When news of the Iowa results hit, I saw a great many liberal journalists and papers celebrate what seemed like a catastrophic blow to the Trump campaign (although his rebound in New Hampshire now says otherwise), many saw this as a great blow to the strange pseudo-nationalistic dirge that Trump churns out every few days for the sake of exposure. However, many didn’t focus on the fact that a figure who is equally, if not more, terrifying than Donald Trump won the Iowa primary. Ted Cruz, an authoritarian, climate change denier with a homophobic streak took Iowa and has a real possibility of taking many more states.
What, for me, makes him scarier than Trump is that he has broader support – Trump is a shock jockey who appeals to a very set audience and not many others. Cruz however has a shot at the White House, and considering he and Trump agree on many issues (although they certainly don’t say so), the possibility of Cruz walking into the White House come the presidential election seems all the more real – and all the more alarming.
Ted Cruz himself is amongst that cadre of Republicans that deny climate change and oppose any measure that could help protect the environment with a strangely passionate vigour. Indeed in 2013 he voted to not protect many ecosystems, including America’s oceans and lakes – it doesn’t seem like a great long-term business plan to butcher ones own planet, but regardless. For someone so adamantly opposed to the scientific consensus to take the reins of America would have adverse effects not just for the US, but the entire globe. He once claimed that “the problem with climate change is there’s never been a day in the history of the world in which the climate is not changing.”, showing a very inept grasp of how science works.
As well as this, even for a member of the Republican party, he seems very keen on allowing the government to tell people what to do and curtailing civil liberties. On abortion for instance, he has views that wouldn’t look amiss in a religious dictatorship – as he is opposed to public abortion funding in 2012, and supported the right for businesses to not provide their employees birth control in the same year. On top of this, he is a vocal supporter of the death penalty and is very keen to let the government encroach upon net neutrality – which oddly he called the “ObamaCare of the internet” in 2014. He also wants to ban federal same-sex marriage, and opposes allowing any gay people to marry in the military.
It’s clear that Cruz has views on par with some of Trumps most distasteful – indeed one of his recent campaign adverts boasted of Cruz building a wall across Mexico. It’s clear however, that Cruz isn’t getting nearly the same amount of air-time as Trump, so many are unaware of just how regressive he is. But as his Iowa victory shows – if we underestimate or ignore him, he may just get into the White House, and if the prospect of Trump winning the presidential race shocks you, then so should Ted Cruz’s chance of victory.
Image: Brian Cahn/Zuma Press/Corbis