Ted Cruz telegraphed a possible game-changing strategy in Thursday’s debate close

If we’ve heard the candidates’ closing statements once, we’ve heard them eleven times: “The 21st century can be the greatest century in the history of the United States!”  “I did it in Washington.  I’ve done it in Ohio.  I’ll go back to Washington and do it again.”  “We don’t win anymore.  We don’t win.  You’re going to be very very proud of this country if you elect me president.”

Until Thursday night, Cruz’s close had been a quick riff of his promises: “We will repeal Obamacare, abolish the IRS, secure the border, defeat ISIS, and bring back jobs.”

That changed on Thursday.  Instead of addressing all voters, Cruz ostensibly spoke only to two groups: men and women in the armed forces and their families and cops, firefighters, and first responders.  He told the first that he was not going to send them into combat with rules of engagement that tied their arms behind their backs.  He told the second that he had their backs.

This is a baby step, but a significant one.

From the questions asked of the candidates Thursday and in previous debates, one would never know that there have been waves of riots and demonstrations beginning in March 2012 (the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case) that have frequently dominated the headlines.  The demonstrators and the media that have egged them on, joined by Democrats from the president down, have claimed that across the country, racist white cops are murdering innocent, unarmed blacks and that their departments are covering for them.

Readers don’t need a tour d’horizon of the incidents that triggered the unrest.  They know what actually happened in Sanford, in Ferguson, in New York, and in Baltimore.  (This is not to deny that there have been a couple of genuine cases of unjustifiable homicide by white officers.)

They also know the results (perfectly predictable) of the verbal assault on cops: less policing, more violent crime.  Homicides spiked in Baltimore after Freddie Gray’s funeral.  Murders surged 12.5% in Chicago in 2015 over the previous year.  There have been police killings directly tied to Black Lives Matter.  The most notorious was the assassination of two officers in their patrol car in Brooklyn in December 2014.

Though they may not know the numbers, readers also know why so much police work involves interactions with young black males.  According to the most recent Uniform Crime Reports of the FBI, African-Americans, 13.2% of the population, committed 52.2% of murders, 56.4% of robberies, and 31.3% of rapes.  The 52% figure is consistent over three decades.

Blacks commit homicides at about eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined.  In 2012, they also committed 85% of inter-racial non-homicide violent crimes.

Readers are able distinguish victims from perpetrators.

They may have had a close encounter with black rioters themselves at a local mall, theme park, or state fair.

Cruz’s support for cops is, amazingly, the first shot across the bow of the BLM movement by a GOP candidate during a debate.

Meanwhile, Hillary is campaigning with Trayvon Martin’s mother.  Asked to comment on the BLM movement in an early debate, only Jim Webb among the Democratic candidates had the temerity to say “all lives matter.”  He left the race within days.

If Cruz has any chance of overtaking Trump, he needs to counter the BLM narrative more vigorously.

There are some other magic words that would enable Cruz to bleed support from The Donald.  He can announce that as president he will convene a commission that will examine race-based affirmative action.  He could go so far as to say that he thinks preferential treatment in college admission should be based on family income, not race.  Ben Carson went that far, though quietly and infrequently.

As on so many other issues, Donald Trump’s position on affirmative action is mainstream Democrat.  His last statement about Antonin Scalia was to attack the justice for noting the negative impact of affirmative action on its supposed beneficiaries.  Trump says  he’s “fine with affirmative action.”

Let’s hope Cruz’s closing statement prefigures other, bolder ones.

If they noticed it, the left-wing sites will claim that the statement was coded racism.  No, it was coded common sense.

If we’ve heard the candidates’ closing statements once, we’ve heard them eleven times: “The 21st century can be the greatest century in the history of the United States!”  “I did it in Washington.  I’ve done it in Ohio.  I’ll go back to Washington and do it again.”  “We don’t win anymore.  We don’t win.  You’re going to be very very proud of this country if you elect me president.”

Until Thursday night, Cruz’s close had been a quick riff of his promises: “We will repeal Obamacare, abolish the IRS, secure the border, defeat ISIS, and bring back jobs.”

That changed on Thursday.  Instead of addressing all voters, Cruz ostensibly spoke only to two groups: men and women in the armed forces and their families and cops, firefighters, and first responders.  He told the first that he was not going to send them into combat with rules of engagement that tied their arms behind their backs.  He told the second that he had their backs.

This is a baby step, but a significant one.

From the questions asked of the candidates Thursday and in previous debates, one would never know that there have been waves of riots and demonstrations beginning in March 2012 (the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case) that have frequently dominated the headlines.  The demonstrators and the media that have egged them on, joined by Democrats from the president down, have claimed that across the country, racist white cops are murdering innocent, unarmed blacks and that their departments are covering for them.

Readers don’t need a tour d’horizon of the incidents that triggered the unrest.  They know what actually happened in Sanford, in Ferguson, in New York, and in Baltimore.  (This is not to deny that there have been a couple of genuine cases of unjustifiable homicide by white officers.)

They also know the results (perfectly predictable) of the verbal assault on cops: less policing, more violent crime.  Homicides spiked in Baltimore after Freddie Gray’s funeral.  Murders surged 12.5% in Chicago in 2015 over the previous year.  There have been police killings directly tied to Black Lives Matter.  The most notorious was the assassination of two officers in their patrol car in Brooklyn in December 2014.

Though they may not know the numbers, readers also know why so much police work involves interactions with young black males.  According to the most recent Uniform Crime Reports of the FBI, African-Americans, 13.2% of the population, committed 52.2% of murders, 56.4% of robberies, and 31.3% of rapes.  The 52% figure is consistent over three decades.

Blacks commit homicides at about eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined.  In 2012, they also committed 85% of inter-racial non-homicide violent crimes.

Readers are able distinguish victims from perpetrators.

They may have had a close encounter with black rioters themselves at a local mall, theme park, or state fair.

Cruz’s support for cops is, amazingly, the first shot across the bow of the BLM movement by a GOP candidate during a debate.

Meanwhile, Hillary is campaigning with Trayvon Martin’s mother.  Asked to comment on the BLM movement in an early debate, only Jim Webb among the Democratic candidates had the temerity to say “all lives matter.”  He left the race within days.

If Cruz has any chance of overtaking Trump, he needs to counter the BLM narrative more vigorously.

There are some other magic words that would enable Cruz to bleed support from The Donald.  He can announce that as president he will convene a commission that will examine race-based affirmative action.  He could go so far as to say that he thinks preferential treatment in college admission should be based on family income, not race.  Ben Carson went that far, though quietly and infrequently.

As on so many other issues, Donald Trump’s position on affirmative action is mainstream Democrat.  His last statement about Antonin Scalia was to attack the justice for noting the negative impact of affirmative action on its supposed beneficiaries.  Trump says  he’s “fine with affirmative action.”

Let’s hope Cruz’s closing statement prefigures other, bolder ones.

If they noticed it, the left-wing sites will claim that the statement was coded racism.  No, it was coded common sense.