WARNING: It’s about to get super nerdy all up in here.
As many of you are aware, I’m a bookworm, and J. R. R. Tolkien is a god in the literary world. So, of course, he created one of the greatest unifying characters of all time: Aragorn. I’m overwhelmed with great sadness over the fact that Aragorn is unfamiliar to many, and while I’m also rather disheartened that Khan may be a foreign name, as well, I’ll do my best to give a quick synopsis of their characters without going into incredible detail.
Disclosure: No, I’m not saying that Ted Cruz is Khan, nor that Marco Rubio is Aragorn. For example, I don’t think Rubio has killed any Uruk-hai and, quite frankly, I think we can all agree that we don’t want to see Ted Cruz in the bare-chested Wrath of Khan wardrobe. I’m just noting a few similarities in leadership techniques, and bringing some levity to the discussion because the current state of politics makes me want to curl up in a ball with a chocolate cake and regency era novels, and sob.
Khan Noonien Singh: Think Ricardo Montalban, not Cumberbatch. I may have picked this character because I could then refer to Ted Cruz as an “augmented human,” but as it turns out, the comparison fits quite nicely as a whole. In the very beginning, Khan is a fairly decent being; he comes across as kind, calm, gracious, but yet disregards the wants of others. Kirk even referred to him as “the best of the tyrants,” but also as the “most dangerous.” After being marooned on a “barren sandheap,” he led a revolt for the blind pursuit of revenge. Khan was indeed a villain, but he never saw himself as a villain, he felt as though he was righteously angry and deserving of revenge – he felt it was the right thing to do, you might say. His followers were dedicated and blinded themselves to his faults, as well as the danger an alliance with him induced, and they remained loyal because he was superior to normal humans. Ted Cruz followers offer this same level of oblivious loyalty; they trust him – despite blatant character scruples – so everyone should trust him.
Aragorn: The rightful heir to the throne of Gondor, also known as the Dunadan, Envinyatar the renewer, Longshanks, Wingfoot, or most notably by the rustics of the North, Telcontar (Strider). Too much information already? Anywho, Aragorn posed as a ranger in the beginning (Strider), and then throughout the books he grew from being a ranger to a king. For the survival of the kingdoms of man, Aragorn must not only be a warrior but, more importantly, he must be the uniting force who brings together enemies for the sake of all that is good and decent. Including one of the most epic tales in literature, by my own opinion of course, when he summons the Dead Men of Dunharrow, who will only answer to the heir of Isildur. Aragorn took responsibility for the failures of those who followed him, he didn’t blame shift, and he was humble yet recognized his calling.
Okay, enough of that. In short, he was really, really awesome, but more than anything, he brought everyone together to defeat what they thought to be imminent doom.
Side note: If you are not familiar with these characters (particularly Aragorn), but know every detail about Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, I have literally wept tears of pity for you. Wept.
That was fun. Now on to the meaning of this post:
With the Iowa caucuses happening next Monday evening, everyone is beginning to take sides, or at least be more flamboyant about who they chose months ago. While this blog may reach very few, I wanted to give my thoughts on an incredibly important piece of this election, one that I hope people consider before they place their allegiance with any candidate:
We need an Aragorn, not a Khan.
I hope that’s exactly what you tell yourself before you pull the lever; “We need an Aragorn, not a Khan.” Seriously, just do it. By the way, “Khan” is pronounced exactly like “con.” See what I did there?
So here’s the thing, every time I see a Ted Cruz endorsement, they praise his warrior like attitude, “my way or the highway” approach, and principles. The latter of the three I’d argue he has little of, but the other two points I concur. He does have a warrior-esque attitude, and his followers think he’s William Wallace. They also want revenge for the failed policies enacted under the Obama administration, and are not dwelling on electibility in the least. Not only that, they’re not thinking about how we need to fix things, they’re thinking about how awesome it’s going to be to tweet “Take that, Democrats!” as Cruz takes his uzi shaped pen and unravels everything Obama did. They want revenge but, as conservatives, giving Democrats a taste of their own overreaching medicine should be a revolting ideal. Revenge should be rejected. We want to set ourselves apart from Democrats, not become them.
Push for conservative principles, but support someone who legitimately cares about fellow human beings, as well as uniting a country torn apart by its current president. Ted Cruz, unfortunately, has convinced a lot of people that he’s not that someone.
I love that in response to those numbers, Cruz supporters say “well, when the field dwindles down and those are the only options, Cruz will look more appealing, and people will be forced to choose him.” No. He won’t, and no, they won’t. There are always going to be better options, e.g., staying home and playing Parcheesi on November 8th.
