Concerning the latest column of my hero, Charles Krauthammer, a few observations.
He writes of
Cruz’s Wednesday-night convention speech in which, against all expectation, he refused to endorse Donald Trump.
It’s one thing to do this off-site. It’s another thing to do it as a guest at a celebration of the man you are rebuking.
Before I quote any further, let me say this: Party conventions are party conventions. They are not the private parties of the nominees, so far as I understand them.
In 2012, there was some upset at the Republican keynote speaker (Chris Christie). It was said he did not spend enough time on Mitt Romney. My answer was, “This is a Republican convention, and he talked about Republican things — and there have been, and will be, plenty of Romney-centric speeches. Let’s not get culty.”
More from Dr. K.:
Cruz left the stage to a cascade of boos, having delivered the longest suicide note in American political history. …
Cruz’s rebellion would have a stronger claim to conscience had he not obsequiously accommodated himself to Trump during the first six months of the campaign. Cruz reinforced that impression of political calculation when, addressing the Texas delegation Thursday morning, he said that “I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father.” That he should feel so is not surprising. What is surprising is that he said this publicly, thus further undermining his claim to acting on high principle.
For my taste, Ted played patty-cake with Trump for too long. Yet I was not trying to win the nomination. I just sit and type (and judge).
In any case, remember this: From December onward, it was constant war between Trump and Ted, with most others on the sidelines.
Also, Ted got to know the candidates much better as the weeks and months wore on. He had different views of the candidates, both for good and for ill.
The same can be said of me. Before the campaign began, I was a staunch admirer of Ben Carson (though I thought he had no business near the presidency). I’m afraid I’m not so staunch any longer.
Before the campaign, I liked and admired Carly Fiorina. As the campaign progressed, I adored her.
What about Scott Walker? Well, which Scott Walker? When? He is an unusually flexible fellow, even for his profession.
Another issue, raised by Dr. K.: Are Cruz’s objections to Trump principled or petty?
A lot of us think that Trump is unfit to be president in both mind and character. Think of his comments about Ted’s family. They are personal, yes. But also they go to the issue of character.
I myself don’t want a leader who uses the National Enquirer as a cudgel against an opponent. But you know us globalist cuck traitors …
Finally, “the longest suicide note in American political history.” In Cleveland, Cruz took a stand. He gave a speech outlining conservative principles and values — things practically verboten at that convention. He upheld whatever honor the GOP still had.
Toward the end of his speech came the offensive, radioactive passages:
We deserve leaders who stand for principle. Who unite us all behind shared values. Who cast aside anger for love. That is the standard we should expect from everybody.
And, to those listening, please don’t stay home in November. If you love our country and love our children as much as you do, stand, and speak, and vote your conscience. Vote for candidates up and down the ticket whom you trust to defend our freedom, and to be faithful to the Constitution.
As someone said on Twitter — I don’t remember who, otherwise I would credit him — the word “conscience” is a microaggression in the new, Trumpified GOP. I would add that the passages as a whole are a macroaggression.
Anyway, this is what Ted did, while our other Republicans endorsed Trump, rationalized him, accused anti-Trump conservatives of supporting Hillary, sent in their finely tuned videos, etc.
Was Ted’s speech a suicide note? Does it spell the end of his career? If so, what a good thing to end a career on: standing up to Trumpism, appealing to conscience.
But maybe the speech will come to be admired — by more than just some of us — in the future.
As 1941 drew to a close, Churchill reflected on something that Marshal Pétain had said: “England will have her neck wrung like a chicken.” Churchill commented, “Some chicken! Some neck!”
If people later regard Cruz’s stand in Cleveland as noble and just, they might say, “Some suicide! Some note!”
And many will say that they were in the Resistance, rather than on the side of Vichy, right?
Anyway, I will close with a fact — pardon my mush, to quote Ira Gershwin. Whatever their differences, Charles Krauthammer and Ted Cruz are MVPs of American political life, and thus of American life at large.