Skip to comments.Ted Cruz: New Voice for the American Dream (Running for the U.S. Senate from Texas)
Posted on 05/24/2011 11:18:40 PM PDT by Qbert
Ted Cruz knows the American Dream because his family has lived it. As teenager in the 1950s, his father, Rafael Cruz, fought with Fidel Castro in the Cuban revolution, not knowing Castro was a communist. He was eventually imprisoned and brutally beaten by the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship's police.
Rafael's father bribed his son's way out of prison. The son fled Cuba with a hundred dollars sewn into his underwear -- and earned a degree in mathematics from the University of Texas.
Cruz's mother, Eleanor, grew up in an Irish-Italian working-class family in Wilmington, Del. She ended up in Texas, too -- earning a degree in mathematics from Rice. Ted Cruz's mathematician parents started a small business doing seismic data-processing for oil exploration companies. The business rose and fell with the domestic oil industry, and Cruz learned the risks and rewards of entrepreneurial activity up-close and personal.
He went to Princeton, then Harvard Law, became founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review and graduated magna cum laude.
One of the mottos of Ted Cruz's undergraduate alma mater is "Princeton in the nation's service." He took it seriously.
After Harvard Law, he clerked for Judge Michael Luttig, a great constitutionalist on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Then he clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist -- becoming the first Hispanic to clerk for a chief justice. After a couple of years at a Washington, D.C., law firm, he became domestic policy adviser to the presidential campaign of then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush.
After two years in the Bush administration, Cruz went home to Texas in 2003. Conservative state Attorney General Greg Abbott appointed him solicitor general to represent the state in court disputes.
On behalf of Texas, Cruz litigated for pro-life causes, the Second Amendment and a correct understand of the Establishment Clause.
One case that was particularly important to him was Van Orden v. Perry, which challenged the right of Texas to keep a monument of the Ten Commandments on the state capitol grounds. Abbott argued that case in the Supreme Court, but Cruz wrote the brief. The court ruled 5-4 for Texas -- in the last-ever opinion filed by Cruz's old boss, Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
"He passed away later that fall," says Cruz, who deeply admired Rehnquist as a principled and persistent leader.
"His nickname for his first decade on the court was the Lone Ranger, because he dissented alone over and over and over again," says Cruz of Rehnquist, pointing out that Rehnquist eventually saw his views prevail on some issues -- such as public displays of the Ten Commandments.
"One of the clearest arcs you can draw is from his early dissents in the 1970s to ... settled law in the '90s and 2000s," says Cruz. "It is a powerful arc of principled leadership."
Cruz sees great need for principled leadership now.
"We are facing the epic battle of our generation," says Cruz. "This president is the most radical president ever to occupy the White House. The question we are fighting over is: Does this nation remain a free-market economy?"
Entitlements, he believes, must be reformed -- not just for fiscal reasons, but also to advance liberty.
"It is absolutely clear if we are going to address spending and the deficit and the debt we have got to address entitlements in a serious way," he says. "Historically, politicians have been terrified to do that. They have been terrified that they will be demagogued. In my judgment, we are at a moment of time where serious leadership is possible to address entitlements and to look for a way both to restrain the exploding unfunded liabilities of our entitlements and also provide for more individual ownership, responsibility and choice both with respect to Medicare and Social Security."
One way to do this, he says, is to reform Social Security by allowing people to have personal retirement accounts. "It is a transformative policy, and it is based on an understanding that focuses on individual ownership and policies that expand and facilitate individual responsibility," he says.
Cruz stands with the pro-life plank of the Republican platform. "I am pro-life unapologetically," he says, pointing to his record defending pro-life positions as Texas solicitor general. "If someone is really a conservative, they will bear the scars of having been in the fight," he says, "and if they don't bear the scars and if they have never stood up and defended conservative principles, that suggests that is not their principle and motivation."
On foreign policy, President Reagan is his model.
"The person in modern times whose views I think were closest to mine on foreign policy issues was President Reagan," says Cruz. "I think the principal focus of U.S. foreign policy should be protecting U.S. interests, protecting our national security interests, and I think we should be vigorous in doing so. That should be the touchstone. I think we should not be engaged in nation-building.
"Simultaneously, though," says Cruz, "I think we should be unrelenting voices for freedom, and this is where some of the realists I disagree with, because the realists in the 1970s said the Soviet Union was unbeatable: We have to accept their military superiority. We have to accept our second-class position. But President Reagan had the moral clarity to say communism will end up on the dustbin of history because the Soviet Union is a communist nation that is an evil empire.
"We need to remain unapologetic, clarion defenders of liberty," he says.
One suspects Ted Cruz will do just that. He is now running for the U.S. Senate from Texas.
That right there is a 'keeper'...a notable quote for posterity.
My mother, a very conservative 71 year old, has told me how when she was young she watched Castro on various news shows at the time and thought he was a good guy who would be great for Cuba. Castro conned a lot of people with the help of the MSM, then and now.
I am always creeped out by the people who associated with Fidel Castro and ;didn’t know” he was a red. They are either mendacious or stupid; neither is cause for acclaim. I am also very leery of people who refer to Batista as a brutal dictator; what then, is the description of Castro?
