Thank you, Senator Cruz… now for the engagement part of public engagement
Now that you’ve revealed your pro-Trump talking-points, substantiate them
Senator Ted Cruz —
Thank you for your post, which no doubt was a considerable undertaking by you and your team. I’m not one of your supporters, but even I am disappointed in the Medium community’s reaction — particularly the responses/comments so far.
I thank you because I’m giving you the benefit-of-the-doubt: I’ll take your post as an attempt to engage the public about this existential election, rather than rationalize your partisanship (to clear your own conscience). That’s the big assumption I’m making herein; it’s important for three reasons…
- I’m opening a civil dialogue with you here under the pretense of mutual altruism and love for our country.
- I’m expecting your response under the same pretense, lest your post’s motive actually be an exercise in rationalization — another politician using another platform as an echo chamber in which the constituency has no voice.
- If you believe in this cause — your candidate — you’d want a less-finite forum to fully flesh-out your agenda, as opposed to time-constrained debates and attention-constrained media coverage. Both of those logistical realities contributed to Mr. Trump’s ascendancy over the primary field (you especially?). So, while I’m not particularly qualified or anointed to push you on a bilateral basis, I hope others join in a multilateral effort, under the same pretense as you and I.
You are a representative in a representative democracy. Public engagement is your job — particularly given your ascendance on the national stage. I am a constituent, a private citizen. While active involvement is not my job, it is my right and my responsibility. We all complain about political gridlock, Congress, and our candidate pools. This is my way of actively addressing some specific issues with this Presidential Election.
Further, this is a chance for you to do more than merely announce your personal endorsement, but also to champion your candidate, Mr. Donald Trump, by persuading marginal voters.
So, let me start by addressing your points in order. The entire community here at Medium and beyond is anxious to hear your thoughts. Persuade us; persuade me…
Hillary is unacceptable
“Second, even though I have had areas of significant disagreement with our nominee, by any measure Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable — that’s why I have always been #NeverHillary.”
You’ve been a champion of the Constitution and legal process your whole career, so this is a difficult paradox for you to navigate while endorsing Trump. On one hand, you think Hillary is corrupt… but there’s no conviction to support the notion. That’s a difficult predicament for someone like you, who holds the Constitution and legal system in such high regard.
Objectively, nobody has anything to pin on Hillary after the legal argument(s) against her folded. (But, correct me if I’m wrong here.) Therefore, partisans are turning this race’s narrative toward the subjective: ‘I think she’s boring’; ‘I hate her pantsuits’; ‘He’s outrageous’; ‘He looks like an oompa loompa’; ‘Mark Cuban’; ‘Gennifer Flowers.’
Don’t contribute to that noise; please qualify your use of “unacceptable” in regards to Hillary. Then, considering each candidate’s body-of-work — or even each candidate’s most egregious infractions in isolation — can you objectively or subjectively, legally or anecdotally conclude that Hillary is more “unacceptable” than Trump? Please explain.
Supreme Court & Constitutionality
“First, and most important, the Supreme Court. For anyone concerned about the Bill of Rights — free speech, religious liberty, the Second Amendment — the Court hangs in the balance. I have spent my professional career fighting before the Court to defend the Constitution. We are only one justice away from losing our most basic rights…”
Again, I’m pretty sure the Constitution is your top priority. When we debate the Constitution, we often fail to regard it holistically. We’ve spilled so much ink on the Second Amendment during this election cycle, but we’ve ignored the rest of the Constitutional Amendments. (We have a habit of arguing about policy issues in isolation, without discussing the externalities, counterfactuals, or broader, net effects.)
