2016 Presidential Race

Ted Cruz Is Running For President, Rand Paul Is Not.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced today that he will seek the office of the presidency in 2016. Cruz launched his campaign by sending a message over Twitter, becoming the first major candidate to declare.

Cruz plans to run on a campaign that will inspire “a new generation of courageous conservatives to help make America great again.”

I’m ready to stand with you to lead the fight,” Cruz said. The Texas senator is expected to make his official announcement in person at Liberty University later today.

Cruz has been a controversial figure since he entered Washington politics during the height of the Tea Party era in 2010. Last December, Cruz initiated a forced vote to decide whether President Obama’s actions on immigration would be challenged. His attempt failed, angering members of his own party like Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah who said: “You should have an end goal in sight if you’re going to do these types of things and I don’t see an end goal other than irritating a lot of people.”

Cruz famously irritated establishment Republicans and Democrats when he led the fight against Obamacare, leading to a government shutdown. But he famously stated that he doesn’t care, that he didn’t come to Washington to make new friends. “I will say that the reason this deal, the lousy deal was reached last night, is because, unfortunately, Senate Republicans made the choice not to support House Republicans,” Cruz said in 2013. “I wish Senate Republicans had united, I tried to do everything I could to urge Senate Republicans to come together and stand with House Republicans.”

Economist and political theorist Thomas Sowell wrote about the tactical failure of defunding Obamacare, arguing that it isn’t impossible to get it repealed.

Some defend the futile attempt to defund ObamaCare on grounds that it is much harder to repeal a law after it has gone into operation. That may often be true — but not always.

Prohibition was repealed — and it was a Constitutional Amendment, not just a piece of legislation. Prohibition could not be repealed by Congress alone, but required state legislatures to vote for repeal as well. Like ObamaCare, Prohibition sounded good to a lot of people before it went into effect. Only after they saw what a disaster it was in practice did people change their minds.

We are already seeing people changing their minds about ObamaCare, after they experienced the multiple disasters that are just starting to emerge. That includes Congressional Democrats who had voted for it.

If mistakes were always fatal, the human race would have become extinct long ago. So the fact that the Tea Party made a tactical misjudgment is not the end of the world. Everything depends on whether you learn from your mistake or refuse to admit that it was a mistake, even to yourself — which is often the biggest mistake of all.

Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign for the presidency is expected to come at a cost for libertarian republicans, whose assumed champion of Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has yet to formally announce his intentions for president. Paul and Cruz both hail from the anti-establishment wing of the GOP, and yet Senator Paul has done much more to ingratiate himself with senate leadership than Cruz. Paul is expected to announce his own presidential campaign on April 7th.

The challenges for Cruz and Paul will be, assuming they both run, that they won’t knock each other out of contention too early, thereby allowing a more establishment candidate such as Jeb Bush or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to rise to the nomination. Paul’s standard bearers have the advantage of having a political operation already in place, assumed from the grassroots groups organized from his father, Ron Paul, and his previous two runs for the presidency. Cruz will have to start from scratch in building similar infrastructure and will likely be competing for resources in the same pool of conservatives and libertarian voters.

Cruz and Paul have always had cordial relations since they both rose to the senate, but now that they will potentially be competing for the same office, the claws are expected to come out. This is a shame, considering that the Tea Party and libertarian grassroots coalitions are already frayed, and completely unraveled in many areas of the country, with many claiming that the old alliances that swept the movement to power in 2010 are completely dead. However, although the Tea Parties themselves have been mostly co-opted and turned into nothing more than front groups and donation collection tills for the Republican party, the libertarian grassroots and non-profit institutions remain. The question is, how can true conservatives and true libertarians work together to do what is best for the country when their two greatest champions are at odds?

Conservatives and libertarians will need to find ways to elevate the platforms of both men while not alienating the base of either group; because both groups will need each other to do battle with the string of establishment challengers that will rise; Rubio, Christie, Bush, Walker, etc. The difficulty will be in being able to better articulate a more conservative/libertarian future for the United States that allows for future cordiality between factions. If Paul decides to run, he won’t want to alienate the Cruz conservatives.

However, at this time, the entire discussion is moot… because, for now, Ted Cruz is running for president… and Rand Paul is not.

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