Trump or Cruz: Republican Choice

In the steamy summer of 2012, at the Irving, Texas, megachurch that helped elect Ted Cruz to the U.S. Senate, Rafael Cruz summoned followers to take dominion over leadership of our country. He named his son, Ted Cruz, as one of the anointed. Ted, he said, is one among the evangelical Christians who are anointed as “kings” to take control of all sectors of society and “bring the spoils of war to the priests,” in this way bringing about a prophesied “great transfer of wealth” from the “wicked” to righteous gentile believers.

This Dominionism, in its extreme form, would create a theocratic state based on “biblical law,” and cast out the “deviants.” Among the “deviants” is the LGBT community, for example.

In the ranks of the “wicked,” of course, are Barack Obama and all his tainted followers. In his speech three years ago before the local Hood County, Texas, Tea Party, Rafael likened the US under Obama to Cuba under Castro. He warned of “death panels” under “Obamacare” and of Obama confiscating “our fortunes.”

During the 2013 government shutdown, in large part, engineered by Ted Cruz, Cruz was anointed by pro-religious war, antigay pastors. The US Constitution is based on the Old Testament, tenets not followed in an Obama nation condoning gay marriage and a secular nation, his anointers said.

Seemingly Ted Cruz continues to sustain the laser-like focus of his traveling preacher, public speaker, father, whose fevered passion is said to have driven off Ted’s mother decades ago. This same mission-bound intensity seems to rule Ted Cruz’s life, taking precedence over all other endeavors, including any kind of social communion with those not sharing his mission. As a 2016 presidential candidate who has won primary caucuses, his personal ties are less open to the public, who know little about his evangelical ties.

Cruz’s endorsements include Christian leaders across the country, many with controversial pasts. Among them are Mike Bickle, a preacher who has called Oprah Winfrey the “forerunner of the Antichrist,” and Bob Vander Plaats who sees same-sex marriage as Satanic. “With the support of Mike and many other people of faith, we will fight the good fight, finish the course and keep the faith,” Cruz said on his official campaign website.

There is no reason to doubt the missionary zeal in Cruz’s bid for the Republican nomination for president. But at the same time he is intelligent enough to not publically play the extremist note regarding his “anointment” for the presidential role.

Perhaps hearing the echo of Matthew 3:17 in the Bible, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased,” spoken at Jesus’ baptism, Rafael Cruz often sees his own son’s anointed mission to save humanity. Late last year, speaking on a syndicated radio show, Cruz’s father recounted how God spoke to Ted Cruz’s wife, Heidi when the Cruz family sought guidance for the presidential race:

My son Ted and his family spent six months in prayer seeking God’s will for this decision. But the day the final green light came on, the whole family was together. It was a Sunday. We were all at his church, First Baptist Church in Houston, including his senior staff. After the church service, we all gathered at the pastor’s office. We were on our knees for two hours seeking God’s will. At the end of that time, a word came through his wife, Heidi. And the word came, just saying, “Seek God’s face, not God’s hand.” And I’ll tell you, it was as if there was a cloud of the holy spirit filling that place. Some of us were weeping, and Ted just looked up and said, “Lord, here am I, use me. I surrender to you, whatever you want.” And he felt that was a green light to move forward.

Vetting of candidates for any office is poorly done by voters and most especially by the media. Even information inquiries on the internet by responsible voters often reap only agenda-bound data never revealing the motivations of its providers. In contrast, the media does offer a plethora of simple caricatures: for Trump, the hair; for Cruz, mocking comparisons seem to deny his real threat.

In today’s polarized world, voters tend to have bias in either direction, confirmation bias guiding input of information, seeking or believing only data affirming their own beliefs. Such vetters reject sources because of real or imagined prejudices. For example, the left discards or disbelieves anything reported by Fox News, Breitbart, or WorldNetDaily. The right rejects with prejudice MSNBC, Huffington Post, or the New York Times.

Too often, the result is that lies, misinformation, serious reporting and truth carry the same weight. Most are not truth-checked, and its acceptance depends on inborn bias.

The primary job of news media is to snag a rapt audience and keep them. Thus, the news media’s goal is to make a profit, generally not to inform the public.

So the danger is that flawed candidates like Donald Trump or Ted Cruz could be nominated for president, and in the general election there is a pre-determined 31% social liberal bias and 31% socially conservative bias. Out of that proportion, perhaps 35% vote in midterm elections, maybe 55% in presidential elections.

If the prevailing numbers of those who vote are the most passionate, as are evangelical and anger-ridden voters, a Trump or a Cruz, depending on who gets the nomination, could prevail in the general election.

Trump is a wild card. His policies would be unpredictable, perhaps fulfilling personal goals of self-aggrandizement and stature-building. He is an authoritarian who values, not coherent policies, but a Trump-centric world, favoring that which reflects his greatness.

Cruz is the perfect Machiavellian whose views seem fixed in concrete, but unlike the blustery Trump, his extremism is undercover. Though he professes principle, he will sacrifice them for a winning strategy. After all, he is the chosen one, one to fulfill a destiny to impose a dominion over a made-over fundamentalist world. Such justifies sacrificing others in shutting down the government, for example — all for his cause.

Given the right electoral advantage either could impose his vision on the modern world– one narcissistic, the other, dominion-bound. Take your pick.

Even the fair-minded, ex-president, Jimmy Carter believes that the scarier choice is Cruz.

How many could be hurt by exposing the world to such foolhardy leadership — perhaps, 7 billion souls?

James Hoover is a recently retired systems engineer. He has advanced degrees in Economics and English. Prior to his aerospace career, he taught high school, and he has also taught college courses. He recently published a science fiction novel called Extraordinary Visitors and writes political columns on several websites. Read other articles by James.