Thursday, January 28, 2016

Politically Correct or Not

Political—related to polarized, competing worldviews, particularly competing movements for power over the people
Correct—in alignment with prescribed answers, views, statements, opinions
So, politically correct means aligned with a particular polarity that wants to control others and maintain power. It has nothing to do with being tolerant and polite.

A few weeks ago I read a piece that detailed the definition, and outlined its use as propaganda: “PC Is about Control, Not Etiquette,” by Jeff Diest, in an issue of The Austrian, for The Mises Institute. I’d be satisfied just to concur with him. But for this post I’ll quote liberally from that piece, and then do some application related to current events.

If PC truly was about kindness and respect, it wouldn’t need to be imposed on us. After all, we already have a mechanism for the social cohesion PC is said to represent: it’s called manners. And we already have specific individuals charged with insuring that good manners are instilled and upheld: they’re called parents.
Diest offers a definition of political correctness, similar to mine, and asserts that it is best understood as propaganda:

Political correctness is the conscious, designed manipulation of language intended to change the way people speak, write, think, feel, and act, in furtherance of an agenda.
PC is best understood as propaganda, which is how I suggest we approach it. But unlike propaganda, which historically has been used by governments to win favor for a particular campaign or effort, PC is all-encompassing. It seeks nothing less than to mold us into modern versions of Marx’s un-alienated society man, freed of all his bourgeois pretensions and humdrum social conventions.
While we’re quoting, Diest quotes Hans-Hermann Hoppe:

[T]he masters … stipulate that aggression, invasion, murder and war are actually self-defense, whereas self-defense is aggression, invasion, murder and war. Freedom is coercion, and coercion is freedom. … Taxes are voluntary payments, and voluntarily paid prices are exploitative taxes. In a PC world, metaphysics is diverted and rerouted. Truth becomes malleable, to serve a bigger purpose determined by our superiors.
This ought to bring to mind the scripture, Isaiah 5:20:

20 ¶Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Political correctness is a lie imposed on people. It is the antithesis of free speech—and simultaneously the antithesis of social caring. It isn’t about being tolerant and kind; it is about bulling to force submission.

The bully of political correctness is always what the world terms liberal. Let’s reframe that using Spherical Model terms, which are more accurate, since “liberal” in this context has nothing to do with freedom or open-mindedness. Political correctness is the propaganda that enforces southern hemisphere tyranny. People who love freedom, prosperity, and civilization are the target of PC propaganda.

I don’t want to use a lot of space delineating the examples. So, just a few of the truths that are labeled politically incorrect:

·         Marriage is between one man and one woman.
·         Judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.
·         All lives matter.
·         Abortion kills an innocent human being.
·         Men and women are different
·         A person’s gender is biological and unchangeable.
·         A person’s sexual orientation may be determined by many factors, but can change, and doesn’t determine behavior.
·         Religious people live their religion every day, not just at church on Sunday.
·         People have the right to defend themselves, their families, and their property.
·         People should feel secure in their person and papers, even when they have nothing to hide.
·         People who commit crimes should be held accountable—even if they had a bad childhood or other social disadvantages.
·         The person who earns money should be the one to decide how to spend it—even if that person makes more than someone else.
·         Disagreeing with someone doesn’t mean we hate them or consider them our enemies.
·         “Climate change” science isn’t settled.
·         Immigrants should enter our country legally and intend to become Americans, respecting our culture and our Constitution.
·         Enforcing our borders does not mean hating immigrants.

People who believe these basic obvious truths—who happen to be conservatives, almost exclusively—have been shut out of the debate, bullied, silenced with “political correctness” for so long, there’s a growing frustration and anger. They (we) are being bullied.

It is into that steaming, silent, seemingly powerless fuming that Donald Trump steps. It appears that someone is standing up to the bully. And people cheer for that. Sometimes to the point that they fail to realize that he isn’t their champion.

He is his own propaganda machine. He is a new bully. He sets a different list of what can and cannot be said—and he enforces it with his considerable power, influence, and money, and in a way that goads the media into magnifying for him.
Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly
photo: John Minchillo--AP

As I write, I’m watching the Trump-free GOP debate, which Trump is boycotting because he’s been having a feud with Megyn Kelly, since her “politically incorrect—to him” questioning in the first Fox debate in August.

