The chattering classes have created yet another debate that only they seem to be interested in, asking: Will Ted Cruz endorse Donald Trump? And if he doesn’t, will it hurt him?
The short answers: “I hope not.” And “No.”
At Conservative Review, Steve Deace posts seven reasons why Cruz shouldn’t endorse The Donald. Here’s one:
You will tarnish your brand, at least to some degree, because all the reasons to endorse Trump tarnish it.
How do you credibly endorse someone you called a “pathological liar” for the highest office in all the land after writing a book called A Time for Truth? How do you endorse a guy for president who dishonored your wife, called you a whoremonger, and claimed your dad was a presidential assassin? That’s pretty much the most beta thing ever. I’m going to point this out now as a friend, in the hopes that our enemies in the D.C. Cartel and media may not have to do it later.
You literally gain nothing from this politically and it’s a one-sided waste of political capital.
Look at all the others who have assumed the position for Trump, and what have they gained politically for it? Answer: zilch. And at the cost of their integrities to boot. They now owe all their futures to Trump winning in November, and won’t have one if he loses.
Don’t be that guy.
Patterico, who has created a non-partisan movement for constitutionalists called the Constitutional Vanguard, adds:
I think Cruz genuinely believes (as I do) that Donald Trump will end up as a disaster, either because he will hand the election to Hillary Clinton — or else will get into office and stab conservatives in the back so many times that they’ll look like someone sicced O.J. on them.
At some point the depth of Trump’s incompetence and betrayal will be obvious to all but his most mindless supporters. So why not be the person who actually stood athwart history yelling stop? — in the words of the founder of National Review, which actually did that in this primary, to their everlasting credit.
Both commentaries are spot on. As cofounder of Ted Cruz 45, a grassroots movement supporting Ted Cruz for president, I’ve got a lot of experience talking with fellow Cruz supporters. Let me tell you: every single true Cruz supporter is a diehard constitutionalist. Many of them have not only made clear that they have no intention of ever supporting Trump, but even that Cruz endorsing him would actually cost him his base. Or at least part of it. As Deace writes:
The only Republican with a future, whose base is likely to be disappointed if he kneels before Zod, is Cruz, for obvious reasons. Many of those people consider themselves “principle before party voters,” and they took Trump’s dirt bag attacks on Cruz’s family almost as personally as Cruz did. Cruz voters will be among the last to hold the line on #NeverTrump, and a chunk of them will never give up the ship. If Cruz endorses Trump he risks splitting his future base like no one else does. The dumbest thing to do when you have the biggest base heading into the future is to split it.
Cruz is a man with a plan. He may be out of the presidential race in 2016, but he’s the likely standard bearer for 2020, assuming he doesn’t lose his own base. That base will be split if he betrays everything he stands for by endorsing The Donald.
Sure, many will forgive him arguing he had to do it, but many others will find it inexcusable. After all, the reason they flocked to Cruz is that he takes a principled stance on a wide range of issues, even when he has to stand alone. His attitude has always been fiat justitia ruat caelum, or “let justice be done, though the sky may fall” (which just so happens to be a famous legal and stoic motto).
It’s more important than ever that Cruz sticks to his guns and his principles — not only for his own career, but for the conservative movement as a whole.