Please bear with me. This is not an article advocating for or attacking Donald Trump, or any other candidate. This is not an article telling you who to vote for. This is just a few questions for you to ponder. In fact, the only choice this election I can confidentially say is “wrong” is to cast a vote for Hillary Clinton. I have friends that are voting for Trump, Voting third party, writing in another candidate, or huddled in a corner crying. All of these can be reasoned, thoughtful, and logical options. Well, maybe not that last one…
In the last few days there have been so many articles over Ted Cruz refusing to endorse Trump. And if you look at this in a vacuum it’s easy to say, “He broke his word”, “He promised”, or chant “Lyin’ Ted”.
Fortunately, we live here on earth. We have an atmosphere and we don’t live in a vacuum. There is weather and things are constantly changing. Especially here in Ohio, it can be sunny and then snowing in a few hours. These variables can change things, and change them fast. Life is constantly throwing us curveballs.
For instance, What if you promise your child you will take them to the park on Saturday. They are so excited and count down the days. But right when you are getting ready to leave for the park Saturday morning, you open the door and see a tornado destroying your neighborhood. Should you go ahead and keep that promise? Just ignore the weather, march your kid out to your minivan, strap them into the seat belt and drive directly at the tornado? I mean you have to keep your “pledge”, right? If you don’t take them to the park does that mean you are not a person of your word? Does it mean you are a liar?
Which “pledge” is more important? The pledge to go to the park on Saturday or the pledge to protect and nurture your children and keep them safe? You could imagine a toddler might not understand when you explained that it’s too dangerous outside, today. If you’ve had children, you know they might even throw a temper tantrum and stomp their feet. You may hear something like, “you promised!” so, once again, does this mean you are not a man or women of your word?
Maybe you should have said, “I promise I’ll take you to the park on Saturday, unless we get a tornado”. But how were you to know there would be a tornado on Saturday? The professionals can’t even get tomorrow’s weather right. Does this mean we have to start putting disclaimers on every single thing we say in all circumstances regardless of anything that may happen so we are not accused of breaking a promise?
This would start to become ridiculous. Imagine that you have to look at your child and say, “Honey, we’ll go to the park Saturday, I promise! Unless there is a tornado, I get hit by a monster truck, your mom has a heart attack, a meteor crashes into our house, your sister drowns in a lake, our car breaks down, you get kidnapped, the neighborhood catches on fire…” What if you list all this and something else happens?
Aren’t there circumstances that can be reasonable to have a change of plans? What if you promise someone they can stay at your house for the weekend and later find out they are a child molester? Are you locked in to that promise no matter what? This would be madness!
Yes, Ted Cruz “pledged” to support the nominee. I’m sure he did this knowing he would be personally attacked and campaigns are rough. But could he have really imagined that another candidate would attack his wife’s looks, and imply his father killed JFK? Could he have reasonably expected that? Would ANYONE imagine their father would be accused of killing JFK? It’s ridiculous that he would have to say, “I pledge to support the nominee unless they attack my wife’s looks or say my father killed JFK”. That is what some people are implying… Is that really the standard we all want to be held to?
Would you like to be held to this standard?
It’s reasonable to assume that anyone reading this article wouldn’t endorse anyone that attacked your family like that even “for the good of the country”. If you say you would endorse someone that did these things to your own spouse and father you’re either not telling the truth or you’re a sociopath. It’s easy to sit at home and say he should have done it anyway, when it’s not your spouse and father. Also please remember Cruz didn’t create the situation. He played the hand he was dealt. He didn’t attack family members, he attacked the other candidates and their policies. The person responsible for the rift is the one who made it personal.
I’ve also heard, “If he wasn’t going to endorse he shouldn’t have went and spoke at all, then”. I get that sentiment, and that is reasonable, but also let’s go through the timeline. Trump asked him to speak. He went and met with Donald and told him he would but he would not endorse him. Donald still wanted him to speak. Cruz wasn’t sneaky at all. He was honest and up front with Trump. He even gave them a copy of the speech to review before he spoke. Also did Cruz attack Trump one time in the speech? Did he even say one bad thing about him? Go read it. He congratulated Donald on winning and talked about issues. He said people should vote for candidates that will protect and defend the constitution. If you don’t think that describes Trump then you have another problem, don’t you?
I personally would have said a lot more if it was my wife and father getting slandered. Cruz is a better man than me, for sure.
I would actually venture to say Trump could have brought in many Cruz supporters and maybe even got a Cruz endorsement. I would bet that if Donald had apologized for the insults to his wife and father and just admitted that in the heat of the campaign he took it too far, then he may have gotten unity. Cruz is a man of faith that has a worldview based on forgiveness and my assumption would be he would have accepted that. By the way Trump mentioned his father with Lee Harvey Oswald again, the day after his RNC speech in a press conference and said he didn’t want Cruz’s endorsement.
So I ask you which pledge “trumps” the other. A pledge to love and protect your wife? A pledge to love and honor your father? Or a pledge to support someone who later viciously attacks them?
You are free to vote your conscience, in this election. I wouldn’t presume to tell you the “right” answer, because reasonable people have a few valid options. However, we should always hold all candidates to the same standards that we would hold ourselves, our friends, and our children to.