Thursday, January 21, 2016

Conservatives and Christians need to unite behind Ted Cruz

Conservatives and Christians need to unite behind Ted Cruz
by Jamison Faught

We are now ten days from the Iowa caucuses. After ten months of campaigning by (at one point) seventeen Republican candidates, we are about to see the first votes cast.

At this point, it's down to a two-man race. The only candidates with real, legitimate chances at the nomination are Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Donald Trump holds moderate to massive leads in every state that has been polled, with the exception of Iowa, where he is neck-and-neck with Cruz at the moment. Generally, Ted Cruz is in second-place in most states, sometimes, with breathing room between him and third.

John Kasich and Chris Christie's path to the nomination only comes with a New Hampshire victory, followed by miraculously winning other states where they have no infrastructure, no current support, or little money. There is no chance this happens.

Jeb Bush's path is a New Hampshire win and a South Carolina victory and somehow consolidating all of the support from every candidate not named Donald Trump. Extremely unlikely, but not totally impossible... until you realize that his campaign and super PAC have spent over $50M only to see his poll numbers vanish into obscurity. Wishful thinking.

Marco Rubio desperately needs to stay relevant by getting second in at least two of the first three states (Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina) - first-place in any of those is increasingly looking out of reach. He then needs success on Super Tuesday (aka "the SEC primary"), and survival until Florida and the later primaries. Rubio is taking fire from many directions, and is almost the sole target of the crashing Bush campaign. Outside of Trump and Cruz, he has the only shot at contention, but his chance is quickly beginning to fade away.

Really, none of the other candidates even have a shot at wining any state. There is no legitimate path to victory for Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, or Jim Gilmore.

That brings us back to Trump and Cruz. The choice between the two men couldn't be much clearer.

Many conservatives were wary of Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012 because of past positions he had taken on key issues. Donald Trump outdoes Romney in flip-flopping.

In the past twenty-some years, and as recently as four years...

  • Trump was registered as a Democrat, then an Independent
  • Trump supported abortion
  • Trump supported "assault" weapons bans and longer waiting periods for purchasing firearms
  • Trump supported single-payer, socialized healthcare
  • Trump supported massive tax increases
  • Trump donated to liberals like Clinton, Schumer, Emanuel, the DSCC and DCCC
  • Trump said his pro-partial birth abortion sister (a federal judge) would be a "phenomenal" Supreme Court justice
  • Trump said Mitt Romney was too "mean-spirited" on illegal immigration

Name a liberal position, and it's highly likely that Donald Trump has held it in the recent past.

For all of Romney's problems, at least he tangibly proved his conservatism on some issues. Trump has proven nothing other than the fact that he'll abandon his beliefs for political expediency. Isn't that exactly what conservatives are upset with many politicians for doing?

Trump provides no assurances for his conservative fidelity other than his word, and he's proven in the past that his word can't be trusted.

Trump has no political ideology other than a strange hybrid of strong-arm authoritarianism and compromising deal-making. Conservatives should beware.

On a religious side of things, Trump is nominally a Presbyterian. I say nominal, because he exhibits great ignorance on his denomination's teachings and practices. I'm a Baptist, and I would be a better Presbyterian than Trump -- at least I could articulate what Presbyterian doctrine is.

Trump sees no need for asking God's forgiveness and practicing repentance. Christian values and ethics are a foreign language to him. He is practically illiterate when it comes to the Bible. He publicly mocked Ted Cruz's evangelicalism.

His personal life and actions does not show a man transformed by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Trump would be better classified as a Deist than a real Christian. Christians should beware.

At this point in the race, even if you prefer a different candidate, Ted Cruz is the only man who can stop Donald Trump. If Trump wins Iowa, his path to the nomination will be unstoppable.

Unlike many of the other candidates, if Ted Cruz is successful in Iowa, he actually has the organization and money and poll numbers to be competitive in the states that follow.

Unlike Trump, you know where Ted Cruz stands.

  • Unlike Trump, Cruz is and has been uncompromisingly pro-life. 
  • Unlike Trump, Cruz is and has been uncompromisingly pro-gun. 
  • Unlike Trump, Cruz is and has been uncompromisingly against tax hikes.
  • Unlike Trump, Cruz is and has been uncompromisingly against socialized medicine and ObamaCare
  • Unlike Trump, Cruz is and has been fighting against the liberals in both parties in Washington
  • Unlike Trump, Cruz would appoint conservatives in the style of Thomas and Scalia to the Supreme Court

Ted Cruz has a fully formed and tested conservative ideology. He's been through the fire and emerged without compromising his convictions. In an age when Republicans go to Washington and toss aside their campaign promises, Ted Cruz keeps his promises.  He is proven -- he doesn't just talk the conservative talk, he actually walks the walk.

One of the most important issues to think about is the Supreme Court. By the end of the next presidential term, four justices will be over eighty years old. Ginsburg (liberal) will be almost 88, Scalia (conservative) will be almost 85, Kennedy (swing) will be 84½, and Breyer (liberal) will be 82½. The balance of the court for decades to come may be at stake. Does anybody honestly think Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominations would be conservative like Ted Cruz's would be?

Ted Cruz is a genuine Christian. He's unafraid to discuss his faith and how it forms his worldview. He doesn't just pay lip-service to his faith, he lives it out.

He's an evangelical (a Southern Baptist) who understands the importance of Christian values in government, and the influence Biblical principles played in the formation of America. He's devoted to his family. He's humble enough to admit his dependence on the Lord.

His faith in God provides him the firm foundation to hold firm on his convictions, because he understands that he will be held to account for his actions.

These are some of the reasons why the Republican establishment hates Ted Cruz. They know that he can't be bought, he arm can't be twisted, and he won't go along to get along.

Rather, they are willing to risk suicide with the erratic and unpredictable Trump rather than side with the consistent conservatism of Cruz. They would prefer losing with Trump than winning and being "stuck" with Cruz. They dangerously assume that someone like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio can stop Trump if he defeats Cruz in Iowa. Instead, Trump will steamroll through New Hampshire, South Carolina, and all the rest of the states and territories that follow.

The only time Donald Trump can be stopped is in Iowa, and the only candidate that can stop him is Ted Cruz.

Now is the time for conservatives and Christians to unite behind Ted Cruz. Too much is at stake to not do so.

Jamison Faught is a conservative activist and blogger from Muskogee, Oklahoma. He has served as a Republican state committeeman and precinct chair, founded the Muskogee Tea Party when he was nineteen, and volunteered for numerous conservative candidates for offices from mayor to U.S. Senate.


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