Rafael Cruz versus Barack Obama
Most political calculators look at the ethnic demographics and assign “Hispanics” and “Latinos” as near-automatically Democrat-leaning. This is not always libelous or slanderous label, not always inaccurate and I could not begin to address how to change those numbers for the better.
The obvious exception usually lies in Florida (although they live elsewhere): Cuban-born American citizens, or those descended directly from a Cuban or two. Their politics usually are set in the realm of the ardent anti-Communist, thanks to Fidel Castro and a long history. These refugees fled or were exiled and many look forward to a hypothetical time of return.
The ardent AntiCommunism can inform a very thorough attitude against any similar political system and in response we can find a strong Republican voting bloc. Now the partisan divide can also manifest like this:
Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said in May he didn’t think Cruz “should be defined as a Hispanic.” In the lead up to last year’s election, Gilbert Hinojosa said Ted Cruz was as Hispanic “as Tom Cruise.”
But as we’ve pointed out, Cruz is plenty Latino — he just happens to be a Cuban-American Latino.
Since Cruz helped start a debate in Congress over whether to
voluntarily default on the U.S. debt for the first time in history, in
order to undermine Obamacare, it’s a great time to have a look back at
the U.S. Senator’s roots.
Many might think Cruz’s purist brand of conservatism has strong Texas
roots. But listening to his Cuban-born father speak, it’s becomes clear
that his philosophy owes at least as much to the reaction against the
Castro dictatorship as it does to Texas Republicans.
In this YouTube video uploaded in July by Freedom Works, a
conservative group, Rafael Cruz compares President Barack Obama to none
other than former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. It’s not a mistake. He
does it twice.
I grew up in Cuba under a strong, military, oppressive
dictatorship. So as a teenager, I found myself involved in a revolution.
I remember during that time, a young, charismatic leader rose up,
talking about “hope” and “change.” His name was Fidel Castro.
Then, a few minutes later:
I think the most ominous words I’ve ever heard was in the
last two state of the union addresses, when our president said: “If
Congress does not act, I will act unilaterally.” Not much different than
that old, bearded friend that I left behind in Cuba — governing by
decree, by executive order, just like a dictator, like Fidel Castro.
For Rafael Cruz, the United States’ drift toward socialism didn’t
begin with Obama. “In 1976, I was shocked again when I saw a government
started in this country instituting socialist policies, which I very
easily recognized because of my experience in Cuba,” he said, referring
to the Democratic administration of Jimmy Carter.
This worldview revolving around the fear of repeating the experience
of the Cuban Revolution was part of the future Senator’s upbringing.
“When my son was 8, 9 years old, our conversation around the dinner
table centered on politics every day,” Cruz said. “I remember over and
over I would ask him, you know, Ted, when I faced oppression in Cuba, I
had a place to come to — if we lose our freedoms here, where are we
going to go?”
This divide is very real. While I may see Senator Cruz as yet another white guy he was raised in the shadow of an AntiCommunist ideology. This is a good thing. Mind you the intensity is not always helpful to this country’s discourse. To be absolutely fair, as much as the President is a far left socialist or Communist he thankfully lacks the power to be anything more tyannical than just Left of Center. The elder Mr Cruz’s speech is as follows:
The real question is whether this sort of rhetoric, as sincere as it is, will help us get enough of the electorate to secure the 50% plus one for future elections, or does it electrify the base at the expense of the coalitions we need for a long term future prosperity?