As a libertarian who worked very hard to bring my fellow travelers into the Ted Cruz for Senate camp in the primary and runoff, I’m a little disturbed by the way I see some Cruz for President supporters currently treating both libertarians and Rand Paul, especially in my home state of Texas.
Make no mistake: Without the help of the Paul family and the grassroots activists who align with them, Ted Cruz would NOT have had a base broad enough to force Dewhurst into a runoff and garner his ultimate win. We were indispensable. This is something Senator Cruz himself has acknowledged, and anybody with a real understanding of the campaign knows that. There’s a reason Cruz’s camp pushed his endorsement from Senator Paul as hard as they did, and hired former Paul staffers.
In the Spring of 2012, I wrote a piece in The Daily Caller entitled “Ted Cruz Can Unite the Right.” Now, it feels like many of his supporters want to steamroll over a significant portion of the people who got Senator Cruz to where he is today, and I have to admit, it hurts me on a personal level. That type of behavior is a very good way to burn the bridges you crossed to get where you currently stand; a risky behavior, indeed.
To be clear, this actually isn’t a criticism of Senator Cruz himself. I think for the most part, he’s been pretty classy, and I still count many of his supporters, especially staff, among my good friends. What I’m bothered by is both a lack of respect for people who were there from day one, and a weird focus on trying to destroy Senator Paul when the GOP establishment and Hillary Clinton are much bigger problems.
I understand that presidential primaries will inevitably get nasty. I also realize that there are Rand Paul supporters who need to work on their behavior as well. Believe me, I really do know that all too well, and anyone who follows me is aware of the fact that I spend plenty of time “policing my own,” so to speak. But there’s something very disturbing about some of the attitudes I’m seeing here in Texas. We all ought to know better.
Remember, Tea Partiers (a group I’ve been very intimately associated with): Rand Paul was elected in the 2010 wave. He and mostly Mike Lee, laid the groundwork for Ted. Rand Paul is far from an enemy; you owe him big time for Ted’s ability to even run for President at all. It’s also important to remember that at the end of the day, we’d all want Ted or Rand before someone like Jeb Bush. Perspective: It’s important.