So, let’s concede that a Clinton White House would result in defanging the Second Amendment. What would each candidate’s administration mean for the rest of the Constitution? Particularly, what would a Trump White House mean for the other 26 Constitutional Amendments? His rhetoric reveals an explicit disregard for the letter-of-the-law. For example…
- First Amendment (Free speech, the media, demonstrators)
- Fourth Amendment (Unreasonable search & seizure)
- Sixth Amendment (Fair public trial)
- Eight Amendment (Cruel and unusual punishment, torture)
- Fourteenth Amendment (Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause)
- Nineteenth Amendment (Right to vote)
You may suggest that Trump’s executive orders would be checked by judicial review, but you’ve already suggested that the system has failed to check President Barack Obama’s power, so I don’t think the “checks-and-balances” defense of Trump works within your own framework. It’s another tricky paradox, unless you have faith that Mr. Trump will shape-up… in which case I’m curious why he deserves our faith more than any other politician?
“Fifth, national security. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s willful blindness to radical Islamic terrorism. She would continue importing Middle Eastern refugees whom the FBI cannot vet to make sure they are not terrorists. Trump has promised to stop the deluge of unvetted refugees.”
We can only take elected officials at their word on the campaign trail — even though they consistently over-promise and under-deliver. That’s why detailed, transparent policy plans are so important. They allow the public to vet, fact-check, and scrutinize prescriptions to minimize our buyer’s remorse.
Mr. Trump was sensationalist with his immigration promises during the Primaries, with his populist, ideology-over-reality approach helping him topple the GOP field. Since the Primaries, he’s softened his immigration pitch, but we still haven’t seen a specific immigration plan. Given the scope of Trump’s many stated intentions, some voters are curious whether or not we can afford an initiative of such magnitude.
So, ignoring the efficacy of your ideology, specifically what is it about Trump’s national security & immigration plan that you like? What makes you think he can execute? What makes you think we can fiscally accommodate such a solution? I myself promise full employment, national security, health, happiness, rainbows, unicorns, lollypops, iPhones, and Teslas for everyone… will you vote for me?
“Sixth, Internet freedom. Clinton supports Obama’s plan to hand over control of the Internet to an international community of stakeholders, including Russia, China, and Iran. Just this week, Trump came out strongly against that plan, and in support of free speech online.”
I’ve followed your personal lobbying against this plan — a plan was set in motion two decades ago, in order to transfer control of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (or IANA) functions away from US government purview and into the private sector. The oversight for these critical DNS & IP functions will transition to a multistakeholder model, keeping the promise of internet decentralization and, crucially, de-politicization.
The US has done an admirable job as a steward of the internet, but the US does not own the internet — a free, open, decentralized resource. You, Donald Trump, and the US government have no say in this matter.
The internet is on a glidepath. Reneging on our multi-decade, multi-administration promise to surrender federal involvement in the internet’s governance will ruin the goodwill our country has earned in that stewardship.
Your lobbying is either a hidden-ball-trick or cognitively dissonance. How about the counterfactual? What if Cincinnatus hadn’t surrendered his power?
Your representation of the current plan as giving Russia/China/Iran direct control is disingenuous. Furthermore, the current plan does not have any bearing on free speech — literally zero. It’s the best solution to preserve the free, open, decentralized internet. In contrast, reneging on this transition is actually the greatest threat to free speech, consequently inviting intervention from oppressive governments. If the US were to reneg, we will have forsaken a promise, which would give the supranational UN reason to seize control of the internet’s governance, hence authoritarian regimes (e.g. your “Russia, China, and Iran”) would gain a large interest.
Can you please explain how reneging on the current plan is less threatening to “Internet freedom” than following-through on the plan itself? Can you please explain reneging vs following-through within the context of adversarial interests (“Russia, China, and Iran”)? Finally, can you explain what your/Trump’s alternative solution is?
Man of your word
“First, last year, I promised to support the Republican nominee. And I intend to keep my word.”
This is another catch-22 for you. Yes, you pledged your allegiance to the GOP. You also said you couldn’t support Trump, the man who attacked your wife and father, among other back & forth vitriol. Finally, you pledged #NeverHillary. So, did God create a stone that even he couldn’t lift… or does no such stone exist? Rather, why does your GOP pledge trump the pledge you made to your family… and the pledge you made to #NeverTrump?
Going into the debate tomorrow night, the 2016 Presidential Election race is tight again. This is a great opportunity for you to sway undecided voters or even convert Hillary supporters. Looking forward to your engagement with the community-at-large…