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#SpeakOut: Ted Cruz Doesn’t Deserve the Liberty Vote
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#SpeakOut: Ted Cruz Doesn’t Deserve the Liberty Vote

Given the recent departure from the Republican presidential field of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a unique blend of conservatism and libertarianism, the “liberty vote” as a discrete bloc has been thrown up for grabs. Senator Paul did admirably to embody the liberty movement, but his fresh absence leaves the venerable group in political limbo.

However, no current Republicans deserve the devotion of the liberty bloc, and despite what he might say, Ted Cruz certainly has no claim to it.

Senator Cruz, a freshman from Texas, has captured the attention of a large portion of the conservative electorate. He was able to do so by wedding himself to recitation and articulation of his views on the Constitution, which he believes informs his understanding of the proper and legitimate purview of government.

“Senator Paul did admirably to embody the liberty movement, but his fresh absence leaves the venerable group in political limbo.”

Certainly Senator Cruz posits small government arguments, but his wavering and fragile libertarian bones fractured when key policy stances threatened his lofty political aspirations.

I have a good deal of respect for Senator Cruz and his small government credentials, but when it comes to liberty, his inconsistency in vital matters is worrisome.

When a vote to audit the Federal Reserve, a crony institution responsible for a number of American recessions and the degradation of the value of the American dollar, arose in the Senate, Cruz instead opted to campaign in New Hampshire. He claims that he recognized the futility of the bill, in essence abandoning any fight to win those senators whose mind could be changed.

He deserted liberty because he believed it to be a futile endeavor. And though he might employ some platitude about how he looks forward to signing the Audit the Fed bill as president, the fact remains that Cruz had a viable and tangible opportunity to fight for increased transparency and economic freedom, but failed to show up when it mattered. Instead, he chooses to use vapid and empty promises of future support when he could have chose present, concrete reinforcement.

On other issues, Cruz betrays his ostensible libertarian streak. He poses an amorphous foreign policy that revolves around carpet-bombing the Middle East, inherently suggesting that effective strategy is to compound the mistakes of the past wherein American forces toppled regimes, participated in foreign civil wars, and sought to impose democracy. At the obvious expense of innocent human life, Cruz promises to “make the sand glow,” a statement rife with bellicosity not befitting of libertarian ethics.

Additionally, Cruz has displayed inconsistency on ethanol fuel mandates. Rather than irrevocably condemning such mandates as quasi-subsidies that reinforce our political culture of cronyism, Cruz has vacillated on the issue a number of times, primarily because the economy of Iowa, the first distributor of delegates in the presidential primary, is sustained by farming, an industry bolstered by the fuel mandate.

“At the obvious expense of innocent human life, Cruz promises to ‘make the sand glow,’ a statement rife with bellicosity not befitting of libertarian ethics.”

Crony capitalism constitutes a nefarious portion of government. Enabled by the overwhelming size of the bureaucracy and the number of administrative positions able to influence it, special interests invade the system and demand privileged treatment. However, the golden rule of government is that it cannot perform one action beneficial to a faction beyond basic protection of life, liberty, and property without inherently harming some other faction. Any action that government takes to benefit one group of interests inevitably detriments a different group of interests, which betrays notions of proper governance within a framework of the desirability of small government.

Therefore, actions by government to bolster one particular industry arrive at the expense of another industry. Indeed, Bastiat’s broken window theory applies on a large scale: it may seem at first glance that breaking a window stimulates economic activity and is therefore beneficial, but in reality, he whose window was broken is now deprived of the amount needed to repair the window, which would have been used for consumption of a different product. It is an economic shortsightedness that prevents one from seeing this.

Ethanol subsidies operate in much the same vein: they bolster one industry, the production of ethanol, and inherently discourage innovation by encouraging commitment to a subsidized form of production.

A candidate who fails to decry crony capitalism for political expediency cannot claim to be the standard bearer for the liberty movement.

Senator Cruz owns admirable policy positions. He possesses a nuanced familiarity with the Constitution, especially as it relates to establishing a small national government. However, at times, his devotion to the principle has been overridden by his self-interest.

And if there is one situation in which liberty will not guide one’s actions, it is when those actions seek to consolidate increased political prestige and power.


  • thomasconerty

    He’s not perfect but who’s better? Clearly nobody.

  • thomasconerty

    I agree with you in principle. Ted Cruz is not a libertarian, and he has shown a real neocon streak lately. However, at this point everything is relative. The liberty candidate left the race. In my view, compared to the field, Ted Cruz looks like Ludwig Von Mises himself.

    I’m not excited about any candidate anymore. My vote comes up March 1st in Texas and I am truly undecided. I think it would be a mistake for liberty minded conservatives to not at least consider Cruz. This is only the primary after all. We have the general to lodge our protest Libertarian vote if that’s how we feel.

  • thomasconerty

    Thomas Conerty, you’re wrong on several points of your blog entry.

    1) Ted Cruz was an original sponsor of the ‘Audit the Fed’ bill, alongside Rand Paul; the fact that he did not cancel an event that had already been scheduled long before the most recent attempt to pass that bill was due to the FACT that his presence and vote for it would not have made an impact on the outcome, since enough Senators voted against it to make his vote inconsequential. Ted Cruz would rather honor a long-held promise to appear than show up for a losing proposition in the Senate.

    2) Rand Paul’s Libertarian father, Ron Paul, has endorsed Ted Cruz for president:

    3) Ted Cruz is not a Libertarian, but a strict CONSTITUTIONALIST, and if you were honest about Libertarians, you would be talking about their PLATFORM, which does not actually adhere to the Constitution, but in fact is much more liberal in practice than that.

    4) The FACT is, Ted Cruz is NOT against Ethanol. Quite the opposite. Ted Cruz is against GOVERNMENT’S EFFORTS TO CONTROL THE FREE MARKET, meaning he’s against all regulations that limit the market and against all subsidies that interfere with the market. He’s FOR Ethanol and every other form of energy production. He says so himself, in this video:

    All I’m asking you to do is PLEASE STOP LYING (EVEN BY OMISSION) ABOUT MY CANDIDATE! And, if you refuse to educate yourself fully on his policies, then please don’t write blogs with false claims about them.

    Aren’t you even capable of telling the truth?

  • thomasconerty

    Who better than Cruz at this point?

    • thomasconerty

      it’s bs… of course cruz isn’t perfect, no one but Jesus Christ ever was or will be, but to say he is not the candidate most dedicated to freedom out of the field of candidates we have left is very disingenuous

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