To review, this is the exchange, from the transcript:

KELLY: Mr. Trump, one of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and you don’t use a politician’s filter. However, that is not without its downsides, in particular, when it comes to women. You’ve called women you don’t like “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.” Your Twitter account…
TRUMP: Only Rosie O’Donnell.
KELLY: No, it wasn’t. Your Twitter account…
TRUMP: Thank you.
KELLY: For the record, it was well beyond Rosie O’Donnell.
TRUMP: Yes, I’m sure it was.
KELLY: Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who was likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?
TRUMP: I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people, and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either. This country is in big trouble. We don’t win anymore. We lose to China. We lose to Mexico both in trade and at the border. We lose to everybody.
And frankly, what I say, and oftentimes it’s fun, it’s kidding. We have a good time. What I say is what I say. And honestly Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn’t do that.
But you know what, we — we need strength, we need energy, we need quickness and we need brain in this country to turn it around. That, I can tell you right now.
I highlighted the actual question. The answer is, essentially, “I was just kidding.” For that “attack on him,” even though he said he wouldn’t do such a thing, after the debate he started an ongoing attack on Megyn Kelly. It may be shocking that the details she used would be brought up to a presidential candidate—since they were pretty much ignored for Bill Clinton. But the question itself was reasonable, in not very substantive, and pertinent to this candidate. But it wasn’t pro-Trump, so he insists it’s bad journalism.

In another debate he admitted to a possible weakness. Here’s what he said

TRUMP: I think maybe my greatest weakness is that I trust people too much. I’m too trusting. And when they let me down, if they let me down, I never forgive. I find it very, very hard to forgive people that deceived me. So I don’t know if you would call that a weakness, but my wife said “let up.”
I would call that a weakness. A serious one.

So, how do you get attacked by Donald Trump? You cross him. You disagree with him. You let his own flaws become clear to the public. Or you simply get in his way. (Example here.)

He attacks with lies. He bullies. He manipulates. He publicly demeans.

How is that different from “political correctness” if you’re someone who doesn’t agree with him? It isn’t.

Trump isn’t standing up against political correctness per se; he’s standing up against the current propaganda and plans to replace it with his own.

If you do not agree with him, succumb to him, worship him, you risk being squashed under his very big shoe, you inconsequential bug.

Diest isn’t including Trump in his discussion. I’m making that addition. But Diest tells us that PC is indeed dangerous:

Understand that the PC enforcers are not asking you, they’re not debating you, and they don’t care about your vote. They don’t care whether they can win at the ballot box, or whether they use extralegal means. There are millions of progressives in the US who absolutely would criminalize speech that does not comport with their sense of social justice.
One poll suggests 51 percent of Democrats and 1/3 of all Americans would do just that.
A different flavor—a more brash and vulgar voice—is no less a problem for freedom-loving Americans.

Diest offers some suggestions about standing up to PC, wherever it comes from:

This is not to say that bucking PC can’t hurt you: the possible loss of one’s job, reputation, friends, and even family is very serious. But defeatism is never called for, and it makes us unworthy of our ancestors.
Use humor to ridicule PC. PC is absurd, and most people sense it. And its practitioners suffer from a comical lack of self-awareness and irony. Use every tool at your disposal to mock, ridicule, and expose PC for what it is.
Never forget that society can change very rapidly in the wake of certain precipitating events. We certainly all hope that no great calamity strikes America, in the form of an economic collapse, a currency collapse, an inability to provide entitlements and welfare, energy shortages, food and water shortages, natural disasters, or civil unrest. But we can’t discount the possibility of these things happening.
And if they do, I suggest that PC language and PC thinking will be the first ornament of the state to go. Only rich, modern, societies can afford the luxury of a mindset that does not comport with reality, and that mindset will be swiftly swept aside as the “rich” part of America frays.
I don’t want some dire calamity to wake us up. I’m totally in favor of thinking, reading, and doing the right thing without hardship. I’m not good at ridicule, even when exposing ideas (not in favor of ridiculing people, and I don’t think Diest is either). But I appreciate a good political cartoon or satire. Good luck to those who can do those things well.

