Another reminder why Trump is ahead and Cruz is behind
On Friday, Donald Trump called for concealed carry of firearms to be permitted in all 50 states. Whether the federal government could mandate this is a complex question, based on the interpretation of the Second Amendment, but that is beside the point. Once again, Trump has come out with a big, bold position on an issue that matters to people, which will undoubtedly help him in the polls even more.
Meanwhile, Ted Cruz is stuck at third or fourth place (or worse) in the polls. Ted Cruz is not just a committed constitutional conservative, but he's a fighter. He has almost singlehandedly (with Mike Lee as his Robin or Friar Tuck) taken on the entire Senate time and time again.
But Cruz has been different in this presidential campaign. Afraid of being seen as too bold, too polarizing, he has toned it down. And he's paid a price for that in the polls.
Where are Cruz's bold policy initiatives? Why won't he call for deporting illegals? Why wasn't he the one to call for eliminating concealed carry restrictions? Since he's started running, he's been giving great speeches, but he hasn't come forth with any bold proposals at all.
It's almost as if he's comfortable doing bold things, like fighting in the Senate, but uncomfortable engaging in the rhetorical debate needed to wake the lumbering silent majority. Either that or he has consciously "made the calculation" that he doesn't want to be too polarizing by speaking out.
Perhaps that was a good strategy, pre-Trump. But Trump has by his boldness created more room to be outspoken on the right. And Cruz hasn't taken advantage of it.
Just look at Cruz's latest mess of a political ad. He shows a video of a scorpion and the announcer says, "There's a deadly threat. And others refuse to speak its name." But by the end of the video, no one has actually spoken its name. Cruz is trying to criticize those who won't speak out against radical Islam, but, comically enough, he won't speak out against radical Islam in his own ad! His own ad displays his own timidity, and he parodies himself!
I think Cruz is the candidate with the most reliable conservative record. But if he doesn't get in front and start advocating concrete proposals that will excite the imagination of conservatives, he shouldn't be surprised if he is left holding Donald Trump's coat...as he is currently doing.
This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.