Ted Cruz Is Sort Of Cool For Not Endorsing Donald Trump (But Also Still The Devil)
On Wednesday night, Texas Senator Ted Cruz made a speech at the Republican National Convention, where everyone was waiting anxiously to see if he would endorse his nemesis, Republican nominee Donald Trump, or not. As he started, it seemed like he might, but then he went off script and told the convention, “Vote your conscience.” And I have to say, it made me think for a split second that Ted Cruz was kind of cool for not endorsing Trump. It was sort of badass, like he had absolutely no more fucks to give after losing to Trump in the primaries and wasn’t going to tow the party line for a lunatic real estate mogul to take over the White House.
But then you have to remember: Cruz is still a very sad excuse for a human being. First of all, he was clearly trying to pull on his cowboy boots and play the rogue bad boy, asking Trump to take it outside to settle their shit like two “real” men. But he’s way too awkward to be a badass and looks like a squinty Mr. Potato Head. He’s also definitely the devil, but not a cool devil. He’s a creepy, pathetic devil —sort of like Will Ferrell in that old Saturday Night Live skit with Garth Brooks. He’s creepy AF.
Standing up to Trump and just not endorsing him at his own party convention was an adorable effort to look like someone who is in control. But anyone who has heard Cruz complain about Obamacare to the tune of Green Eggs and Ham knows he obviously has no control, let alone any semblance of a “cool factor.”
For a hot second, I found myself rooting for Cruz, and his wife, Heidi, who was ushered out by security because Trump supporters were berating her in the crowd. He did a crazy thing and took a chance with his career. It’s a classic “outlaw couple” trope. It was them against the world.
We can only assume the couple rode off into the sunset, top down, to go buy some condoms from a vending machine at a dive bar, as Cruz says he likes to do, and… ew, no. See? He’s not cool. He’s fucking creepy and weird, and we haven’t seen the last of him yet. Again: not in a good way.
One reason Cruz is definitely not the cool bad guy is because, as much as he wanted to look like he was in charge, he most certainly was not. Trump engineered it all. A reporter from WNYC, Matt Katz, likened the scene at the convention center to a “heel turn,” which is a phrase that comes from professional wrestling. A “heel” refers to a character booked by the promoter to be the antagonist. The “turn” is when the character starts off as good (think of that long minute when the crowd applauded for Cruz before he could begin his speech) and then turns villainous (the boos, the jeers, Heidi’s frenzied exit).
As the crowd ravaged the Cruz’s and went wild, the real “good guy” (i.e. Trump), made his staged entrance and took his seat, king-like, with his family to listen to his son, Eric, give his speech, all smiles and thumbs up. It was all orchestrated. Politics is always theater, but this was fucking exquisite. There was no way Trump didn’t know Cruz wasn’t going to endorse him Wednesday night (or at least made a good guess).
So sure, Cruz did the unexpected — and there is something to be said for not licking Trump’s ass like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been doing — but a real badass is always two steps ahead. The real badass might be Trump, who has fooled everyone into thinking he is a human being who could actually sit in the Oval Office. Not leather jacket, motorcycle cool, but definitely scary.
It was a good try, Ted. But you’ll never be cool, and you’ll always be a creep.