I keep hearing from supporters of other GOP candidates that Ted Cruz can't win the general election because he is too conservative and too preachy. These same people criticize him for not being authentically conservative and also support others who are preachy.
I have long lamented the conventional wisdom, swallowed whole by many nominally conservative Republicans, that a true-blue consistent conservative can't win a general presidential election because he can't attract moderates, centrists, independents, Perotistas, Trumpsters, disaffected Democrats and certainly not women or minorities.
Why is that the accepted thinking, when Ronald Reagan won in two landslides and the moderate GOP presidential candidates from George H.W. Bush to John McCain to Mitt Romney lost? George W. Bush's compassionate conservatism barely won in 2000.
Would someone please have the guts to tell me in what ways Ted Cruz is too conservative? What does that even mean?
Is your objection that he is socially conservative as well as an economic and foreign policy conservative? Hallelujah! So was Ronald Reagan. Remember his three-legged stool?
We hear from Trump supporters that Ted Cruz is not likable or electable and that he's an opportunistic follower of Donald Trump on the immigration issue. Thus they'll support the more likable, electable, real-deal immigration hawk.
But polls say otherwise. They indicate that both Cruz and Rubio could beat Hillary Clinton but that Trump would have more difficulty, probably because of his astronomical unfavorability ratings. The charge that Cruz is in the Trump slipstream on immigration is bunk as well. Cruz was fighting in the trenches on immigration before Trump brought his megaphone to the issue — a megaphone we nevertheless appreciate — and Cruz remains a more reliable bet on the borders and amnesty.
I repeat the question: How is Ted Cruz too conservative? Don't you really mean that Cruz is too committed to his principles, that he will actually fight against the establishment and thus he is a thorn in their side?
The establishment claims to be just as conservative as we are yet they have an unmistakable, visceral contempt for Ted Cruz, who is one person who has actually refused to "grow" after being elected. This should thrill true conservatives endlessly.
Can you imagine what Cruz could get done if he were elected with a mandate to implement conservative ideas — the only antidote to the destructive path Obama has set us on? We've seen what we get with conservative lite, and it doesn't work.
We need an unprecedented reversal to get us out of this mess, but we mustn't — forgive me the cliche — throw the baby out with the bathwater. We must elect someone who not only will radically reverse our course but also has demonstrated his commitment to conservative principles, understands the United States Constitution and intends to honor its prescription for limited government.
I don't support Ted Cruz because he is by far the most learned constitutional scholar of all the candidates, though I am grateful for that bonus. It can't be solely a matter of head knowledge, but one also of the heart. Ted Cruz, in his heart, soul and mind, and with every fiber of his being, loves the Constitution and the system of ordered liberty it establishes.
Cruz intends to reverse the ravages of the Obama wrecking ball not through extra-constitutional means, but precisely within the constraints of the Constitution. That's because as a constitutional conservative he understands that the end — even the noble goal of reversing Obama's destruction — does not justify any means. We can't blow up the Constitution in the name of saving it. We can't issue lawless executive orders, pass overreaching legislation and implement unconstitutional regulations in furtherance of our agenda. We have to take special care to reverse Obamism through lawful means, lest we just kick the can down the road until the next lawless progressive comes to power to hammer the final nail into this republic's coffin.
There is nothing extreme about Ted Cruz except for his commitment to the American idea, to free enterprise, to ordered liberty, to limited government, to national solvency, to America's national security and sovereignty and to policies designed to unleash robust economic growth to benefit all sectors of society.
There is nothing extreme about Ted Cruz, because there is nothing extreme about Reagan conservatism other than a sincere commitment to reignite America's uniqueness and greatness.
As we've watched this GOP contest unfold, we've seen in Cruz a man under fire from all quarters who has maintained his cool, his dignity, his resolve, his faith, his integrity, his presidential demeanor and his unwavering dedication to restoring America — the America that we know and love, the shining city on a hill that has been the most benevolent, decent and prosperous nation in history.
Finally, it's important for me to emphasize that I don't idolize Ted Cruz or support him as part of a cult of personality. I support him because I believe he is the best hope for America for the many reasons I've underscored and more.
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is "The Emmaus Code: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament." Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at www.davidlimbaugh.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.