Now you might argue “Look! Cruz has a higher rating with Republicans!” But most Republicans would vote for Rubio in a general, and the fact that he’s a solid conservative and does better with Democrats and Independents is the big takeaway from those numbers. Here’s the rub: Those who don’t like Cruz, really, really don’t like Cruz.
His current colleagues don’t like him.
His former colleagues don’t like him:
“I don’t know anyone who had a decent relationship with Cruz.”
His former schoolmates don’t like him:
“We hadn’t left Manhattan before he asked my IQ,”
It wasn’t just that they disliked his views, it’s that they didn’t like him.
“It was my distinct impression that Ted had nothing to learn from anyone else,” said Erik Leitch, who lived in Butler College with Cruz. Leitch said he remembers Cruz as someone who wanted to argue over anything or nothing, just for the exercise of arguing. “The only point of Ted talking to you was to convince you of the rightness of his views.”
While Cruz’s friends from the debate team foresaw a successful career in politics for Cruz, many of the Princeton alums offered that they were deeply troubled by the possibility of Cruz running for president, a notion that one, who did not want to be quoted speaking against a former classmate who is now a senator, called notion “horrifying.”
And maybe there’s an alternate universe where I believe a personality like that is conducive to being a great leader, however, in today’s political world, it’s the worst thing we could ever do to our party. On top of that, Cruz’s inability to get along would be used by Democrats in a general election, and it would bury us.
A few facts:
As I noted in a previous post, Republicans have a real issue when it comes to reaching the female population:
In 1996, Bill Clinton won by 8 million votes. 54% of women voted for Clinton, while 38% voted for Dole, which comes out to an easy 11 million vote difference. Thank you, gender gap. Even Barack Obama, the debt multiplier, raked in an easy 56% of the female vote. In 2009, a Gallup Poll interviewed 150,000 men and women, they separated them into three different categories: Independents, Republicans, and Democrats. The highest percentage of all categories, 41%, was made up of women who identify as Democrats. In 1964, 1968, and 1972, the gender gap between Democrat voters remained between 2-4 points. However, in 1996 the gender gap was 14 points, in 2000 it was 15 points, in 2004 it was 16 points, in 2008 it was back down to 14 points (+14 being women), but in 2012 the gender gap was a massive 20 points (the +12 being women, -8 being men). TWENTY POINTS. Obama still lost a little steam with women on his second go-round, but he still picked up a large lead.
Side note: Women tend to hate egotistical know-it-alls. Sure, there are those who approach politics like they would an action movie, and get a high off of John Wick-esque tactics. However, the vast majority of us that walk the earth would immediately text our friend “How dare you!?” after being set up on a blind date with someone like Ted Cruz. I love John Wick, but I don’t want him to be President. On top of that, John Wick might actually have a more pleasant disposition than Ted Cruz. John Wick never made me want to set myself on fire during a flamboyant 8 minute sermon that basically begged to be completed by a chorus of eagles draped in flags singing The National Anthem.
Thank you, John Wick.
Moving on, not only does he have an issue with women, he has one with Hispanic and Latino communities, which is a problem because the current Hispanic population in the United States sits between 54-56 million, which is roughly 17% of the total population. By 2050, the Hispanic population is expected to reach 106 million. The vast majority are here legally; they are law abiding citizens, soldiers, police officers, teachers, mothers, fathers, politicians, etc., and according to the Pew Research Center, “Hispanic millennials will account for nearly half (44%) of the record 27.3 million Hispanic eligible voters projected for 2016—a share greater than any other racial or ethnic group of voters…”
We’ve need to be able to reach these people.
Listen, in regards to conservative principles, what he is saying is quite often accurate, it’s his behavior, flip-flopping, and elitist tone that makes people want to shin kick him. You like him? Good. The problem is that when the general rolls around, the Democrats are going to focus in on as many negative aspect as they can and, unfortunately, no matter how much you like Cruz, they’ll have a lot of ammo. For example, saying that “If they want to be a citizen, they ought to go home and reapply,” only to turn around and say he’d be against reentry, makes Ted Cruz look like a tormenting bully. They will say he is unreasonable and irresponsible.
“Then people are wrong!!!”
That doesn’t change the fact that they vote. Aaaaand they’re kinda right.
It’s not just about the policies proposed, it’s about the sheer disdain leaking from the pores of Trump and Cruz. I mean, Cruz almost looks giddy as he – in more manipulative words – tells us that he’d deport DACA recipients, many of whom were brought here as children and raised as Americans. Not only that – as noted above – he opposes reentry, and is even more strict on immigration than Donald Trump:
QUESTIONER: Both you and Donald Trump are really strong on immigration, but he supports deporting all the illegal immigrants. Are you willing to say the same?
TED CRUZ: Absolutely, yes. We should enforce the law.
T.C.: We should enforce the law.
