Conservative Grassroots Still Alive
Sen. Ted Cruz announcement of his bid for President of the United States wasn’t surprising news, nor were the long knives from critics on the left and the establishment right that were immediately drawn for him.
Because I assumed that a Cruz presidential campaign was simply a matter of time, I didn’t watch his speech at Liberty University until later that day, and frankly, it was the social media furor on Twitter that prompted me to take the time to watch it without interruption.
I have no intention of making the case for why Sen. Cruz should or should not be the next president of our nation – much has already been written with endless speculation to come. There are more candidates waiting in the wings and my choice will come later after serious vetting. Instead, perhaps I can articulate what I felt in hearing Sen. Cruz speak about this great country and why his presence in the 2016 race matters to the conservative grassroots.
Whether loved or despised, Sen. Cruz has stood firm on the campaign promises that led to his underdog U.S. Senate win in 2012 rather than arriving in Washington and becoming part and parcel of the D.C. ruling class. For so many who voted for candidates who quickly became entrenched in establishment politics, Cruz represents the backbone that we long for in our own representation.
Add to that backbone his personal life story of understanding freedom and liberty, and it isn’t hard to understand why his message resonates with conservative (although not necessarily Republican) Americans who are concerned and downright scared about the economic calamity facing our nation.
Like so many people I know, we recognize that our children and grandchildren are being saddled with a national, state, and local community debt and level of future taxation that will hamper their life choices. The job opportunities for high school and college graduates are still rather limited with an economy that continues to sputter in most private segments. Fear of terrorist attacks enabled by unsecured borders still persist in the minds of most of us, at least of those paying attention to the turmoil abroad, and the domestic fires of racial tensions are continuously stoked, in many cases by those who have agendas driven by greed.
Corporate cronyism drives Republican and Democrat political agendas at the federal, state, and local level, and the same candidates who promise they are going to “fix” things offer little more than lame excuses as to why they can’t or won’t. Conservatives were promised that things would change “once Republicans control the House” which became “ah, but you know, we really can’t do very much until we control the Senate,” and our concerns are now dismissed with “well, now, you know it’s impossible until we win the White House.”
Mock if you will, but Sen. Cruz has energized the grassroots conservatives who have been demoralized by those we have elected as well as by those in the GOP establishment wanting to once again anoint a nominee and likely wishing we would simply disappear. The grassroots response to Sen. Cruz’ announcement was an expression of that frustration and one that the establishment wants only for their candidate of choice.
What resonated to me and countless conservatives across the country is the fact that someone who still believes in the exceptionalism of America and in its citizens is willing to step up and lead our nation, not from behind, and not by kowtowing to interests who care little about those outside of the sphere of moneyed influence of Washington politics.
That GOP nominee may not be Ted Cruz. But it does need to be a principled conservative who wants all citizens to have the opportunity for success instead of the chains of a government subsistence - the opportunity for an education not driven by corporatist profits – and the opportunity to live free of an oppressive big government designed to limit our liberties. It should be someone who understands the separation of power as constrained by our Constitution – someone who believes in the rule of law – someone who values and protects the sovereignty of our nation – and someone unafraid of challenging the status quo.
Political pundits tell us that such a candidate isn’t “electable” so we must fall in line with someone the experts tell us can win. Unfortunately, that strategy hasn’t worked very well in the two most recent presidential election cycles and our freedom is at serious risk because of it.
Limited government conservatives aren’t looking for a government “savior” as a candidate – we’re simply wanting someone with the courage to be the voice for those of us who feel as if we no longer have one.
Marcia Chambliss is the Alabama State Coordinator of Smart Girl Politics, a 501(c) (3) non-profit dedicated to the education and training of activists and candidates, and Smart Girl Politics Action, http://sgpaction.com/, a 501(c) (4) which focuses on conservative issues. She can be reached at: Marcia@sgpaction.com. Her views do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart Girl Politics Action.