Lacking those skills, let me just remind that speaking truth, in families, is where recovery begins, so we freedom loving people have the strength to stand up to the bullies.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Comparing Resumes, Part II

Here we are a week before the first (Iowa) primary, so we’re looking at the top two Republican candidates. In Part I, we looked at Ted Cruz’s qualifications. Today we’ll look at Donald Trump.

We’ll start with the resume.  I didn’t find it listed out exactly like Ted Cruz’s, but between Wikipedia and various other sources, we can get the basics.
Trump at New Hampshire townhall,
August 2015
photo from Wikipedia

·         Born and raised in Queens, New York, son of real estate magnate Fred Trump.
·         Attended private Kew-Forest School, where his father was on the board of trustees.
·         Attended New York Military Academy for high school.
·         Attended Fordham University for two years, and then finished at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a BS in Economics in 1968, specializing in real estate.
·         He was eligible for the draft during the Viet Nam War era, but got four education deferments, followed by a health deferment related to heel spurs (he doesn’t remember in which foot).
·         He was given a job at the family real estate business, Elizabeth Trump and Son.
·         Three years out of college, following several successful real estate projects with his father, he was given control of the company and changed the name to The Trump Organization.
·         Successful projects include the conversion of the Commodore Hotel to the Grand Hyatt, the Javits Convention Center, repairs on the Wollman Rink in New York City, and Trump Tower.
·         Following problems with the Taj Mahal casino, He underwent a business bankruptcy in 1991, following failure to pay loans. Three other of his businesses also went through bankruptcies.
·         Upon the death of his father, he received a quarter share of $250-300 million inheritance.
·         His net worth is estimated by Forbes as $4 billion.
·         Trump claims his net worth is $8.7 billion, but at least $3.3 billion of that consists of "Real Estate Licensing Deals, Brand and Branded Developments," described by Business Insider as "basically [implying] that Trump values his character at $3.3 billion."
·         Besides real estate, his investments and projects include some stock market investments (a small portion), sports (including WWE and Wrestlemania), beauty pageants (particularly the Miss Universe Organization), and media.
·         He is most well-known for his reality television show The Apprentice, which began in 2003. He filed a trademark application for the phrase, “You’re fired.”
·         He claims to be close friends with Bill and Hillary Clinton, and invited them to his daughter’s wedding.
·         He has listed his party affiliation as Republican, Independence Party, Democrat, and "decline to state." He toyed with a presidential run as a Reform Party candidate in 2000. He considered presidential runs in 1988, 2004, and 2012 but did not register to run, and also as New York governor in 2006.
·         He has contributed to both Democrat and Republican candidates; of the top ten, six were Democrat, and four were Republican. After 2011, his donations leaned more toward Republicans.
·         While it was the Hillary Clinton campaign that started the “birther” question about Barack Obama in 2008, Trump pursued it. He is currently pressing a “birther” movement against his closest competitor, Ted Cruz.
·         He has declined donations for his campaign, claiming that makes him free from obligations to donors; it also takes away the ability to compare his fundraising to others, as a measure of support.
·         Following his announcement to run in June, he has been a major news topic, which has allowed him to receive media attention with very little campaign expenditure. On December 28, 2015, Trump was named the Top Name in Global English by the Global Language Monitor finishing ahead of Pope Francis, Vladimir Putin, and Angela Merkel.
·         His populist campaign theme is, “We are going to make our country great again," with a second most common phrase being, “Believe me.” Details are scarce, but his tax plan gives less relief to the middle class than the plans provided by all the other candidates.
·         His main issue is the border. He uses a broad brush. He says we will build a wall on the southern border and Mexico will pay for it (because his strong personality will make them pay for it). He has recently suggested refusing entry to any Muslims, until the US has a better vetting process. As recently as last summer, he was in favor of a path to citizenship for illegal aliens. His current plan appears to be what is referred to as “touchback”: deport long enough for technicality, then immediately allow re-entry with a path to citizenship.
·         He has supported Planned Parenthood, opposed limiting partial-birth abortion, and until a nuanced recent change has supported pro-abortion policies.
·         Has supported Obama and his policies, saying: “He understands how the economy works on a comprehensive level. He has also surrounded himself with very competent people, and that’s the mark of a strong leader.”
·         He has supported single-payer socialized health care for years, and has made no promise to repeal Obamacare.
·         He supported the 2009 stimulus and Obama’s efforts to nationalize banks.
·         He claims to be a Christian, specifically Presbyterian, but seldom attends church more than at Easter and Christmas; he once said that his favorite book is the Bible—they are often given to him as gifts, and he keeps them in some unspecified special place that is not his office or his home. He has disparaged the religious beliefs of both Ben Carson and Ted Cruz. He has no history of supporting First Amendment religious freedom rights.
·         He claims to have never felt the need to ask for forgiveness for anything.
·         He supports the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples.
·         He described his socially liberal views as “New York values,” but attacked Cruz for repeating that phrase, accusing Cruz of disparaging the New Yorkers who survived the World Trade Center attacks.
·         He responds to criticism with swift retaliation, often using untruths and vulgarities to disparage those he considers his enemies.
·         He doesn’t agree that Obama’s executive actions are unlawful and plans to use that end-run around Congress himself—only doing things he likes, instead of things Obama likes, which he asserts makes all the difference.
·         He supports the use of imminent domain to confiscate property from some individuals to make it available to other private entities who want to develop the land for profit.
·         He has been married three times. He and first wife, Ivana, have three children (including daughter Ivanka, who is executive vice-president of The Trump Organization); they were divorced after 13 years of marriage because of his long-running affair with Marla Maples. Maples gave birth to their daughter in 1991; they were married in 1993 and divorced in 1997. He failed in attempts to court Princess Di, following her divorce, while he was still married. His current wife is Slovenian-born model Melania Knauss, whom he began seeing in 1998 and married in 2004. She became a naturalized citizen the following year, and gave birth to son Barron William Trump.

