Three times in the last five election cycles, the Republican establishment has made a terrible mistake. They believe that if someone is too conservative, they can’t win the general election. Let’s look at Ted Cruz and compare him to his Democratic counterpart, President Obama.
First, let’s take a look at the credentials that won President Obama the White House:
- 1st-Term Senator in a major state
- Extreme views that many in his own party considered too polarizing
- Attended Harvard Law School where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated magna cum laude
- Young, energetic, passionate
- Strong speaking (with a teleprompter) and passionate debater
- Universally hated by the opposing party for radical opinions and proposed solutions
I don’t think it’s necessary to list the credentials for Ted Cruz since they are precisely the same. The only difference is that he doesn’t need a teleprompter.
The Democrats recognize that polarizing views win. The biggest fallacy that blinds the GOP is the perception that independents are all moderates. That’s not the case. They’re open-minded. They reserve the right to go as far left or right as they want. They simply need convincing. The Democrats convinced them the last two election cycles that their candidate’s extreme perspectives were more valid than the moderate perspectives of Mitt Romney and John McCain. They did the same thing with Bill Clinton when he went against Bob Dole and George H. W. Bush.
One can argue, despite two terms that were more liberal than promised, that the two George W. Bush campaigns were successful because they were further to the right than John Kerry or Al Gore were to the left. The platforms were extremely conservative even if the President turned out to be more moderate on all things other than the military.
I hear all the time on social media and talking to “pundits” that they like Ted Cruz but they don’t think he can win. They say he’s too divisive (like President Obama), too controversial (like President Obama), and too unorthodox (like President Obama). They say he’s too polarizing… like President Obama.
Polarizing works. The Democrats understand this, now. Many Republicans are still clinging to the moderation trap, the conservatives-can’t-win fallacy that yielded Romney, McCain, and now possibly Jeb Bush. Ted Cruz is exactly the person who can win the general election for the same reason that President Obama has won the last two.
If Ted Cruz can win the nomination, I am certain that he will win the White House. The sooner that the Republican party realizes this, the better our chances are of not having another liberal in the White House in 2017.