right there.
Plus, even if he somehow wins, he will not constitute another massive stone in the foundation of an American oligarchy. A vote for Ted Cruz is a vote for destructively theoretical governance, but at least it’s not a vote to make President an inherited title. Combat! blog endorses him the way we endorse Welcome to Me. Sure, there are some obvious flaws, and it probably won’t be very popular. But at least it’s not a remake or a sequel.