The Corner

Cruz, Trump, and Freedom

Understandably, people are concentrating on one part of Ted Cruz’s speech last night: the part about voting your conscience. But there was much more to the speech, including its theme: freedom.

There was once a book called “The Theme Is Freedom.” Actually, two books. The first was a collection by John Dos Passos. The second was a book about religion and politics by Stan Evans. Earlier this year, I wrote a series about the Dos Passos volume.

It is in five parts, the last of which is here. The fifth part gives you links to the previous four.

As I and others have frequently noted, Donald Trump rarely talks about freedom: or democracy or the Constitution or human rights or American values. He talks about “strength,” “winning,” and, of course, himself. His fans can’t get enough of it.

Tonight, I expect, he will talk about freedom — because, according to reports, his speech is being shaped by veterans of the Reagan shop. But I think you see the true Trump when he is speaking for himself, speaking from his famed “gut.”

He did this yesterday when he basically wrote off NATO and the Baltic republics. That’s the Trump we know (and many love).

Consider the Supreme Court. When he was speaking for himself, Trump said some interesting things about his sister and Sam Alito. Then, professionals drew up a list of judges for him (which he quickly stated would not bind him).

What am I supposed to believe, Trump’s comments or the list that professionals drew up for him?

What am I supposed to believe, Trump’s unscripted remarks or a speech shaped by Reaganite pros? (And prose.)

When you wrote speeches for Reagan, you wrote things that he would say, or had already said, a thousand times. Everyone knew his worldview.

You get my point. “Let Trump be Trump,” say his fans. I say it too. Honesty in politicking, truth in advertising.

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