No, Ted Cruz Is Not a Terrorist

by Michael Potemra

This should of course go without saying. But Chris Matthews just called Cruz a “political terrorist,” so it needs to be stressed. To their credit, both of Matthews’s guests, Obama adviser David Axelrod and GOP strategist Steve Schmidt, objected; but Matthews stuck to his formulation. He should change his mind — because it would be the right thing to do morally, and also because language like this hurts Matthewss own political cause. Cruz is engaging in peaceful acts of attempting legislative reform, because he believes the president’s health-care policies will harm the American people. Many conservatives believe Cruz’s specific strategy won’t work and/or would do harm to the country; I share this view. But the language we use to characterize the Osama bin Ladens and Tsarnaevs is shockingly inappropriate to describe someone with whom one merely disagrees politically — inappropriate to such an extent that it is actually morally wrong to do so. In the conversation on Hardball, Ted Cruz was characterized as a “demagogue.” I propose a new rule: Anyone who calls a mere political opponent a “terrorist” is not allowed to accuse others of demagoguery.

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