Establishment Insensitivity, The Real RINOs, And Cruz's Real Compassionate Conservatism
I don’t like to use these terms because they are unclearly and differently used and understood. But I hope to clarify them. Though I will discuss them in separate parts, I have thrown three considerations under one title because they are essential considerations in the current Republican presidential nominating process. Those understood by most conservatives as “establishment” Republicans usually seem scandalized by being so labeled, because they insist that they have true conservative values, but supposedly differ only on what are prudent tactics. Obviously, there is much discussion of “establishment Republicanism” and how uniquely this year, polls and sentiments reflect a dominant exasperation with and opposition to it.
Now obviously, I don’t know the depth of each’s true values, but 1) TX U.S. Senator Ted Cruz’s language of the “Washington Cartel,” suggests there is some level of comfort with the status quo, whether it is solely satisfaction with their gig on other people’s money or just the reticence at being thought uncouth in the Washington milieu. But 2) Sometimes, it is simply the outright terror at the inevitable futility of carrying such a feeble weapon of what we consider the truth into the conflict with Democrats and media. But valor lies in the true faith in the truth that will defend it and carry it toward victory in the war even if it might mean losing some short-term battles. If that is an unbearable thought, they should stay home.
Of today’s Republican presidential candidates in this strange year, only U.S. Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, who only a few years ago was an insurgent Tea Party barbarian, has been able to secure a measure of approval from the establishment. Establishment disdained Senator Cruz, spontaneous and vulgar real estate billionaire Donald Trump, and neurosurgeon Ben Carson garner a strong majority of public support. Other party office-holders and former corporate CEO Carly Fiorina trail them and Rubio. “RINO” (Republicans In Name Only) is a term liberally thrown around by these discontented people, though what it specifically implies is not clear to all. And Ted Cruz is described as harsh and irascible (specifically in one article), though his disposition reflects no such thing and his policy prescription is manifestly kinder to everyone; most notably the least fortunate.
They may speak truth, but will not use their constitutional prerogative to defend and pursue it. Often they are even shy to be identified as “extreme” in campaigning. To paraphrase Barry Goldwater, extremism in the defense of The Constitution is no vice. Of course, Goldwater is who they will site in their own defense. He lost in a historic landslide, after all. But his campaign was the birth of an emergence from The New Deal’s wake. Goldwater’s apologist, the awakened New Dealer Ronald Reagan, was its flower 16 years later and won two strong victories. By the way, the by now thoroughly domesticated Republican establishment balked at Reagan back then. Former Republican Senator Bob Dole said he couldn’t win and would destroy the Republican Party. Now thirty-six years later, he says the same of Cruz. Either he did not learn from Reagan’s success, or at 92 he’s forgotten.
The truth is worthy of brave representation. In the first place, the truth has a power in the conflict that falsehood does not. It isn’t merely a matter of uniforms or color of chess pieces. It’s a privilege to be a custodian that entails a duty to do so nobly. And also, I’m confident that America on the whole only slides from it because it is not assertively represented and pursued, which is why we have at last arrived at this point of seemingly impossible debt with our founding standards scarcely in sight. But even worse, it seems that this crowd is not only insensitive to the truth, they are insensitive to its would-be beneficiaries. Big businesses can gain in collaboration with big government. But low and middle income people and small businesses are stifled by America’s abandonment of constitutional liberty and structure. Free markets and localized authority as defined in The Constitution, optimize opportunity for overall and individual economic progress and individualized attention to every need from hunger to health care. I can only speculate that influential voices in government and media may be too comfortable in their 6-7+ figure incomes to labor over the well-being of the less fortunate huge majority.