Column: Cruz might be more dangerous than Trump
He will say literally anything, no matter how outrageous, to scare people into believing he is the only candidate that can save America from a plethora of so-called threats.
Apr. 13, 2016
The opinions expressed by The Maneater columnists do not represent the opinions of The Maneater editorial board.
Ted Cruz might not be the Zodiac Killer, but he is dangerous.
The Republican senator and presidential candidate from Texas boasts his Christian faith, has vowed to fight terrorism and uses the campaign slogan “TrusTed.” What’s the problem, you ask? All of the above.
In January, four Iranian-Americans were released from Iran after being held captive there. Cruz tweeted in response, “Prayers of thanksgiving that Pastor Saeed (Abedini) is coming home.” Throughout the detainees’ imprisonment, Cruz advocated for Abedini’s freedom and barely acknowledged the other three hostages, focusing only on the one that was Christian. This is just one example of his adamant belief that Christianity is the only faith worth protecting. He even told the media in January, "I'm a Christian first, American second.”
In late March, he created a Religious Liberty Advisory Council. One of its main goals is to legally permit people to discriminate against the LGBTQ community based on personal religious beliefs, “protecting” those people as if they are the ones being mistreated. Cruz shares the GOP’s distorted view of religious liberty, which is nothing more than an excuse for bigotry. Genuine religious liberty allows people of all faiths to live in harmony and without fear. Cruz promotes the opposite.
In November, Cruz said the U.S. should only accept Christian, not Muslim, refugees from Syria. In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Brussels less than a month ago, Cruz called for heightened police patrolling of Muslim neighborhoods “before they become radicalized.” His rival Donald Trump wants to implement a ban on Muslims entering the U.S., believing terrorism will come from the outside in. Cruz believes that as well, but he also believes terrorism is already here, lurking in the shadows and waiting to pounce.
Cruz’s nastiest qualities would probably be more obvious if Trump weren't constantly in the spotlight, speaking nonsense and facilitating violence at his campaign events. People don’t get beaten up at Cruz’s rallies, so he must be better than Trump, right? Wrong.
Trump spreads fear and hatred, but Cruz is no better. In fact, Cruz might be worse. Trump is a showman above all else, and it’s difficult to tell how much conviction lies behind the gibberish he spouts. Cruz speaks clearly and with utter seriousness. And as dishonest as Trump is, “Lyin’ Ted,” Trump’s nickname for Cruz, is a well-deserved moniker (and let it be known that acknowledging any level of accuracy in a Trump statement, as rare as that is, makes me want to vomit).
The nonpartisan website Politifact has checked 102 of Cruz’s statements, only six of which were labeled completely true. Sixty-seven of them were false, mostly false or “pants on fire.” Some of his most outlandish fabrications are that areas with strict gun-control laws have higher rates of gun violence, that ISIS has been crucifying Christians in Iraq, and that the Democrats threatened to shut down Catholic charities and hospitals if the Church didn’t change its beliefs.
Of course, Cruz has used religion to try to demonize Democrats multiple times. He once alleged that the Democratic Party had “no room” for Christians and fostered a “liberal fascism” that targeted Christians who opposed same-sex marriage.
Actually, fascist ideology uses fear through religious appeals and an obsession with nationalism and national security to manipulate public opinion, and Cruz is doing exactly that. He rallies the support of evangelical Christians by claiming their beliefs are in imminent danger that only extreme measures can prevent. He will say literally anything, no matter how outrageous, to scare people into believing he is the only candidate that can save America from a plethora of so-called threats. Though Trump does the same thing, Cruz’s conviction and political knowledge make his proposals more likely than Trump’s to become reality, and that means he most definitely cannot be “TrusTed” with the presidency.