It’s good to be Ted Cruz.
At a time when most of America, regardless of political persuasion, is beyond fed up with career politicians, it pays to be the new kid in town. In past eras, the idea of a guy being elected president who had no prior executive political experience, or had yet to even serve a full-term in the U.S. Senate, would’ve been laughable. But the culture in Washington, D.C. has become so corrupt, that your value as a politician starts to decline from the moment you’re inaugurated. Just as a brand new car declines in value the minute you drive it off the lot. Voters are looking for fresh faces.
Cruz has already vaulted into a national figurehead position within the conservative movement. He’s become the national political face of the conservative opposition to statism, and a recent poll found he was the third most influential person in the world. He draws rock star crowds just about wherever he goes.
To be sure, Cruz is a talented politician. His combination of fearlessness, intellect, and winsomeness has been lacking in the Republican Party for a generation. The skills he honed as a constitutional attorney arguing cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and his past as an Ivy League debate champion, are on full display every time he’s on camera or on stage. If you’ve ever heard his father Rafael speak then you know where Cruz’s convictions come from.
But his sudden stardom is just as much an indictment of the sorry state of the GOP before his arrival on the scene as much as it’s about him. No matter how gifted he is, Cruz could only step to the forefront so quickly if most of his GOP brethren weren’t already in the fetal position—hiding from both the Left and the mainstream media. Like when Saul’s army would not stand up to Goliath, so it took a youngster named David to slay the giant, Cruz’s meteoric popularity would not be possible without the collective gutlessness of his peers.
But now that Cruz is a known quantity, he will be vetted more thoroughly. The bad news is there’s probably no place for him to go but down when you’re already number one. The good news is he’s probably already made enough deposits in the grassroots’ bank account to withstand a disappointment or two.