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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/8/16

The Two GOP Extremes: Cruz And Trump

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Donald Trump wants to build a nearly 2,000 mile long wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to keep out criminals and rapists. He says that he'll bomb the "s**t" out of ISIS and that he'll "get back our money" from China. Even though he does not say how. Trump is a vulgar, loud mouth bigot who will "ban Muslims from coming to the United States" and "Make America Great Again." Further, the man "could shoot someone in the street and not lose votes and support." Such breathtaking arrogance and bullying bombast is what drives the Donald Trump campaign for president of the United States.

It's a campaign long on vulgarity, rhetoric, sleight-of-hand with the ability to conjure up near mythical illogic and sell it to his supporters as gospel and fact. At this stage in the 2016 US Presidential race many in Trump's Republican Party are now openly engaged in internecine political warfare in efforts to stop, or even slow, his onward, forcible march to the GOP's nomination. His detractors on both the left and right have suddenly woke up to the jarring reality that he could get the nomination, after months of writing him off as a gadfly, a fringe oddity that could not repeal to the party's restless base.

Trump's unconcealed arrogance and outsized ego coupled with his bullying belligerence and thin-skin has alarmed people far and wide. And his candidacy is remaking the Republican Party in a way that shoves it to the extreme, the far Right. "Trump is a bully and bigot but doesn't hew to any sharp ideological line," Robert Reich wrote in January.

And Cruz?

Here's how Reich described him:

"Cruz is a fierce ideologue: He denies the existence of man-made climate change, rejects same-sex marriage, wants to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, believes the Second Amendment guarantees everyone a right to guns, doesn't believe in a constitutional divide between church and state, favors the death penalty, opposes international agreements, embraces a confrontational foreign policy, rejects immigration reform, demands the repeal of 'every blessed word of Obamacare,' and takes a strict 'originalist' view of the meaning of the Constitution."

In short, Cruz is much more extreme -- and dangerous -- than Trump. He's more educated, more politically experienced and thus infinitely more dangerous. If you think that references to Adolph Hitler fit Donald Trump, then think again. Cruz is the perfect fit. Let us look at the men carrying the two extremes of the GOP -- one extreme, the other ultra-extreme and borderline fanatical.

Trump said a while back that he would not hesitate to use the U.S. Military against an enemy even if that meant breaking international rules of war. But Senator Ted Cruz goes even further; he implied without blinking that he was not adverse to using nuclear weapons in conflicts in the Middle East and make the desert sands "glow in the dark." Also, Cruz would prosecute members and workers at Planned Parenthood -- not just shut down the organization.

The man's been caught in lie after lie, after lie. And the sad thing is that this does not seem to faze him for all his vainglorious and condescending moralistic talk about values and religious convictions. Its false piety at best.

For example, during last year's furor over Planned Parenthood and the doctored tapes purporting to show the organization selling aborted baby body parts, Cruz's inflammatory statements supporting the tapes and embroidering the discussion to suit his political aspirations were found to be brass-faced lies with the end result that a Texas court indicted the video makers on criminal charges. By contrast, while Trump wants to ultimately defund Planned Parenthood he did concede that the organization still does important work when it came to women's health.

Cruz is a political opportunist par excellence. In this category he out performs Senator Marco "Mini Me Trump" Rubio every time. You see, Rubio is a malleable political opportunist who can be controlled by the GOP Establishment, hence their continued support for him. He's a political lightweight who wants to "out Trump, Trump" but the vulgar Trump as derisively called him "Little Marco."

Cruz labors under absolutely no such illusions. He will embrace any and all political tactics that he deems useful to furthering his ultra-right-wing agenda that include his near fanatical support for the bad behavior of corporate America. The fundamental difference between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is that Trump says whatever pops into his head at the moment. He's unfiltered, unscripted, coarse, disjointed and confusing. Cruz is a trained and skilled debater who uses the things he's learned over the years to twist, exaggerate, distort and obfuscate the facts turning them into inflammatory lies, half-truths and innuendos just to further his beliefs and ideas.

Here's vintage Cruz:

He told the Conservative Political Action Conference (C-PAC) that democrats are threatening the Catholic Church (his church) and wants to force it to change the religious beliefs of practicing Catholics and that the federal government will use its power to shut down "your charities and hospitals." The fact-checking website Politifact said that this remark was "both incorrect and ridiculous."

Cruz said that ISIS is "right now crucifying Christians in Iraq literally nailing Christians to trees." He offered no evidence to back up that claim. In politics his twisting of the facts into Gordian Knots is well known. His relentless quest to repeal and overturn so-called Obamacare led him to make this humungusly untrue statement that in the House of Representatives there was a "strong bipartisan majority" to repeal Obamacare. The reality? Only TWO Democrats joined Republicans in repeal efforts.

In his pandering to the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the pro-gun lobbyists Cruz made the unfounded and untrue statement that "jurisdictions with the strictest gun control laws, almost without exception"have the highest crime rates and the highest murder rates."

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MICHAEL DERK ROBERTS Small Business Consultant, Editor, and Social Media & Communications Expert, New York Over the past 20 years I've been a top SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANT and POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST in Brooklyn, New York, running (more...)

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