After over a year of battling in the name of conservatism and the GOP, Senator and Former Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz announced his official endorsement of Donald Trump on Friday. This came as a surprise to everyone, namely his supporters. This is shocking to say the least, but what does this endorsement actually mean to Trump, Ted Cruz’s career, and the future of America and the GOP? Well, many things must be examined to develop a full answer.
Who is Ted Cruz?
First, we need to remember who Ted Cruz is and what he stands for. Since the beginning of his career, Ted has been an outsider and a huge advocate for protect the Constitution and defend liberty here in the United States. It is often said that he has been working towards becoming President his entire life. A man like this doesn’t endorse a man like Donald Trump because he genuinely believes in Trump’s rhetoric, ideology, principles, or policies. In fact, he has been avoiding an endorsement since he announced his campaign suspension.
Why would a principled conservative like Ted Cruz endorse Donald Trump?
In his lengthy Facebook post regarding why he is endorsing Trump, the main points are clear. He stated several times earlier this election year that he would endorse the Republican Nominee, whoever that may be. He is a man of his word and although hesitant at first for many valid reasons, he has followed through with this promise. It is not in any way ideal but neither is 2016. Another major reason for his endorsement is that Hillary is “wholly unacceptable” and that he wants to do what must be done to stop her.
These are the reasons that Ted Cruz gave himself, but there are other possibilities under the surface of this endorsement. One major underlying reason could potentially be wanting to tread the waters through 2016 very carefully. According to FiveThirtyEight.com, there is a 91% chance at a Trump victory in the state of Texas. Additionally, most polls project Trump will by a margin of 6-9% over Clinton, a huge number for a swing election like this one. By endorsing Trump, this may ensure him an additional Senate term and keep his career in politics afloat. If his ideology is to be implemented into our country, the best option for him is to stay in politics. Another possible underlying reason is that although this is the worst case scenario 2016 has to offer, he does not want to be responsible for a Hillary Clinton victory. By endorsing Trump, he can not be held responsible for a Clinton victory even if she does win. And as for if Trump wins, that is very unlikely. Although catching up to Clinton he is still down in most polls. The likely outcome will be a Clinton victory. This being the best scenario for Cruz because he will not be responsible for either presidency.
What does this mean for Ted Cruz?
As for what this means for Senator Cruz it is still unsure, but one thing is for certain. This is not the first principled conservative to endorse Donald Trump. In the worst election year in history, many shocking endorsements have occurred. This is an election year where dynastic republicans such as the Bush’s are endorsing Hillary Clinton. This is a year where wonderful conservative leaders like Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, Rick Perry and so many others have endorsed the least conservative and most authoritarian candidate we’ve had on the GOP ticket. There comes a point where we can’t judge these leaders based on their endorsement of Donald Trump because it clearly does not reflect their views as ideologues and leaders. Many wonderful, principled leaders have endorsed both candidates and the ones not endorsing are staying out of the spotlight but also not providing much guidance. It is likely that this endorsement, similar to Marco Rubio’s situation, will help in his senate election and put 2016 behind us come November. Additionally, if one thing is for sure we will see Senator Ted Cruz again on that Republican Primary debate stage in 2020.