You might be forgiven for thinking the big Conservative Union CPAC conference that took place over the weekend was actually an art installation that was mean to be satire rather than an actual political convention where actual ideas were discussed. Mostly because it featured a bunch of hyper conservative politicians go on schizophrenic and delusional rants that discuss, mostly how crazy the democrats have become. Ted Cruz actually used the term “bat crap crazy”, meanwhile Donald Trump is busy groping the stars and stripes and talking about how all the stuff he’s getting done but not really. It was weird. If this convention was supposed to mobilize Republican donors and really engage confidence for 2020, I don’t know how successful it was. Because while most the people there might be ideologically misguided, I don’t think most of them are deaf and blind to how the perception of the Republican party has shifted, especially since the midterms.
If there is one thing I’m not going to try and do is convince people that I know all the factors that allow for these continued violent events, where students have to fear for their safety in schools. School shootings and their prevalence in the United States are complicated. I have my own theories and hypothesis about measures that should be taken, ones that are no doubt in line with many others, but there are a lot of factors involved. One factor that I’m SURE isn’t involved, is the lack of recognition of God and Jesus in town squares. I feel like I can make that statement pretty soundly. And I feel comfortable saying that because when you look at other countries that don’t seem to have the problem of school shootings, the lack of religion plays NO factor. It’s been pointed out recently by several people that Japan, specifically, has a Christian population of under 2%. There have been ZERO school shootings in Japan. In fact, incidents of mass violence (not Mass shooting, but mass VIOLENCE, as in explosives are any other kind of weapon) are practically non-existent. It’s simply not a problem that people in Japan concern themselves with in their day to day lives. So sorry, Ted Cruz. When you confidently suggest that all we need is more Jesus to combat school shootings, I can confidently suggest you go suck an egg.
So, Wednesday was a pretty scary example of what can happen when partisanship overwhelms discourse. So what we know is that philanthropist (and provably NOT Nazi sympathizer) George Soros had a bomb delivered to him on Monday. The Secret Service intercepted and reported bombs also being sent to the Clintons and the Obamas on Wednesday. On the same day, CNN offices were evacuated because they received a bomb package and an envelope with “white powder.” Maxine Waters, Kamala Harris and Andrew Cuomo may have also been targeted, but at this point not confirmed. Now, there is so much we don’t know. We don’t know who the senders were, what their connection to one another is, assuming there is one. What I feel we can assume at this point was that this was a concerted effort to silence, terrorize or harm people who are democrats or seen as democrat sympathizers (CNN is after all the media that Trump has branded “the Enemy of the people”). And because this has been seen as an attack on the left, the presumption by many is that this was perpetrated by Republican or Trump supporters. Whether that’s true remains to be seen, but it’s noteworthy that members of the GOP are being quick to call for civility and reasonable discourse in the wake of this event. The is that they can distance themselves from this idea that they helped create an atmosphere where their supporters may have felt comfortable doing this kind of thing. The easy and obvious example of this is Ted Cruz, who last night, was rabble rousing his rally crowd by suggesting he’d lock up Hillary Clinton and Beto O’Rourke together. Hours later, he is telling people that we all need to get along, and that he respects people across the isle even though he may disagree with them. Which…I mean that’s crap. And while Ted Cruz is one of the easier people to mock in this regard, he’s by no means the only Republican who are now walking back troubling rhetoric that demonizes the left so blatantly. Partisanship has run amok in the worst way, and I’m afraid this might only be the start of something more malevolent.
I’m getting increasingly more interested in the Texas senate race. In a state that is redder than Mars, the sure fire victory that Ted Cruz would normally have…well it feels a little less certain. Honestly, the odds are certainly in his favor, but Beto O’Rourke is really making a name for himself as an up and comer in the Democrat scene. Even Ted Cruz’s attempts to discredit O’Rourke may have only ended up making him look more awesome, and now, Cruz is being called out for underhanded donation solicitation. Listen, I understand that campaigning can be kind of a dirty business. Campaign flyers and junk mail irritates everyone, and if you want people to read your junker, than sometimes you have to think creatively. But there is a firm difference between being creative and being overtly deceptive. Take Ted Cruz’s latest mailer, which is more than just deceptive, it might be straight up illegal in Texas to do. You see, Ted Cruz’s campaign sent out a letter disguised as an official looking Summons in order to drum up donations. It even continues that deception in the letter asking for money. Now while some might argue that this is harmless, that no reasonable person would take this seriously, it’s worth pointing out that the reason this came to public attention was because a mailer was sent to man’s recently passed grandmother, who was suffering mental decline. Were she to come across this letter, he reasoned, she would have thought this was some kind of bill as opposed to deceptive solicitation. And honestly, if this kind of thing becomes okay, what becomes the next tricky maneuver to get people to donate?
I guess Texas conservatives who happen to be Willie Nelson fans are shocked an appalled at Willie’s endorsement of Democratic Senate Candidate Beto O’Rourke over Republican Ted Cruz. And that I say, really? It’s Willie Nelson. He’s FAMOUSLY progressive in his leanings. He openly supports marijuana legalization, marriage equality, anti-war efforts, and combating climate change. I don’t even consider myself much of a Willie fan, and even I am more than vaguely aware of his political leanings, and yet his conservative fans are angry and betrayed at his political endorsement. I mean, you stick with him when he openly endorses and performs for causes you don’t support, but the second it’s for the sake of someone who embodies all his political positions, then it’s a step too far? You know, lines in the sand don’t mean a whole lot if you have to keep redrawing them.
Ted Cruz has been launching a campaign to discredit Beto O’Rourke. For good reason. At most other times, Ted Cruz would likely breeze through a midterm election, but he’s been losing ground to O’Rourke. For whatever reason, be that the state of the country, O’Rourke’s charisma, Cruz’s lack of charisma, or perhaps a more conscientious electorate. One way or another, polls that just a few weeks ago showed a substantial lead for Cruz, now show the two neck and neck. Now, personally, I don’t have a lot of faith in polls, but I do enjoy a good reaction. And Cruz’s to O’Rourke’s traction has been notably funny. In an attempt to make O’Rourke look less wholesome and charismatic, Cruz’s directed people’s attention to the fact that O’Rourke was once in a Punk band. But instead of making people think less of him, people just thought it made him seem cooler. When Cruz tried to make O’Rourke seem like an immoral pottymouth by telling everyone that he swears on the campaign trail, people just seem to think that makes him seem more real and approachable. Basically, Cruz is making his opponent look better and more in touch than he is, which may only serve to widen that poll gap. And what would be more hilarious than Cruz being responsible for helping to push his opponent to victory.