T.C.: And in fact, look, there’s a difference. He’s advocated allowing folks to come back in and become citizens. I oppose that.
So, let me get this straight: He would support taking someone who was raised here, brought here as a young child without any particular will, maybe they don’t even know they’re considered “illegal,” deporting them from the only country they’ve ever known, sending them into what would be a life of poverty and misfortune for the majority, and then not allowing them to come back in legally?
By the way, screaming “but that’s not fair to the legal immigrants!” doesn’t make you any less of a heartless tool if you agree with such treatment of human beings. Rubio has a strict view on immigration, but he also has a soul. On top of that, if you believe morally sound mass deportation is possible, your sanity may have only had half a day. Those who know what it would entail, are mildly revolted by the thought of it, and also mildly revolted by those who have success campaigning on the promise of it.
If Trump or Cruz were to win, that mentality will be the new face of conservatism to such young and impressionable voters. This is why back in August, when I made a defense of Birthright Citizenship, a portion of the post went over the 2012 election autopsy report, and how we needed to avoid hateful dialogue in regards to immigration. Here’s a snippet of that particular post:
So, according to the autopsy report, what was one of the major factors in how the victim died, Doctor?
“Unless the RNC gets serious about tackling this problem, we will lose future elections; the data demonstrates this. In both 2008 and 2012, President Obama won a combined 80 percent of the votes of all minority voters, including not only African Americans but also Hispanics, Asians, and others…
If Hispanic Americans hear that the GOP doesn’t want them in the United States, they won’t pay attention to our next sentence. It doesn’t matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think that we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies. In essence, Hispanic voters tell us our Party’s position on immigration has become a litmus test, measuring whether we are meeting them with a welcome mat or a closed door.”
It doesn’t matter who or how many you attempt to deport, the Hispanic and Latino communities are growing, they’re here to stay, they’re voting, and they will not support someone who treats them like animals. You shouldn’t need an episode of How It Works to explain this. It’s simple: If you’re mean, heartless, or indifferent towards a particular group of people, it does not bode well, and it’s understandable that they are not going to like you.
George W. Bush often said, “Family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande, and a hungry mother is going to try to feed her child.” He had a great relationship with the Hispanic community, and he won. Twice. Over 40% of the Hispanic vote went to Bush. While Romney failed miserably with the Hispanic and Latino population, George W. Bush did well.
Romney was running against a fresh faced, young, and exciting candidate. Unfortunately, Romney was also too busy trying to appease the gods of conservative purity on the right who refused to dig deep into policy issues, but instead demand a much more verbally aggressive approach to immigration. Because those bundles of patriotic fun come fully programmed to prefer Khan. Was that Romney’s fault? No. Not really. That was the fault of those on our side who can’t see past their own agenda enough to realize that they are not the center of the universe. And in the end, people like that lose.
That is why this election is so important. It’s not just about getting who you deem the “most conservative candidate” in, or your favorite speech deliverer. No, this is about getting the right candidate for the future of the party. A movement that will have no future if it can’t build a better rapport with one of the fastest growing minority groups in the United States. A party that will swiftly be rejected by women if they continue to push heartless rhetoric and egotistical approaches. Democrats are weak right now, they’ve been given horrible choices, and much of the country has suffered under the Obama administration. While Hispanic and Latino communities are growing, and women are disappointed in the Left, now is the time to bring back the classic conservative movement; Small government, diversity, unity, with a focus on human worth. We have the chance to unify a young and growing minority group with a message of hope in the midst of an unmitigated political mess, plagued by utter confusion. As a bonus, Rubio is plenty conservative; I could argue that he’s even more conservative than Cruz.
Someone with the right message, with the right attitude, can not only take this election and create a younger base, they can set a precedence for future elections. While the Hispanic and Latino vote may not make or break the 2016 election, due to the fact that states with the largest Hispanic populations – and a large Electoral College – are decided. However, they will be listening, and while our current political situation is a disaster in this country, they will be aligning themselves with the party that resonates with them the most. Whether their vote is counted or not is of little consequence, it matters who wins their allegiance now for the sake of the future. Our failure to seize on this opportunity will be why we lose the Hispanic and Latino vote, the female vote, the young vote, and why we’ll die the death of a thousand paper cuts in future elections.
Khan offered revenge, Aragorn offered principles and unity. Cruz is peddling revenge, Marco is here to sell ideas and unite the conservative base with the young, the old, women, and minorities.
Revenge didn’t work for Khan, and it’s not going to work for us. So I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t place conservatism into a lonely cryogenic sleep with Cruz, and for the sake of everything decent, don’t detonate the matter-reorganizing terraforming device – thus killing us all – with Trump.
Aragorn Marco Rubio.