No she was young and naive. The point is the MSM, which was even then controlled by the commies, put a good face on Castro. There was no fox news or internet back then to clarify things.
He sounds like a great candidate. But, it has become with me, when ever I see that someone has gone to an Ivy League school I’m suspicious of them. They no longer impress. But, give me a sort of science fiction type dread as if they have been processed by an alien life form. I guess Ihave grown into an anti- intellectual after witnessing the damage these people have inflicted on the country. Using their diplomas as a type of badge of superiority and as shield to deflect any criticism of them.
Yep, most everything printed in that article ‘sounds’ good and conservative.
However, the fact that he was the founding editor of the Harvard LATINO Law Review gives one pause for concern. It’s fine for someone to be proud of their ethnicity, but I get really suspicious when they feel the need to separate their ethnic group from everyone else instead of helping the group assimilate with the rest of society. It’s like in Congress where they have a Black Caucus, an Hispanic Caucus, etc., wherein it separates a whole into parts.
What are his positions regarding illegal aliens and amnesty?
He might be trying to jump to the front of the TEA party bandwagon. You never know if these politician/lawyer types mean anything they say. You have to get people who have actually done something with their lives.
That is why Michael Williams is great. He has been working in the oil & gas industry in TX for the past decade+.
Castro actually received a ticker-tape parade in NYC. He was promoted by the press as a hero and Batista was portrayed as a beast. Batista was a moderate socialist himself, but had actually been fairly good for Cuba, which was prosperous and moving ahead (it had the third highest literacy rate in the hemisphere, for example). But Castro was the press’ 1968 dreamboat: he was a young university student revolutionary from an upper class family, good looking in his fatigues, cute when photographed holding a gun, and he made them swoon.
It was only later that it became so obvious that he was a vicious Marxist with a bloodlust and visions of personal power that even the press couldn’t cover for him anymore.
Prolife is the monst important issue for me. But prolife from Texas doesn’t mean much; any charlatain (AND I AM NOT SUGGESTING CRUZ IS ONE) knows enough to run as prolife in Texas.
I’d like to hear his take on more issues, like the trucking corridor, forced HPV innoculations for little girls, illegal immigration, English-language classrooms, dismantling the big-government behemoth. When it comes to issues which have little to do with budgetary matters, Texas can be frighteningly big-government.
He went to Princeton, then Harvard Law, became founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review ...
I don’t care what anyone thinks but it points out the fact that he came to a fork in the road and decided not to take the American road. I smell an activist here.
You are right about Batista, but wrong about Castro. He was not from an upper class family, he was from a rich family; there is a big difference, especially in Cuba. His viciousness was already well-known, his revilutionary gang had mounted an assault on an army barracks in 1953, assaulting the sick and wounded soldiers in the barracks’ hospital. Furthermore, the US ambassador to Cuba, Earl E.T. Smith, had already traveled to Washington to warn and advise Eisenhower that Castro was a red, and Eisenhower’s response was to remove Smith from his post and replace him with another ambassador. Castro’s favorable reception here was orchestrated by the NY Times and ultra left members of the State Dept who knew who and what Castro was. This is all in the public record, in multiple sources.
What I most dislike about discussing Cuban history and politics with Cuban Americans is the way they bring their family into the conversation, and then if one questions or contradicts what they say about their grandfather, they invariably become offended that one is contradicting thrir grandfather, and no further conversation is possible. In the hope that you are different, I will say that a person born in 1940 would have been 13 when Castro’s gang launched an insurrection against the Moncada barracks; old enough to hear and read about it, and draw conclusions
Results of the The Greater Houston Council straw poll:
Ted Cruz 45%
David Dewhurst 36.4%
Elizabeth Ames Jones 9.1%
Michael Williams 3%
Roger Williams 3%
Michael McCaul 3%
“He sounds like a great candidate. But, it has become with me, when ever I see that someone has gone to an Ivy League school Im suspicious of them. They no longer impress.”
Yeah, that’s understandable, for many reasons. There have been some real duds in politics coming out of those schools. But I think it’s important to remember that a fair amount of top Conservative legal thinkers went to the Ivies (including all those on SCOTUS).
“However, the fact that he was the founding editor of the Harvard LATINO Law Review gives one pause for concern. Its fine for someone to be proud of their ethnicity, but I get really suspicious when they feel the need to separate their ethnic group from everyone else instead of helping the group assimilate with the rest of society. Its like in Congress where they have a Black Caucus, an Hispanic Caucus, etc., wherein it separates a whole into parts.”
Yeah, that’s a reasonable concern. I guess I would want to know more about the facts at the time, and his reasons for doing so. Allen West, for example, wanted to join the Black Congressional Congress- to shake things up; Tim Scott didn’t want to join, I think, because of the divisive issues you refer to. Both are valid reasons I think- the key thing is a person’s reasons for doing so, and how legitimate the reasons seem.
Did you ever see Andy Garcia’s movie, The Lost City? I think you’d like it. It has a great score (all Cuban music from that wonderful dance club era) and focuses on the members of a prosperous Cuban family at the time of the Castro takeover.
Thank you for the recommendation. I like Garcia as an actor and know some of the people in the movie. But I thought he failed with the film because he didn’t deal with the true history and instead fell into a lot if sentimental cliches.