While Trump makes a vaguely positive claim that he can “make America great again,” he offers no indication that he will apply the Constitution to do that.

Rather than compare Trump's resume to Cruz's, I'm going to do a little comparison with Mitt Romney's.

The claim that Trump is a great businessman falls flat coming from those who weren’t satisfied with Mitt Romney four years ago. Romney didn’t have a fortune handed to him, and a company placed in his lap. His education was not provided by parental patronage. Romney worked hard, while raising a family, and earned both law and MBA degrees from Harvard. He worked hard at jobs he got himself, and his work came to encompass helping other businesses succeed. He became the turnaround expert, which came into play when he left the business world to enter public service, first with the Salt Lake Olympics, and then as governor of Massachusetts.

Romney lived life as a free-market capitalist. Trump embodies crony-capitalism. He does business by buying and trading favors with people who can do something for him. Maybe he’s running, in the first place, because the possibility of a Cruz presidency—or anyone else willing to enforce the Constitution—would put an end to his crony-capitalist power, and he wasn’t willing to let that happen.

Romney was never for socialized, single-payer health care, and was against forcing Massachusetts citizens to buy health care, preferring to use incentives rather than penalties. While I think Massachusetts went too far—because 87% of its Congress was Democrat—Romney and The Heritage Foundation had prevented much worse. Any claim that “Romneycare” was the forefunner of Obamacare is an outright lie.  Yet Trump is all for Obama’s actual socialized medicine scheme.

Romney was known by friends and fellow businessmen as scrupulously honest and ethical. No one makes those claims about Trump. There are hundreds of lawsuits against him. He is considered ruthless and opportunistic. He seems to not have close friends beyond wives and girlfriends.
Romney has always been known as generous and giving. Trump gives when it benefits him and builds connections, or obligates people to him.

Romney was berated for having very slight changes in policy toward abortion (change from “as governor, I don’t expect to have any effect on Roe v. Wade and don’t plan to change the law” to “when a law to make abortion more available comes before me as governor, I can’t sign that”). Trump has been openly pro-abortion, even to support partial-birth abortion; during the campaign suddenly he claims to think abortion is a bad idea, because of a servant’s experience. But he hasn’t done anything to prove any sudden change to pro-life views.

