No one is more surprised than we are. Not that his work isn’t ageless. It is. But to have a character from one of his great tragedies standing in front of you night after night, virtually delivering the Bard’s sentiments, is just a little disquieting.
Think hard, as we had to do. Ever since Mr. Cruz made his acceptance speech in Texas after becoming a new US Senator, we’ve been troubled by whom he most resembles. Listening to him then, as he latched onto all the disasters that befell Germany following World War 1 and transposed them for America’s dissatisfied voters (soon to be his, clearly, was his hope), the inescapable comparison was with Mr. Hitler who was, as “Trusted” is, a sensational ad lib speaker who can (and did) bring thousands to their feet with roars of approval. (That hasn’t happened with Ted. Let’s be grateful for something.)
According to Ted, the US is just as inconsequential as Mr. Trump says. Apart from promising us actions that should have him trembling in his boots, Ted gave a preview that November of 2012 of his schedule: abolish the IRS, do away with “Common Core,” return the US to the gold standard, kick the stuffing out of ISIS, build that wondrous wall between Mexico and the US, provide more jobs than the world has ever seen, overhaul (“repeal”) the Affordable Care Act, rebuild our defense systems, slash taxes and regulations, return the country to the stature of an international giant and yet somehow stop “nation-building”.
Listening to him after Wisconsin’s primary this week, we actually had a momentary sympathy for this guy who was promising everything all other politicians do even while knowing that almost nothing he proposed was ever likely to take place. It was a fearless presentation. And we worried about this creature’s safety as his voters came to realize that he was nothing more than what they thought all other politicians were. The image is of peasants with pitchforks.
We were not spared the embarrassment of hearing him compare himself to John F. Kennedy. And then, immediately after, to Winston Churchill.
That night, after lights out, we finally understood who Ted Cruz is and what the future holds.
Do any of the following – strung together on Wikipedia – ring a bell?
“ X is one of Shakespeare’s most sinister villains, often considered such because of the unique trust Y places in him, which he betrays while maintaining his reputation of honesty and dedication. Shakespeare contrasts X with Y’s nobility and integrity….
“X is often referred to as “honest X,” displaying his skill at deceiving other characters so that not only do they not suspect him, but they count on him as the person most likely to be truthful….
“….evil has nowhere else been portrayed with such mastery as in the evil character of X…stand(ing) supreme among Shakespeare’s evil characters because of the greatest intensity and subtlety of imagination (that) have gone into his making.”
That night, after sitting bolt upright (as the saying goes) and then rushing to our computer to confirm our sudden realization, Wikipedia refreshed not only our memory but also fingered X unmistakably as “Othello’s ‘honest’ Iago.” (Also saving us rereading the original. Whew!)
For our immediate purposes, think of “Y” as Ben Carson. Remember Iowa?
Ted Cruz, like Donald Trump, has asked us to believe him. To believe in him. We do, based entirely upon his past and his current actions, deeds (or lack thereof), and speeches.
Now the way to stop Cruz is exactly how to stop Trump. Just keep asking him, ”How?” Ted’s glib, fast, and articulate, and like Donald, will seek to throw the questioner into a different briar patch. Whereupon we should ask him, “When?” He’s slippery, so we’re prepared to ask him, “With what?” Trust Ted to be devious, so we need to be prepared. “Why?” Getting no suitable replies to any of our simple but sincere inquiries, finally we come to, “Where? Here?”
Let’s remember this is a guy who has won one previous election. This is a guy whose proudest moments (as he himself has said) in the past three years have been helping to shut down the US government, calling for the repeal of Obamacare, and trying to hunt down and skin, and then no doubt to mount, the hide of Planned Parenthood. Three sensationally positive policies none of which succeeded. This is someone who campaigns as “honest Ted”?
Worse, as someone who without blushing has the arrogance to lecture us all on constitutional law (he has actually pled before the Supreme Court); what patriotism means; maintaining critical connections with Israel. Even more, yesterday he tried to instill in high schoolers the demonization of Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Obama, Senator Schumer.
That, folks, is called, in “Honest Ted’s” lexicon, uniting the country.
In Ted Cruz’ mind, the country is divided into two parts: one part is made of Ted Cruz and his ambitions only. The other part is the rest of us. It’s one against millions. He believes he can persuade the millions to do the bidding of the one.
We ended that by declaring our independence from Great Britain more than three hundred years ago.
This candidate, like Mr. Trump, is so self-absorbed as to imagine what he plans as policy is not understood or realized by the public. He’s like a cat that hides when he wants no one to see him. If the cat hides and closes his eyes, in the cat’s mind no one can see him. A cat is only a smaller ostrich.
We have to reject Mr. Cruz entirely. Yes, he’s intelligent. Yes, he has no positive legislative achievement. Yes, his colleagues despise him even as they pretend to support him. This is called holding one’s nose for the sake of the party.
What began to be seen as catastrophic – an open convention – now seems as though perhaps it’s our only salvation.