North Texas Daily

Vote your conscience: Why Ted Cruz was right

Vote your conscience: Why Ted Cruz was right

July 22
16:21 2016

Preston Mitchell | Opinion Editor

@presto_mitch

I am not, by any means, a fan of Ted Cruz. Even when his competition included Donald Trump and Chris Christie, he was one of the worst possible choices for a presidency, as his ludicrous brand of religion-based politics was always too archaic to work in the first place.

However, what Cruz did on July 20 calls for commemoration. Regardless of numerous delegates cheering him on at the Republican National Convention, Cruz was met by nearly unanimous boos after he refused to endorse Trump and encouraged conservatives to “vote [their] conscience” for a true freedom fighter instead.

As much as this has caused more division within the party, which is already split enough, Cruz’s actions were a necessary example of politicians going against their party.

While insubordination is frowned upon in most cases, jaded political climates (like the RNC) need it sometimes. Up to that point, the junket was mostly built on berating the Democratic Party – chiefly Hillary Clinton – and not discussing any policies for America’s benefit. The RNC was all about singing Trump’s praises, ignoring his wife’s plagiarism and “bringing ISIS to justice” without a logical explanation to do so.

Enter Ted Cruz, who used his prime-time platform to voice brief grievances that many refused to hear, something that contemporary politicians rarely attempt. Sometimes, political landscapes need to be shaken to ensure that change can actually happen.

Illustration by Samuel Wiggins | Senior Staff Illustrator

Illustration by Samuel Wiggins | Senior Staff Illustrator

For instance, Abraham Lincoln began his presidency wishing to never interfere with slavery. Nonetheless, the secession of the South enticed him to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which outlawed slavery in every state except the ones under Union control. In turn, Lincoln transformed his divided country into the first real podium for racial discussion. By redirecting his objectives to do the right thing, Lincoln paved the way for slavery’s demise, angering a lot of fellow Americans in the process.

The same could be said for Lyndon B. Johnson, who didn’t want any involvement in the Civil Rights Movement in spite of Martin Luther King’s wishes. It wasn’t until the legendary March on Washington that Johnson seemed to bulge, supporting an integration bill that he would have to battle the Senate on. Fortunately, this became the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Ted Cruz simply followed suit and went against the grain of everyone around him. Even though his “vote your conscience” line will be repeated in the same ironic vein of “make America safe again,” the speech was necessary because it represented a side of the Republican Party that the cameras didn’t want us to see. The side that doesn’t care for Donald Trump.

Perhaps the biggest failure of the RNC was the lack of contingency for Cruz’s stance. As much as Trump loves to milk crowds for their worth, “vote your conscience” provided the perfect opportunity for him to laugh off the speech and wind up his supporters again. Instead, Trump’s scolding increased the knee-jerk reaction from politicians, who continue to make caricatures out of themselves when we desperately need inspiration from both parties.

I can’t say that I was surprised to find out about Cruz. He already harbored animosity towards Trump, especially after Trump accused Cruz’s father of taking part in the JFK assassination. Be that as it may, Cruz’s speech is the beautiful sign of an idyllic age: one where politicians will actually tell the truth, no matter how much it contradicts their past mistakes.

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