Ted Cruz for President

May 3, 2016

2 min read

Daniel Pipes

As a conservative who believes in individual responsibility, limited government, free markets, caution in making social changes, and a robust foreign policy, all my adult life I have been a Republican and (with the single exception of an eccentric race for attorney general in Philadelphia, when the Democrat was tougher than the Republican) I always vote Republican.

But the Republican presidential primary of 2016 is unlike any other because the most popular candidate – Donald J. Trump – not only ignores conservative values but, to put it delicately, lacks the knowledge, experience, dignity, and character to serve as president of the United States.BIN-OpEd-Experts-300x250(1)

In this spirit, along with 120 others, I signed a Mar. 2 “Open Letter on Donald Trump from GOP National Security Leaders” that asserted we “commit ourselves to working energetically to prevent the election of someone so utterly unfitted to the office.” I wrote an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “There’s a Name for Trump’s Brand of Politics: Neo-fascism.” I regularly tweet with the #NeverTrump hashtag.

Opposing Trump goes without saying; but whom to support? (To be clear: Support personally, unconnected to the non-profit I head.) Other than Trump, I could have endorsed any of the original 17 Republicans (yes, even Chris Christie). But because the field was so large and confused (remember when Scott Walker led the pack?), I hung back, waiting for the emergence of a clear alternative to Trump.

Sen. Cruz clearly became that alternative when Marco Rubio withdrew.

I’ve met Cruz a few times and was impressed by him. More importantly, I admire his emphasis on following the Constitution and controlling government spending. I have closely followed his positions in my two bailiwicks, the Middle East and Islamism, where he has shown bold consistency. Examples:

  • Stating that he would tear up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Tehran (a.k.a. the Iran deal) on his first day as president.
  • Showing a principled and possibly unparalleled support for Israel. (For example, recall the time he walked off the stage when heckled by Middle Eastern Christians.)
  • Standing up against the acceptance of large numbers of insufficiently vetted Syrian refugees into the United States.
  • Specifying that what too many other politicians euphemize as terrorism and violent extremism has an Islamic component?
  • Calling to “empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.” This is a particularly delicate topic; his bold stance, then not backing down under a barrage of criticism shows unusual resolve and courage.

Therefore, I say: Ted Cruz for president. (May 1, 2016)

Reprinted with author’s permission from Daniel Pipes

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