Romney was berated in 2008 as an outsider, because he was a governor and hadn’t spent years working with the national party. He spent four years, at his own expense, supporting the most conservative Republican candidates he could find, all around the country, and proved his loyalty to the party. In 2012 he was berated as an insider/moderate. Trump, a progressive, can’t even prove he didn’t vote for Obama, once or twice, and receives a pass for his lack of Republican—let alone conservative—bona fides. In the last couple of weeks, even the party establishment is starting to embrace him, because he’s a deal maker, and they can compromise with him, which they fear they cannot do with Ted Cruz, whose loyalty lies with the Constitution.

Trump’s appeal seems to be based entirely on his brash willingness to speak his mind. Fine. But his mind isn’t focused on truth—he claims truth is whatever he says it is right now. He isn’t focused on limiting the government to the Constitution. He isn’t focused on the basic economic principle of allowing the person earning the money to decide how to spend it. He isn’t focused on God-given rights, and moving society to live the civilizing Ten Commandments—valuing God, family, life, truth, and property.

In Spherical Model terms, he’s firmly in the southern hemisphere, where you get tyranny, poverty, and savagery. Trump offers an alternate flavor of those bad ends, but nothing that would lead us out of those negatives.

Would he be better than a communist/socialist/progressive Democrat? Unknown. Totally depends on what he has the urge to do on any given day. He’s a power-monger. He’s a crony-capitalist. He’s a serial adulterer. That puts him southern hemisphere in the political, economic, and social spheres.

It’s not like he’s the least of various evils; he’s the least conservative of the GOP options. It’s hard to be certain that he would be the lesser of two evils up against an open socialist.

So why is Trump getting so much traction? 

My only guess is that he has a lot of money to buy outcomes. He is a media celebrity. And, just like in high school where the “most popular” person wins the class elections, people who support him are doing so for the shallowest of reasons.

The future of our great nation is at stake, because too many people like in-your-face brashness, regardless of content of words or content of character.

If you love freedom, prosperity, and civilization, a vote for Cruz gives us hope for that. A vote for Trump guarantees that we may lose it for decades, maybe forever.

You don’t want to take my word for it? Besides the collection of 22 conservatives weighing in at National Review last week (“Conservatives against Trump”) here are a few more worth reading:

·         The Establishment's Irrational Fear of Ted Cruz,” David Limbaugh
·         Donald Trump’s New Ad Shows His Contempt ForVoters,” Streiff at Red State
·         Paths to The Nomination: Trump, Cruz, and Rubio,” Robert Tracinski (This piece is about the campaign game, which goes against my grain, and I don’t agree with it in entirety, but I think the explanation of Trump support based on his TV celebrity is accurate.)
·         When Conservatives Needed Allies, Donald TrumpSided with Obama,” Glenn Beck for National Review

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Comparing Resumes, Part I

The Spherical Model is about the principles that lead to freedom, prosperity, and thriving civilization. There’s a political sphere to that. But I am not a political pundit. I have opinions, including opinions on candidates, based on how we best get to the goals, which are embodied in adherence to the US Constitution, free enterprise, and a righteous people with strong families.

Sometimes getting to the goal involves talking about candidates and elections. Getting it right this election year—this election primary, which is upon us—is critical for the survival of our civilization.

I’m not trying to be hyperbolic. Currently our leadership is sinking us fast into the tyranny zone. But for the capital we had built up through years of relative obedience to the principles in the Constitution, we would be as deep into tyranny as any European socialist nation, and possibly closer to various dictatorships. The goal to “transform America” was literal and purposeful. If you want to understand what “progressive” means in the political world, it is moving purposefully toward tyranny, poverty, and savagery.

The only way out is to stop and turn the country around. Northward, in Spherical Model terms.

