It occurs to me that Washington politics is a money machine. Those who hold office cannot get rich on their measly couple of hundred thousand dollars a year. They depend on the contributions of wealthier people to their campaigns and to an extent they depend on the same people to contribute to their business dealings. I won’t offer proof other than the obvious that over 500 of the members of Congress are millionaires. Some of them were rich before taking office. After all it is expensive to run for national office on any level. Many no doubt are richer now than when they took office and that is the result of favorable consideration from politically interested investors.
In short, our government is so obviously bought and sold as to require no proof beyond a little common sense. But why should this affect a Cruz presidency?
Cruz is the darling of the Tea Party Conservatives. He is heralded by Christian Conservatives and Social Conservatives of all stripes. The sad fact is that our richest Republicans, indeed our entire elite class, do not share his conservative principles. No matter how much lip service they may be willing to give, which is not much of late, the nobility of America are not conservatives except perhaps when it comes to money.
Because of this fundamental difference in the way Cruz supporters look at the world and the way the noble rich look at the world their political aims will always be different. The wealthiest among us have no need of such concepts as freedom, equality, or fair play. Their money buys them all the freedom they can handle. Equality would be a catastrophic come-down for them. And fair play would deprive them of the ability to buy all that freedom and all the extra privileges that come with great wealth. In all fairness, one could say most of them are woefully uninformed about the daily struggles of life the rest of us must perform to survive in the world. It is not necessarily their fault they don’t know what it’s like to work for a living, to work for survival. Their money shields them from the work-a-day aspects of being human. They have no experience of it and therefore no real understanding.
This does not keep them from making decisions. Indeed most, if not all probably feel natural and right about the power they wield never giving a serious second thought to the rest of us unless in the aggregate as this or that minority group or as this and that special interest group. We are viewed quite naturally by the monied elites in this country as little more than the various herds that must be moved along whatever paths they may believe are best at the time.
At this point I must proclaim loudly that I am not a socialist. The sheer power of the monied elites does not automatically make them evil, just very insensitive. And they have brought this profound insensitivity to the realm of Washington Politics where they buy and sell influence as easily as another may buy and sell used cars. I believe in capitalism everywhere except in government service. A thing that is bought and sold gets used by the owner. It is the natural order of things and ownership of the government is no different in this regard. Constitutional Government in this nation was supposed to be a sacred trust held at the pleasure of the electorate, not just the few with the money to buy it.
All this is bad news for Cruz. His social conservatism and his strict adherence to Christian principles of right and wrong run counter to the idea that a government can or even should be owned. This is the reason the GOP Establishment is having trouble with both Cruz and Trump, but it is more problematic for Cruz. Trump is an old hand insider to this game the rich play around government. As the ultimate insider they fear he may beat them at their own game.
The problem for Cruz is more fundamental. His entire political ideology of Constitutional Government and his respect for the concept of public service is anathema to the existing system in Washington. John Boehner’s recent vulgar insults typify the attitude of the GOP establishment toward Cruz. They hate his honesty. They hate his devotion to an absolute concept of right and wrong. But most of all they hate the fact that Cruz actually believes the statements he makes regarding government. It has become legend that a politician will say whatever he must say to get elected with the full knowledge that some of the things he will way on campaign are not only impossible, but completely ridiculous. Cruz is a believer. He is perhaps the most honest candidate on the national scene since Ronald Reagan’s first term came to an end.
And that is his problem. As president Cruz will be the only member of government with his vision. The democrats will ravage him worse than they ravaged G.W. Bush. The GOP Establishment will avoid him, especially when he stands on principle. His congressional constituency will be the Tea Party Caucus and they will always be in the minority against the monied interests of the combined Democrat and Republican parties. He will be ignored. His vetoes will be overridden. His speeches will be ridiculed.
Cruz cannot be the president he wants to be because of this essential dynamic in Washington. He will have to compromise to get anything at all done and the first time he steps away from his principles he is a lame duck president. Congress and the Courts will run roughshod over his entire agenda.
Cruz might be able to win, but it is my considered opinion that if he wins Cruz will never be able to govern in the manner expected.