What I witnessed last night in politics was heartbreaking. For days I've been wondering, why on earth would Trump want Cruz to speak at the Republican convention. I've been saying it's a no-win for Cruz - why on earth would he put himself in that situation. If he endorses, those who believe in his consistent conservative message will be disappointed. If he doesn't endorse, he will be skewered for refusing to bow down and kiss the ring as most have done.
We can agree to disagree, but certain facts are clear. Many of us hoped that this would be a Reagan-like moment for Ted Cruz. Going back to the 1976 convention, Ford knew how to attempt unity. He didn't formally ask Reagan to speak but unexpectedly asked him to say a few words. Reagan was completely unscripted and gave the speech which would endear him to most Americans. Take a moment and watch it for yourself.
Although the level of animosity between Reagan and Ford didn't reach that of Cruz versus Trump, Reagan put America first. While he didn't outright say vote for Gerald Ford, he endorsed the party platform which indicated his support for the Republican ticket. He called for unity and declared "there is no substitute for victory." For this reason, Cruz failed to deliver his Reagan-like moment last night. Voters memories are short and a call for unity would have not hurt his political future. Like Reagan, he didn't have to outright say vote Trump or I endorse.
Then there's the flipside - Trump met with Cruz when he asked him to speak at the convention and knew there would be no endorsement of his candidacy. Why on earth didn't Trump rescind the offer? By Donald Trump's own admission, he had seen the speech and knew exactly what Cruz would be saying:
Trump's surrogates preempted Cruz's speech with the bully tactics of trying to force a Cruz endorsement. Listen to Chris Christie declare that that Cruz should endorse Trump or he's less of a person. Did you hear Laura Ingraham's speech? She never called Cruz by name but made it clear that an endorsement was expected. Her tweet afterwards was very telling:Wow, Ted Cruz got booed off the stage, didn't honor the pledge! I saw his speech two hours early but let him speak anyway. No big deal!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2016
And a gander at Ben Shaprio's Twitter timeline reveals what perhaps was really going on. This was simply a game folks. Force Cruz into submission or ruin him politically with staged boos from the Trump train:We tried to help and warn Ted Cruz. Very sad. Such brainpower. Such a shame.— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) July 21, 2016
EXCLUSIVE: Cruz Camp: Trump Campaign Approved Speech, 'Orchestrated' RNC Blowback https://t.co/DiEMmazgGG pic.twitter.com/PJTxfDF1Nn— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 21, 2016
Trump approved the speech. Trump tried to offer Cruz deeper involvement in the campaign. Then he sandbagged him. https://t.co/DiEMmaQRye— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 21, 2016
Trump was more concerned with kneecapping Cruz than taking a half victory. https://t.co/DiEMmaQRye— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 21, 2016
So this is the leader we are all supposed to rally around? Seriously? Day 3 of the Republican convention left me feeling more depressed than ever. I'll let you in on a little secret. I've been struggling for weeks with the #NeverTrump issue coming to the conclusion that we may not know exactly what a Trump administration will do but we certainly know what a Clinton one would do to this country.Cruz camp confirms: Trump approved speech; Cruz was negotiating to help Trump w/ platform; Trump orchestrated boos https://t.co/DiEMmaQRye— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 21, 2016
There is simply no way anyone with good conscious can vote for Hillary Clinton. That leaves voting for Trump as the only other viable option or going rogue with a meaningless protest vote. I was almost convinced because for me it isn't about hurt feelings or pride. But now I'm completely turned off by the Trump campaign, the GOP, and politics in general. The only consolation I have is that, for now, Texas is not a blue state. Trump will certainly win this state and however my conscious chooses to vote will not matter.