On Friday Sen. Ted Cruz gave a remarkable speech, one of his best, before the Federalist Society – making actual conservatives once again lament the loss of a tremendous opportunity. The speech was a warm, thoughtful, sincere tribute to Justice Scalia as well as an exhortation for good people to serve their nation in this critical time to preserve liberty and the rule of law. We can only hope they will respond and that Pence will make it happen.
Cruz was enthusiastically received with standing ovations by an audience most likely filled with people who know him personally. It showed the ‘real’ Ted Cruz – humble, dedicated and comfortable among his peers – a group of constitutionalists standing in stark contrast to the usual type of politician and the stereotype of lawyers. There was no showmanship here, no self-promotion. It’s who he is.
Sure, Sen. Cruz has ambitions, and rightfully so given his intellect and talents. But you’ll see little self-interest in his words yesterday. He is advising and urging these folks to SERVE their country and to serve with honor. His words have convinced me to lay aside my feelings about his endorsement of Trump because he clearly did so believing it was critical to our nation to stop Hillary, because he believes in keeping his word and because he saw a path to making things better if the new administration has good people working within it. I’m not as optimistic as he but we will see. I’ll continue to call out the missteps and likely misdeeds of the Trump administration and I hope he will too – that’s part of ‘never giving in.’
How awful that we have Bannon out there celebrating the rule of the ‘uneducated’ – by which he really means the ignorant, whom he seeks to control to give HIMSELF power. How awful that this nation rejects those like Cruz of high intellect, character, and a devotion to serving, not ruling.
Ted Cruz would do well to incorporate some of the style of this speech into future campaign speeches. It would be of benefit to him personally but more importantly, it would help elevate the sinking level of discourse in this country. The electorate rises to the level of our expectations. Dispense with cheerleading or preaching and give us thoughtful substance that might, just might, rub off on the audience. At this point what do we have to lose? Be your true self, Ted. Be intellectual, caring and yes, presidential.
Just a couple of excerpts:
“Before I close, I’d like to leave you with five guiding principles for the mission ahead, should you choose to accept it.
First, be honest and trustworthy. If we are to be good stewards of the law, we must be good stewards of our souls. The practice of law is a deeply moral undertaking. To faithfully interpret and apply the law—especially as servants of the People—requires the utmost integrity. The People, after all, have every right to expect that government officials reach their legal conclusions in good faith.
If the citizenry begins to believe that the law is being subverted for political or any other illegitimate reasons, they will lose faith in the government, in the rule of law, and in the idea of justice itself. And when faith in these things is lost, all that is left is cynicism. This is a breach of trust that cannot be easily repaired, and so we owe it to our fellow citizens and to our cause not to let it happen on our watch.
Second, always remember: you serve a cause far greater than yourself. Pride comes before a fall, so be humble. I know this admonition might seem strange coming from a politician. We are not generally known for our humility. But history is littered with examples of worthy causes that failed because of infighting, petty grievances, and selfishness.
If we are to succeed in taming our Leviathan, we cannot succumb to the same impulses. We must work together, always putting others and our cause ahead of ourselves.
Third, the Constitution must be your lodestar.
Restoring the rule of law must begin with restoring the Constitution. And to do that, we must be fearless advocates of the proposition—best expressed by Justice Joseph Story—that the Constitution has a “fixed” meaning and is “not dependent upon the passions or parties of particular times, but the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
In closing, Cruz said:
“Above all, though, you must keep up the fight, and never, ever, give in. Our nation, our people, and our Constitution are worth every ounce of your devotion. “
Watch and read Cruz’ speech here.