The 2016 Presidential election began on Monday with Republican Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) declaring his candidacy. Among the goals laid out in his candidacy speech at Liberty University were calls for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a cause for which he already shut down the federal government and cost the U.S. economy $24 billion; the abolishment of theInternal Revenue Service (IRS), through which our country collects taxes that pay for our national security, safety net programs, and every day government functions; the defense of “the sanctity of human life,” also known as infringing on a woman’s right to make decisions about her personal health; and the protection of the sacrament of marriage, in other words denying the civil liberties and equal rights of all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation.
If you’re not concerned, you should be. Ted Cruz’s apparent disconnect from reality and the general public will of the American people shows that he is clearly out of step with Jewish values.
Beyond the now infamous government shutdown that he led last year while throwing an adult-sized temper tantrum over health care accessibility for Americans, Cruz has also stated that he believes that we should eliminate the Department of Education, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, and the National Endowment for the Arts – this on top of his lofty goal of getting rid of the IRS as well. These federal agencies are essential to the American way of life, helping to ensure the education of the next generation of national and international leaders; the economic growth and financial opportunities for our nation; our security and prosperity through energy, environmental, and nuclear challenges; and enriching the lives of all Americans with the gift of the arts, fostering creativity throughout our nation. These agencies represent key facets of our democracy and now a presidential candidate is publicly saying he’d rather eliminate them altogether.
Ted Cruz is not only anti-choice, but has also opposed abortions for victims of rape and incest, and has proven himself to not have a scientific grasp on contraception. Cruz has categorized the morning-after pills as an “abortifacient,” despite the fact that the pill does not cause abortions. His misguided and misinformed attempts to infringe on women’s rights are not only problematic but antithetical to his stated positions on guaranteeing civil liberties and states’ rights. Just last week he introduced legislation that, according to the Washington Post, “could in theory halt local laws passed last year by the D.C. Council and signed by the city’s mayor.” This legislation would affect laws on reproductive health decisions and funding for university gay and lesbian student groups.
He also cited the abundance of snow and ice in New Hampshire in March as scientific evidence debunking climate change, claiming that science does not support the existence of climate change. Meanwhile, 97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is happening, and that this is likely due to human activity.
Cruz’s disconnect from reality and facts is at least puzzling, and at worst, alarming. If he truly believes everything he says and in the policies he pushes forward, he certainly doesn’t belong in the White House representing the American public.