By Sam Arciprete
This past week, former Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz announced his endorsement of Donald Trump. This endorsement comes after Ted Cruz has steadfastly held out endorsing the nominee since dropping out of the race in early May. Cruz said, “I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father” after Trump had implied that he knew secrets about his wife and that Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. This made sense, and I respected Ted Cruz for sticking to his convictions and not endorsing a man who had attacked him so personally during the primaries. I even defended him to anyone that called him a sore loser for not “kissing the ring” of the then-presumptive nominee.
Cruz then infamously urged Americans to “vote your conscience” at the Republican National Convention this July. Cruz put his political career on the line to stand up for what he believed to be an affront to everything he believes his party should stand for. I loved this move by Cruz. Cruz seemed to be setting himself up for the post-Trump Republican party and positioned himself excellently for when his followers came crawling back after an embarrassing defeat in the general election. It was a gamble, but I always respect someone going against convention for a cause in which they believe. I applauded Ted Cruz for this move, even as he was being torn apart by the conservative media.
But now, with his recent endorsement of Donald Trump for President, it appears that there was no calculation or master plan behind Cruz’s antics this summer. He had no overarching philosophy to save conservatism from the stain Donald Trump will inevitably leave. He was just like every other politician: a media-craving liar. I never agreed with Ted Cruz on any policies at all, really, but I thought I had at least found a politician that will stand up for what he believes to be right and just, even if what he believes is that organizations like Planned Parenthood are merely a gang of criminals. Ted Cruz called Donald Trump a “bully” and a “pathological liar,” but now he is saying that Republicans need Donald Trump in the White House. His rationale is that Hillary Clinton is “manifestly unfit to be president, and her policies would harm millions of Americans. And Donald Trump is the only thing standing in her way.” This is essentially the “lesser of two evils” rationale we’ve been hearing for the past six months. A big problem I have with the endorsement is the timing. Why come out now and endorse Donald Trump? There wasn’t mounting public pressure to endorse the nominee. Cruz had said his piece at the convention and people had moved on. But that’s exactly why he had to cave and endorse Donald Trump—people had moved on from Ted Cruz. The media focus had moved on from Ted Cruz and this was a cheap move that Cruz could use to get the media buzz back on him for a few days. But was it worth it? This move makes Ted Cruz look weak. It makes him look like a flip-flopper who cares more about internet hits than integrity. But then again, who knows? Maybe the thought of a Hillary Clinton presidency was so repugnant to him he had to suspend his beliefs.