It is not enough to elect someone who might not sink us as fast. We have to do everything right for a good long while. We have to restore. The difference right now is drastic. Just consider the difference between today’s Supreme Court, which ordered us to redefine marriage so that has nothing to do with permanency, exclusivity, and parenting biological offspring. We have a chance to get 2-4 more “progressive” activist justices or 2-4 Constitution-upholding justices. And the effects of these appointees will be with us for two or more decades.

We need a leader who understands and follows the Constitution. One who can identify our God-given rights and the role of government to protect them—and government’s limit to that role.

We need a leader who understands that any government spending beyond its limited role is money that would be better spent by the people who earned it. We need a leader who recognizes the power of a free market economy combined with a charitable people to bring on prosperity and lead everyone out of poverty.

We need a leader who lives a life of integrity. Someone honest, selfless, steadfast, and preferably really smart. We need him to understand and value family. He needs to be religious—so that he understands what “God-given rights” means.

Right now, a week or so before the Iowa caucus, the first circus of the season, the Republican Primary appears to be mainly a two-person race: Trump and Cruz. So I’d like to spend a couple of days comparing them to the rubric we conservatives have been carving in stone these past seven years.

Today I’ll recount Ted Cruz’s resume, and see if he qualifies. Next post I plan to see how Trump measures up.

Ted Cruz, interview with Glenn Beck in October

Ted Cruz—Born for Such a Time as This?

Last week I was listening to Glenn Beck radio; he is a Cruz supporter. He happened to say something like, “If you could get a candidate that was exactly the Constitutional person you want….” And then he went ahead and listed Cruz’s resume. I looked for the segment this week, but don’t remember which day it aired, so I didn’t find it. Finally I did an online search and found a piece written last August, which I am pretty sure Beck was reading from.

I’ve been familiar with Cruz's background—we covered a lot of it here in Texas when he ran for the Senate. And I’ve heard his father, Rafael Cruz, talk about his background as well. The resume starts after high school, so I’ll start with a recounting of the high school experience, which I wrote last February:

As Ted was entering high school, he was introduced to a leader of the American Enterprise Institute who got him reading classics. From there, Ted, in a group of five, formed what was called the Constitution Club. They memorized the Constitution. They toured the state, doing Rotary Club lunches and other forums. They would write the Constitution on several blackboards while people were eating. Then they would give speeches on free market economics.
A young Ted Cruz gave some 80 such speeches during his high school years.
Now, for the resume. As I said, I tracked it down to an article from August, by Young Conservatives editor John S. Roberts, which linked a piece from 2013, where the resume had appeared; Roberts has updated with Cruz’s efforts in the Senate:

