Thursday, February 4, 2016

A ‘Liberal’ Makes a Case for President Cruz—Sort Of

The Left-leaning New Jersey Star-Ledger was happy to see Ted Cruz “taking the wind out of the sails (however briefly) of Donald Trump.” But it still considers President Cruz: Still America's worst nightmare. “Let us count the ways,” offers the Star-Ledger—and then proceeds to list the many reasons for a liberty lover to support him.

I left these comments:

Well, you convinced me to vote for Cruz, should he win the GOP nomination.

His support for abolishing ObamaCare is a good reason for voting for Cruz. I know for a fact that of employers, including local school boards, who are deliberately keeping employees below 30 hours wherever possible, so as to not have to insure them. It’s ridiculous to think that raising the cost of employment wouldn’t reduce employment. If not for ObamaCare (and also Dodd-Frank), the economy might have created 22 million jobs instead of 11 million. Jobs are the least of ObamaCare’s problems. Hopefully, Cruz would replace ObamaCare with free market healthcare reforms, which means giving more control to patients and healthcare consumers and less to government officials.

Support for a flat tax, abolishing the IRS, Energy, and other departments, giving control of Social Security to the workers, and other policies show he has significant respect for individual rights and reducing the size and scope of the federal government. His shuttering of the government over the budget was motivated by the right ideas, although not a good political tactic. But he showed he’s willing to really fight for limited government and fiscal responsibility. No wonder he’s demonized by the Left as an “extremist.”

It’s also to Cruz’s credit that he would reevaluate, at the least, the Iran deal. His vow to destroy ISIS shows that he takes national security seriously. I don’t believe he would indiscriminately kill civilians. But ISIS is the aggressor and we are acting in self-defense. That puts the moral guilt for any civilian casualties resulting from an unfettered American assault to destroy ISIS once and for all squarely at the bloody hands of ISIS.

True, from an individual rights perspective, his social conservatism and ties to the religious right are drawbacks. But he’s not a demagogue like Trump or Sanders, both of whom are authoritarians and both are, each in his own way, national socialists.

Cruz is not my first choice. For an Independent like myself who supports liberty in both the economic and social realms, it’s unlikely to find an ideal candidate. But I do agree with the Star-Ledger that Cruz’s knocking back of Trump is a very good thing. Unlike the S-L, I think we can do a lot worse than Cruz for President. But thanks for highlighting the many good policies that a Cruz Administration might implement.

Related Reading:

Trump’s Ban-All-Muslims Policy Undermines the Fight Against Islamic Jihad


Steve D said...

‘Cruz is not my first choice. For an Independent like myself who supports liberty in both the economic and social realms, it’s unlikely to find an ideal candidate.’

He’s my number one candidate out of those who appear to have a chance this year but I could certainly think of better candidates. One positive aspect of Cruz is that he seems devoted to the constitution. Therefore the damage he could do in the social realm is self-limiting while the benefit he could have in the economics realm is not. He essentially admits that. For example, he argues that homosexual marriage should be decided by the state governments and their courts and would abide by their decision although he might disagree. In fact, he’s argued that homosexual marriage is not the President’s business in a political sense, anyway.

This view (state vs. federal) is not correct morally although it may be legally. The government shouldn’t be determining the types of contracts we sign but he at least Cruz provides an out; a legal means by homosexual marriage can be enacted which he will respect. In general I am more conformable with constitutional conservatives because they provide more ‘outs’ like this on issues where they are wrong which means they are to some degree self-limiting. They may disapprove or even fight against a particular issue but if it’s enacted in a way they consider constitutional and legal, they will not resort to illegal means to overturn that decision. OTOH, the other side (e.g. progressives and government efficiency conservatives), since they doesn’t recognize the constitution, they accept no limits on their behavior (e.g. Trump, Obama, both Clinton’s etc.) and would have no problem turning to extra-constitutional methods.

The other reason to support Cruz is that he is strong in areas of crucial immediate importance to all of us (foreign policy, economics) and weak in areas (social) which affect smaller groups of people or which do not have the same potential to devastate the county. As much as I support issues such as homosexual marriage and abortion rights, the country is at a tipping point economically and militarily and if we collapse from within or without, every suffers and the social issues won’t mean a hill of beans.

Michael A. LaFerrara said...

"constitutional conservatives . . . provide more ‘outs’ like this on issues where they are wrong which means they are to some degree self-limiting."

All good points but I especially like the self-limiting point. This is the first I'd heard this comparison between 'liberals' and conservatives. This makes constitutional conservatives less dangerous than 'liberals.'

However, there remains one major negative for conservatives—their tie to religion. This I think is somewhat mitigated by two factors: 1. The 'libs' have their own religious Left, albeit not nearly as strong as the religious Right. And 2. Both 'liberals' and conservatives are tethered to altruism. However, the libs' tie is stronger now thanks to Sanders' explicit reach-out to Christian ethics to back up his democratic socialism. Meanwhile, the influence of Ayn Rand is leading some thoughtful leaders of the conservative movement to soften toward selfishness, taking the edge off of its altruism.

All in all, a strong constitutional conservative like Cruz or Rubio wouldn't be hard to swallow, despite their baggage. The three GOP governors, being unprincipled pragmatists, would be disheartening. Trump would be a disaster, essentially giving us a choice of two democrats in November.

Steve D said...

Mike, I agree with all of your comments. My preferred candidate is Cruz. My second choice is Rubio. Cruz at least seems especially honest and consistent for a politician. Trump is at the bottom of the list and should really be running as a Democrat.

Also, according to the DIM hypothesis, Christianity philosophically lines up with mis-integration (M) which is not nearly as life destroying as disintegration (D) which is the philosophical mode which defines the left.

The article you pointed out was interesting and hopefully such discussions will open more people to Objectivism. That said I am not sure Hudson truly understands Objectivism and the hierarchy of knowledge. For example;

‘Contrary to Bernstein’s characterization, believing in biblical revelation does not open a Pandora’s Box of unlimited fantasy.’

Not explicitly. However, there is still a contradiction at the very basis of Christianity which must lead to consequences further down the philosophical ladder.

‘Biblical Christianity does not prescribe an earthly theocracy.’

No. and neither do Ted Cruz or most Christians but that’s not the point. The point is that faith because of its very nature must at some point fall back onto force. The Christian theocracy of the middle ages occurred despite the fact that not only does Christian scripture not prescribe theocracy, but appears in some places to actually reject it. (Give unto Caesar etc.). Influence by Islam on Christianity might have been a historical factor as well, pushing Christians toward theocracy.

OTOH, none of the Founding Fathers was an Objectivist and yet they still managed to create the greatest nation on earth.