In an argument with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) over the federal budget, the intrepid Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said on the Senate floor -- "Let me be clear. I don't trust the Republicans. And I don't trust the Democrats. And I think a whole lot of Americans likewise don't trust the Republicans and the Democrats because it is leadership in both parties that has gotten us in this mess."
Me, I don't trust demagogues.
I know that on a visceral level, it's easy and fun to say, "Yeah, I don't trust politicians." But simplistic venting isn't reality. The traditional mantra of pointing to "a whole lot of Americans" is a meaningless and overused shield to hide behind. If one-tenth of 1% of Americans believed in something, that would be 300,000 people -- which is a whole lot of Americans. A whole lot of Americans believe that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. That's meaningless, nonetheless, because they're wrong. Just today, far-far-right wing conspiracy radio crank Alex Jones suggested that there was a government conspiracy that caused the Oklahoma tornado. (Honest.) And I'm sure a whole lot of his listeners believe him. That's meaningless, too, because they're crazed idiots.
I'm sure that a whole lot of Americans don't trust the Republicans and Democrats. They're generally defined as members of the Tea Party corporations. And their reason for existence is not to trust Republicans and Democrats. There probably are a whole lot of Americans who don't trust Republicans, Democrats and members of the "Tea Party." They're most likely survivalists, or White Supremacists. Or perhaps members of the gun manufacturer-controlled NRA.
So, the fact that a whole lot of Americans don't trust (fill in the blank) is meaningless. Though I'd still like Ted Cruz to show his work. After all, he's the same empty mouth who claimed there were 12 Communists teaching at the Harvard Law School. He still hasn't shown his work on that one.
Besides, I dismiss Mr. Cruz's thesis outright. His complaint centered on the national debt -- and that skyrocketed during the Bush Administration -- as well as the Reagan and Bush #1 Administrations. So, though Democrats have their accountabilies, as spenders -- while being willing to tax in order to raise the revenue for what they spend -- the greater accountability is for Republicans. Who believe in spending but not taxing, and have been blocking efforts by the president to stimulate the economy which would help bring down the deficit. And none of this includes starting two undeclared wars and refused to raise the revenue to pay for them.
So, no, Mr. Cruz is not correct. Shocking, I know. It is not equal that leadership of both parties "got us into this mess." Nor is it true, I am near-certain, that however many "a whole lot of Americans" are to Ted Cruz who don't trust both Republicans and Democrats outright, a whole lot more do.
Me, I don't trust demagogues. And Ted Cruz has been laying his path in that direction with almost every public word he utters.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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