Let's talk about Ted Cruz. The guy's a problem. And not just for Texas.
The senator's only been warming his chair for five years, but that hasn't stopped him in excelling at confusing, confounding, and outright outraging both his constituents and (this is pretty big, Ted!) the rest of America.
Here's just a brief rundown of some of the things Cruz has done since he was elected to office:
- He's suggested that muslim neighborhoods are dangerous
- Doubled down on his opposition of gay marriage; and he's gone to great lengths to make sure that Planned Parenthood is defunded.
- He's also against immigration reform
- believed that climate change just might be a liberal conspiracy
- If none of this enough to give you a little bit of an anger headache, then I would like to remind you that the man also ruined queso.
Cruz is currently fighting for his senate seat against democrat Beto O'Rourke and his latest move is pretty confusing. It appears that he's asking his constituents to vote for his opponent.
Of course, that doesn't seem like the wrong thing to do considering all the information up top, but when you're running a political campaign it feels like you should be making the strongest case for yourself. Especially when protestors have already rented billboard trucks to remind your constituents that the current president of the United States (who's quite unpopular himself) has renounced you several times in the past.
But after their first debate against each other — during which Cruz dodged questions about police violence — he posted a video of O'Rourke speaking to a packed audience about the very topic that he refused to discuss.
Captioned "In Beto O'Rourke's own words," the video shows the democratic hopeful denouncing the death of Botham Jean, a Dallas resident who was shot to death by an off-duty police officer who entered his apartment by mistake.
The video was supposed to be a takedown, but it's got voters galvanized.
"How can it be in this day and age in this very year in this community that a young man, African American, in his own apartment, is shot and killed by a police officer?" O'Rourke asks the audience.
"And when we all want justice and the facts and the information to make an informed decision what is released to the public? That he had a small amount of marijuana in his kitchen? How can that be just in this country? How can we continue to lose the lives of unarmed black men in America at the hands of white police officers?"
"That is not justice. That is not us. That can and must change," O'Rourke cries as his listeners erupt in agreement. "Are you with me on this?"
The response to Cruz's tweet suggests that they are.
The reason that Cruz posted this video is likely much more sinister. But we have time to change where we're headed.
While it's fun to consider that Cruz may just be losing steam, the reality is much more stark. According to experts, including Daniel W. Drezner at The Washington Post, Cruz's choice to post this video is likely less about O'Rourke's message and more about proving that Cruz's opponent is anti-police, a dangerous sentiment in Texas.
"The only possible reason I can see for showing O’Rourke’s perfectly sane words without comment is because it has nothing to do with his words and everything to do with the visual," Drezner writes.
"O’Rourke delivers this speech at an African American church, and the churchgoers react in an extremely energetic manner. That is the image that Ted Cruz wants his supporters to see, because he thinks it is the image that will mobilize his supporters into disliking O’Rourke and voting against him."
Though no one can say exactly what's going on in Cruz's mind, one thing is clear: His rhetoric and views aren't just disagreeable, they're dangerous for a great number of people. And that's exactly why it's on all of us to make sure that we immerse ourselves in politics and vote in the upcoming elections. And hey, if Cruz has convinced you to vote for his opponent, this is one time I'll say more power to him.