Conservatives should not need to be told this, but there is more to leadership than being smart. A Harvard law graduate, Sen. Ted Cruz is smart but a seriously flawed individual who has taken on a cultish following of political amateurs who have no greater sense of achievement beyond their noses.
Cruz came out swinging like William Wallace and ended up looking like a prostrate George Wallace. At a political rally in which he attempted to gather the troops, someone showed up with a Confederate flag. Jonathon Capehart of the Washington Post was repulsed by the display, and pointed out that the Confederate Flag was seen as a “hostile act” by black families.
The Confederate Flag represents much more than that.
It represents separatism, slavery, and a Dark Age culture of backwardness towards minorities and women. It is the opposite of how we should aspire to be as a country.
No other flag has been flown in this country to support an economic and social system that so systematically destroyed the lives of so many Americans. The murder, subjugation, and tyranny over the hearts and minds of not only millions of people, but generations of American families is unprecedented and should no longer be accepted in civilized society.
It is more than a hostile act to display that flag on the lawn of a black family; it is a terrorist act. It is a hateful act. It is a shameful act.
And yet when the flag was waved at their rally, neither Cruz nor Sarah Palin bothered to say anything. Not that we should be surprised, since Cruz is an admiring fan of one of this country’s grandest supporters of Jim Crow in the Senate, Jesse Helms.
Cruz was warned before this latest episode of holding the government hostage over the attempt to extend health care to working class and poor families that he and his confederacy of dunces would ultimately lose a showdown between the president and the Senate. Yet Cruz ignored those warnings, he ignored the costs it imposed on working families, on our distressed financial system, and on the poor.
If there is anything salvageable in the Republican Party it will come from those who believe in honorable opposition for the benefit of the country.
Currently, there is nothing grand about this party. There are no more grand ideas to improve the country, improve our society, and move forward as a nation.
Where Ronald Reagan once envisioned a grand economic and social cooperative between Mexico and Canada, today’s Republicans build walls and quite literally try to convince people that freedom lies within one’s right not to have health care.
This is a party of fear and resentment, whose only display of grandeur is in the remarkable littleness of its leaders. The utter lack of courage to stand up to populism, to succumb to the anxiety of a changing society, and to profit off the misery of its fellow neighbors without one scintilla of effort to try to educate their constituency is an utter failure of what a political party is supposed to do.
Our democracy needs a responsible opposition. Today we have none.
The GOP was once an innovator of ideas in an era of lethargy. They may not have always been right, but they did think big. Embracing a global economy, families of all stripes, spirituality in its many positive forms, and our pride in improving opportunities for our future entrepreneurs should be the nexus of where the GOP goes from here. Driving forward with both eyes on the review mirror is neither conservative, nor healthy.
Perhaps some day the GOP will embrace the power of diversity in society as they do their portfolios. Hopefully that day comes sooner rather than later, because the Democrats are content that it comes later rather than sooner.
Stephen A. Nuño, Ph.D., NBC Latino contributor and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Northern Arizona University. He is currently writing a book on Republican outreach into the Latino Community.