On the Importance of Integrity

Why Ted Cruz is no longer fit to represent Texas in the United States Senate

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

On January 6, 2021, at 1 PM EST, Congress was set to tally the results of the Electoral College. Several blocks away, President Donald Trump was rallying his supporters. He said, “You have to show strength. You have to be strong.”

By 2 PM, the mob of Trump supporters made their way up the steps on the east side of the Capitol. Shortly thereafter, they breached the inside of the Capitol Building disrupting the proceedings. The deadly siege at the Capitol continued for several hours. Rioters were looting and ransacking offices until reinforcements arrived to disperse the crowd.

President Trump had 61 failed lawsuits as well as several recounts and audits. Despite that, he and his supporters continued to lie about the election. This includes Senator Ted Cruz. They perpetuated a false narrative that Democrats stole the election.

As the votes were being tallied, Senator Cruz objected to Arizona’s results. His promise to object to the results legitimized the lie that fueled the Capitol mob. Other Senators announced that they would also join in his objection.

But after the riot, many of them had a change of heart. They abandoned their intentions to object to the results. Senator Cruz doubled-down and voted to support the objection of Arizona’s results. He also joined Senator Josh Hawley in objecting to Pennsylvania’s results.

Like a moth to the flame, Senator Cruz would do anything to get more power and influence. In those moments, he cast aside his duty and integrity. In those moments, he embraced an authoritarian. An authoritarian who engaged in sedition against the United States. For the past 4 years, Senator Cruz has been a supporter, defender, and enabler of President Trump.

One example is during the infamous Helsinki press conference. The intelligence community determined that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. But President Trump sided with Russia over them resulting in outrage on both sides of the aisle.

But, rather than condemning the President’s statement, he dismissed the outrage instead. He said, “Treason is a grave crime punishable by death under U.S. law. And it wasn’t treason when Barack Obama refused to stand up to our enemies … and it wasn’t treason when President Trump stood at a podium and failed to condemn Russian aggression and interference in our election.”

During the impeachment, Senator Cruz played a leading role in his defense. He framed their legal strategy and served as a jury and messaging consultant. He also went on television, giving interviews defending President Trump against the charges.

Senator Cruz also took a leading role in casting doubt on the election. He went around the country making false claims about the vote-counting process. In an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, he said, “I am angry, and I think the American people are angry because, by throwing the observers out, by clouding the vote counting in a shroud of darkness, they are setting the stage to potentially steal an election.”

He urged the United States Supreme Court to reverse the election results. He also agreed to argue the lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. It asked the Supreme Court to block four states from voting in the Electoral College.

Some will say that Senator Cruz has not always been a supporter of President Trump. I would argue that their relationship has been one of convenience. In the early days of the 2016 Presidential campaign, Senator Cruz was one of his few friends. Other candidates were calling him a “cancer on conservatism.”

But after Senator Cruz won the Iowa Caucus, things changed. President Trump launched his trademark attacks claiming in a tweet, “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!”

President Trump began calling Senator Cruz “Lyin’ Ted”. He suggested that his father had a role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He mocked his wife’s physical appearance. Senator Cruz responded by calling President Trump a “pathological liar” and a narcissist. For months, he held off on endorsing President Trump after he won the nomination.

We can look at the introduction in Senator Cruz’s book to understand the relationship. He says, “At my invitation, we participated in a rally together on the steps of the Capitol. We both went out of our way to be nice to each other, and we were appealing to the same core voters: working-class Americans fed up with the Washington swamp.”

When the stakes of the race were high, their relationship deteriorated. They fought to appeal to the same voters. Once it was over, Senator Cruz became subservient to President Trump. It was clear that he was positioning himself for another Presidential run in 2024.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being ambitious. But there is something wrong when you put your interests above your duty as a Senator. There is something wrong when you lie to the people you represent. There is something wrong when you don’t stand up for what’s right.

Senator Ted Cruz has committed each of these offenses. He violated our trust and is no longer fit to represent Texas in the United States Senate.

Texans deserve someone with integrity. We deserve someone who does the right thing for Texas and the country even when it goes against his or her party. The late Senator John McCain exemplified this principle when he voted against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. He said, “I’ve stated time and time again that one of the major failures of Obamacare was that it was rammed through Congress by Democrats on a strict party-line basis without a single Republican vote. We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of the aisle, heed the recommendations of nation’s governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people. We must do the hard work our citizens expect of us and deserve.”

Texans deserve someone honest. We deserve someone who tells the truth even when we don’t like it. Senator Mitt Romney explained this principle in his statement after the attack. He said, “The objectors have claimed they are doing so on behalf of the voters. Have an audit, they say, to satisfy the many people who believe that the election was stolen. Please! No Congressional led audit will ever convince those voters, particularly when the President will continue to claim that the election was stolen. The best way we can show respect for the voters who are upset is by telling them the truth. That is the burden, and the duty, of leadership. The truth is that President-elect Biden won this election. President Trump lost. Scores of courts, the President’s own Attorney General, and state election officials both Republican and Democrat have reached this unequivocal decision.”

Texans deserve someone with courage. We deserve someone who will stand up for what is right no matter what. Former Ohio Governor John Kasich demonstrated this principle after the deadly Charlottesville rally. He called President Trump’s remarks “pathetic.” He said, “There is no moral equivalency to Nazi sympathizers. There can be no room in America — or the Republican party — for racism, anti-Semitism, hate or white nationalism. Period.”

As a Democrat, I have deep policy differences with each of these individuals. But, unlike Senator Cruz, I can’t question their integrity. Senator Cruz should resign. If he refuses to do the right thing, the United States Senate should expel him. If he is not expelled, they should censure him and another candidate should defeat him in 2024.

Founder of Nectar Agriculture. I am on a mission to learn everything about hunger to feed the future. I also discuss politics, agriculture, and climate change.

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