Senator Ted Cruz is running for President — and whether you support him, if you’re a conservative, this is good news. From Yahoo!:
Sen. Ted Cruz showed he was a candidate in a hurry early Monday morning, announcing his presidential candidacy on Twitter just after midnight, several hours before the official launch at the college founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell Monday morning.
The Texas Republican’s choice of Liberty University for Monday’s speech indicates he plans an aggressive courtship of cultural conservatives and young voters.
Cruz became the first high-profile Republican to officially enter the 2016 contest even though, like others, he has been campaigning in all but name for many months. Ahead of his speech, Cruz turned to social media and tweeted: “I’m running for president and I hope to earn your support!”
Ted Cruz rose to prominence in the GOP after beating a very strong candidate for Senate in Texas: David Dewhurst, former Lieutenant Governor. Cruz also has been an advocate for limited government, federalism, and the repeal of Obamacare.
Here’s a few reasons why everybody in the GOP should be thrilled that Ted Cruz is running:
1. If you’re “anti-Establishment,” he’s certainly not that.
I loathe the “establishment” vs. “non-establishment” false comparison that people try to push. But if we’re talking candidates that those who are “entrenched” in power and are connected to the typical large GOP donor crowd, I don’t think Ted Cruz fits in that “establishment” mold. He’s stood up to fight on issues where others have not and has brought attention to the negative effects of overreaching government and overspending. This is a good thing.
2. If your preferred candidate is some other conservative, Ted Cruz can help said candidate develop.
Having pressure on the right is a good thing, because it forces everyone who is running to go on the record on issues. Having several candidates on the right in the GOP primaries will also help said candidates become better candidates. There will be a need for each candidate to differentiate himself or herself from the pack. This won’t necessarily be a “I’m the most conservative” canned speech, though. Having several right-of-center candidates will force those running for the nomination to hone their points and present them in a way to appeal to many people. Practice makes perfect. Having more candidates running for president will provide more opportunities for candidates to get better.
If your preferred candidate is someone like Scott Walker (executive experience, appeal to win purple states), or Marco Rubio (crowd pleaser, less brash, youthful, etc.), having more candidates like Cruz helps your preferred candidate because it will, again, force them to re-iterate conservative positions on the record and sparring helps candidates develop.
Indeed, one criticism of Ted Cruz is a lack of executive experience. That’s a fair point. Senator Cruz will need to respond to that and explain why he is the best fit for the job of president.
3. If your preferred candidate is the presumptive frontrunner, he can put that candidate to the test.
Assuming that Jeb Bush is the presumptive frontrunner among GOP hopefuls in the general election–perhaps due solely to his name recognition–having Ted Cruz and other conservative candidates run helps because it provides people with an option. Moreover, the presumptive frontrunner now needs to start staking out positions and campaigning harder in order to maintain his status.
The talk among many politically aware people who lean GOP is that they want to vote for the “Not Jeb” candidate at this point. Well, here is the “Not Jeb” candidate. Now, the candidates will be forced to put forth policy positions and hope to woo voters. Perhaps Senator Cruz doesn’t match up with all of your beliefs. Maybe, after some reading, you decide that Jeb isn’t such a bad candidate.
We all should keep an open mind going into 2016 and find the candidate who best matches up with the majority of our beliefs and policy positions.
Free Markets (And Large Primaries) Are Better Markets
In a lot of respects, a presidential primary can be compared to the free market. In 2016, we appear to have a lot of candidates. That’s a good thing. Let the market (voters) pick the winner. The more, the merrier. Competition helps everyone involved and (hopefully) will produce a candidate who can–and will–win the general election in 2016.
The best part is this: it’s early. If Ted Cruz isn’t your cup of tea, and Jeb makes you cringe, maybe the best thing to do is to find, help fund, and support your preferred candidate. We are miles ahead of the Democrats in this regard — our bench is deep and young. Theirs is…ah, what difference, at this point, does it make?
May the best candidate win!