In communist countries, like China, Cuba, and Russia, those legions are known as "party members". Party members are given the best housing, jobs, medical care, etc. as a reward for their support of an autocratic leadership. That's why those countries have peasants, and we don't - yet.
You can see the development of a super-class of highly partisan government workers - teachers, civil servants, etc. - in places like Detroit and NYC. The ramifications are clear, and they are not good for the rest of us. It may be subconscious, but support for Cruz stems from the feeling we all get from watching failing societies.