There’s nothing wrong with being a political hawk when it comes to fighting our enemies as long as it’s warranted. When the need to be hawkish for political expediency supersedes common sense and proper alignment with the geopolitical needs of the United States, I take offense.
There’s no need to be hawkish for the sake of being hawkish, but that’s exactly what’s happening in Washington DC right now. Republican Presidential candidates wanting to beef up their military credibility are saying that we need more troops in the Middle East to fight the Islamic State when that’s simply not necessary. Iraq’s Prime Minister has declared exactly what is needed. The Kurdish factions in Iraq have said the same thing. When will President Barack Obama, Senator John McCain, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, and several Republican candidates realize that the solution to the Islamic State is staring us in the face.
Iraq's PM says Iraqi forces capable of defeating IS without help from foreign troops on ground https://t.co/1SqOMaTvFE
There’s no reason to put additional troops in the Middle East, not when an alternative is available that actually makes more sense. The limited engagement that Carter refers to which would put an additional couple hundred special forces units for particular missions is as far as we should go. Calls for massive troop deployments when there are fighters wanting to do the work is politically motivated.
This is arguably the most crucial Presidential election of this generation. In fact, a win for Republicans this time around may have more of an effect on the country than Ronald Reagan’s in 1980 or Bill Clinton’s in 1992. Both caused dramatic changes to the way that America operated, but neither will be as important as what happens next year.
Ted Cruz is a man of seconds. He’s viewed by many as the most conservative overall candidate, but that’s the extent of his polarization. Otherwise, he’s the right combination of being the second most this or the second most that. It’s a combination that would bring certain victory in a general election regardless of whether it’s the likely opponent of Hillary Clinton or if Bernie Sanders can mount a serious opposition.
Here are the five “seconds” that combined reveal Cruz as the top choice.
1. Carson’s Evangelical Appeal
Even though recent controversy about Ben Carson’s foreign policy knowledge has turned a good number of evangelicals way, he has been the chief recipient of the evangelical vote. This is where Cruz, the second favorite among evangelicals, has the power to unite them towards voting.
2. Trump’s Outsider Appeal
Donald Trump is the outsider many Republicans love. Unfortunately for him, he’s proving that he’s such an outsider that he’s actually alienating himself from those who want at least a smidgen of political sense. Sure, those who support him wholeheartedly will never see the errors of his ways, but how he’s handled Carson and more recently John Kasich demonstrate an immaturity that will scare most voters away from him.
Cruz has made many enemies among Washington DC insiders, which makes him ideal for those who find his outsider status appealing while still wanting a semblance of political know-how. Cruz has both going for him.
3. Rubio’s Minority Status and Campaign Discipline
Marco Rubio has had the fact that he’s missed so many Senate votes come across as a negative despite the fact that he’s missed fewer than candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton when she was a Senator, and John Kerry. The reason he’s missed the votes is because he’s been running a very solid campaign, attending fundraisers and rallies in an effort to solidify his spot as the Republican Establishment’s frontrunner.
Next to Rubio, Cruz has been nearly as dedicated. He’s made more Senate votes and spent less time on the road, but not by much. He has a better ground game and infrastructure than Rubio, though, so one could argue that he’s running an even better technical campaign, but for the sake of this article we’ll call him a close second.
Then, there’s the Hispanic heritage aspect, a factor that will play a role in the general election.
4. The Rand Paul Libertarian Votes
There was little doubt that Rand Paul was going to pick up his father’s mantle and be the voice of the Libertarians in this election. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t really do that, at least not definitively. Even before he sunk near the bottom on the polls, he was already being criticized by much of his base who were starting to see Cruz as the more Libertarian option even if he’s never claimed their philosophy by name.
5. The Money Factor, a la Jeb Bush
Cruz has raised the second most direct money for his campaign. Only Jeb Bush has raised more through his Super PACs. Most importantly, he has the most cash on hand. While he’s not the best at direct fundraising (yet) nor is he at the top of the Super PAC fundraising, he’s right where he needs to be.
The Right Combination
America is going to need a candidate they can trust in order to turn the tide away from the liberal agenda that we’ve experienced for the last seven years. Cruz is best positioned to do that in the general election. The only question is whether or not he can do it in the primaries first.