§  Graduated valedictorian in 1988 from Second Baptist High School
§  Graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 1992
§  Graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1995
§  1992 U.S. National Debate Champion representing Princeton
§  1995 World Debating Championship semi-finalist representing Harvard
§  Served as law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, making him the first Hispanic ever to clerk for a Chief Justice of the United States
§  Served as Solicitor General of Texas from 2003 to 2008, making him the first Hispanic Solicitor General in Texas, the youngest Solicitor General in the entire country, and the longest tenure in Texas history
§  Partner at the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where he led the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national appellate litigation practice
§  Authored over 80 SCOTUS briefs and presented over 40 oral arguments before The Court
§  In the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, Cruz assembled a coalition of 31 states in defense of the principle that the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms
§  Presented oral arguments before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
§  Defended the Ten Commandments monument on the Texas State Capitol grounds
§  Defended the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools
§  Defended the State of Texas against an attempt by the International Court of Justice to re-open the criminal convictions of 51 murderers on death row throughout the United States
§  Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission
§  Domestic Policy Advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign
§  Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, where he taught U.S. Supreme Court litigation
§  Ted Cruz is currently junior US Senator from Texas, defeating Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst who was heavily favored and backed by the DC old-guard GOP
§  Defeated Democrat Paul Sadler in the general election
§  Endorsed by The Tea Party and the Republican Liberty Caucus
§  AWARDS: “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business,” Chambers USA (2009 & 2010); “50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America,” National Law Journal (2008); “25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century,” Texas Lawyer (2010); “20 Young Hispanic Americans on the Rise,” Newsweek (1999); Traphagen Distinguished Alumnus, Harvard Law School
§  On November 14, 2012, Cruz was appointed vice-chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee
§  Unlike Obama, Cruz didn’t sit in the U.S. Senate and vote “present.” He has sponsored 97 bills. Here are a few crucial pieces of legislation sponsored by Cruz:
§  ObamaCare Repeal Act
§  Prohibit use of drones from killing citizens of the United States within the United States
§  Disarm Criminals and Protect Communities Act
§  Firearm Straw Purchasing and Trafficking Prevention Act
§  Defund Obamacare Act of 2013
§  A bill to amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to permit States to require proof of citizenship for registration to vote in elections for Federal office
§  A bill to designate the United States courthouse located at 101 East Pecan Street in Sherman, Texas, as the Paul Brown United States Courthouse
§  A bill to require the Secretary of State to offer rewards of up to $5,000,000 for information regarding the attacks on the United States diplomatic mission at Benghazi, Libya, that began on September 11, 2012
§  State Marriage Defense Act of 2014
§  A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit the intentional discrimination of a person or organization by an employee of the Internal Revenue Service
§  A bill to prohibit the Department of the Treasury from assigning tax statuses to organizations based on their political beliefs and activities
§  American Energy Renaissance Act of 2014
§  A bill to deny admission to the United States to any representative to the United Nations who has been found to have been engaged in espionage activities or a terrorist activity against the United States and poses a threat to United States national security interests
§  SuperPAC Elimination Act of 2014
§  Free All Speech Act of 2014
§  Guantanamo Bay Detainee Transfer Suspension Act of 2014
§  A bill to require the Secretary of State to offer rewards totaling up to $5,000,000 for information on the kidnapping and murder of Naftali Fraenkel, a dual United States-Israeli citizen, that began on June 12, 2014
§  A bill to prevent the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program unlawfully created by Executive memorandum on August 15, 2012
§  Sanction Iran, Safeguard America Act of 2014
§  Expatriate Terrorists Act
§  Operation United Assistance Tax Exclusion Act of 2014

If you heard that he doesn’t play well with others, how do you explain the coalition building in his record? If you’ve heard that nobody likes him in the Senate, maybe you’re not asking the right people; maybe you’re listening to the one’s he’s standing up against (the entire Democrat party and a good portion of his own party)—which is what we elected him to do. We didn’t elect him to go make friends with the people who were failing us Americans.

One baffling complaint I’ve heard is that Cruz doesn’t sound genuine, or that he sounds like a preacher. If you think he’s not genuine, you haven’t done your homework. If you think he sounds like a preacher, and that’s offensive to you, maybe you need to recognize your own filter, turn it off, and listen again. What you’re hearing is articulate truth from a genuinely good man, who loves our country and sees clearly that the way to say America is to return to the brilliant, inspired Constitution, and also happens, not coincidentally, to love God.

You might not know that he has a special skill, like a photographic memory, only auditory, called an audiographic memory. He hears something, and he has perfect recall. So sometimes you’re hearing him say the same things again, with the same words, not because he has slickly memorized a script, but because he remembers how he last said it. Example: “If I’m elected president, let me tell you about my first day in office. The first thing I plan to do is to rescind every illegal and unconstitutional action taken by Barack Obama.” That was from the closing statement of the first debate in August. He says is again and again, on radio, in townhalls. He probably says it the same way in casual conversation. He means it.

Interestingly, it’s almost exactly what Marco Rubio is now saying. In last week’s debate Rubio said, “When I become president of the United States, on my first day in office we are going to repeal every single one of his unconstitutional executive orders.”  He has begun saying it in interviews and townhalls as well. I’m glad Rubio is saying it too; they all should say it and mean it, if they want to be our president. But maybe he ought to give a hat tip to Cruz, since some of us have pretty good memories too.

Trump isn’t saying it. He says executive order abuse is wrong generally, but he’ll use executive orders too, since Obama started it—only he’ll use them for better purposes. And stuff.

Someday we’ll do fuller coverage of Cruz’s religious belief, which I believe is genuine. For now I’ll just link to this video telling the story of his faith: here.

In part II we’ll take a closer look at Donald Trump.