If Ted Cruz expected some sort of ovation for his non-endorsement of Trump last night he was gravely mistaken. This condescension and bravado is all based on this assumption by the Republican base—the strain of the party that champions its experience, moderation and fiscal conservatism—that Trump will lose the election in a landslide and that the Republican Party will have to recover from this sideshow that Trump put on in 2020. The error of this reasoning, which seemed perfectly rational three months ago, is that Trump looks like he will not only challenge Hillary respectably, but he will probably win the presidency.
Like it or not Ted, but this is your party and they can’t stand you. Further, if you go through the issues there is essentially no difference between the two candidates, besides the fact that Trump inspires disenfranchised white Republicans and Independents, while Ted Cruz only connects to the Christian right and creeps out just about everyone else. Yes, Donald Trump is in many ways a disgusting buffoon, but it’s a little late to say he doesn’t know what he’s doing in this race and everyone who crosses him will be signing their own death warrant.
While Ted stands strong in his defiance of the party, all he did was further embolden the Trump supporters who couldn’t stand him anyway. His fake outrage about things Trump said about his family only makes him look weak. The Republican Party has become the WWE, or more accurately The UFC—UFC President Dana White was actually a Day 3 RNC speaker who brilliantly compared his sport which was once compared to human cockfighting and is now mainstream to Trump’s rise in the election (God Help Us!)—where people only respect strength. Politics have changed. No one is impressed with Ted Cruz’s old-timey rhetoric and Ivy League snobbery. The Republican Party now follows people who speak from their gut and put on a show.
If Day 2 was as the New York Times deemed a “low energy” night, Day 3 was anything but. Ted Cruz, like a great wrestling heel, in his defiance of a Trump awakened and riled up support for Trump, without resorting to beating up on Hillary. It was a game changing moment that unified rather than separated the party. Cruz’s dismissal will do nothing but help Trump in his race.
While Ted dominated the news cycle for 24 hours and made the world forget Mike Pence exists, his idiotic belief that he was doing the right thing and not saving his bruised ego was utterly tone deaf. The decision to passive-aggressively condemn his own party’s nomination, a man who is wildly popular, may have killed his political career. Why would anyone in his party trust him? Do you really expect the Republican electorate who love Trump like a family member will suddenly decide to go with the guy who tries to sabotage Trump in 2020, in the event Trump doesn’t win in 2016?