Monday, January 4, 2016

Don’t Fear The Donald, Fear The Man Slinking Behind Him

Political media coverage has been singing a song of late. You might have noticed it, it goes a little something like this: ‘Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump TRUMP’. It’s no secret that everybody is talking about Donald Trump. A heck of a lot of this coverage is negative, with plenty of extremely creative columns being put out there to warn readers of the dangers of a Trump presidency — not to mention the problems his campaign has caused in trivializing what should be a more sophisticated primary season.
But I’m not scared about Trump. Even if he does win the primaries, there’s plenty of well-backed data to show that he literally cannot win the presidency against any of the potential Democratic candidates. To use a well-worn turn of phrase, he is all bark and no bite. No, the person I’m worried about is Ted Cruz.
A skilled and Machiavellian politician, not to mention an incredibly talented debater, Ted Cruz has been playing all the right moves as he slowly but surely continues to creep up the polls. A master of PR, Cruz capitalizes on events, public moods and demographic trends to surest effect. Watch him gatecrash the release of Kim Davis as if it were his own campaign rally, slyly and successfully flip-flop his positions for political expedience and even dramatize his image as a family man for political ads.
Worst of all, he masterfully appeals to the social conservative and evangelic wing of the Republican Party. In the debates, listen to his elevated rhetoric as — with a well-placed wobble in his voice — he dogmatically expresses his fear for America’s security, trivializing the complexity of international relations into a zero-sum battle between good versus evil. Ted Cruz knows the fears, desires and tendencies of his voter base like the back of his hand, and he certainly knows how to exploit this for his own advantage. 

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