His victory wasn't because he had more money or more prestigious endorsements or more valuable connections or more political experience. Maybe he defeated the establishment-backed candidate because he touched some hot-button issues that the grassroots care about but are ignored or even belittled by the mainstream media.
Take, for example, property rights. Most Americans thought our property rights were secure under the mantle of the U.S. Constitution, until they were shaken by the widely unpopular 2005 U.S. Supreme Court Kelo decision that authorized government to use eminent domain power to seize private property and give it to a private developer, if the new owner would be a bigger taxpayer.
Grassrooters and tea partiers have the old-fashioned notion that private property is a basic constitutional right and that publicly owned property is part of U.S. sovereignty and must not be handed over to the United Nations or other foreigners. Americans are naturally suspicious of the lengthy document called Agenda 21, adopted at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
The globalists didn't dare submit Agenda 21 as a treaty subject to U.S. Senate debate and vote, so they have been proceeding without public announcement to make deals with cities, counties and other local units of government. Claiming to promote "a more efficient and equitable world economy," the globalists' sales talk is wrapped in U.N. fantasies about sustainability, wilderness, climate change, land use, regulations to save the environment and global governance.
Translated into plain language, that means reducing the American standard of living and inducing us to transfer our wealth to foreign dictators who hate us. A globalist outfit called the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives, usually referred to as ICLEI (pronounced ik-lay), has already lined up some U.S. cities to accept sustainability regulations.
Most Americans are rightly opposed to the U.N. dictating anything that interferes with U.S. property rights or uses of our land. The Republican National Committee voted unanimously to oppose Agenda 21 because it is a dangerous encroachment on U.S. freedoms and our private enterprise economy.
One of The New York Times' favorite pundits, Paul Krugman, tried to ridicule Ted Cruz about his criticism of Agenda 21 by blogging that Cruz "believes that there is a global plot, led by George Soros, to eliminate golf courses." Indeed, Cruz understands that Americans don't want George Soros (who has put big bucks behind this U.N. project) or any U.N. agency telling us how to use our own land.
ICLEI opposes paved roads (as a detriment to the expansion of the wilderness), and it would be no surprise if ICLEI went after golf courses. The "sustainability" freaks would argue that golf courses are a too-extravagant use of land and of water to keep the fairways green.
Immigration is another issue hot with the grassroots but ignored or distorted by the mainstream media and the so-called establishment. Immigration could be listed under many headings, including jobs, unemployment, rule of law, crime, American identity, sovereignty, foreign policy, and states' rights, and it surely is both a social and a fiscal issue.
Cruz has lined up on the side of those who want the rule of law not open borders, assimilation not amnesty. Thus, ending chain migration and reducing the numbers of immigrants until America does a better job of assimilating the millions of legal immigrants we have already welcomed into our country.
A third issue turned out to be an opportunity for Cruz to score points with the grassroots. Because Cruz boasts a compelling narrative about his Cuban heritage, his major opponent, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, challenged him to a Spanish-language debate.
Cruz wisely declined to fall into that trap. The American people support English as our national language and don't want politicians seeking our votes in any foreign language.
The mainstream media have been trying to pigeonhole the tea party crowd as people who are not smart enough to play on the national stage. It's probably been a big shock to some that Ted Cruz, a tea party favorite, is a graduate of Princeton and the Harvard Law School, clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and has argued nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.