Things That Matter

Ted Cruz Has Held Onto Texas For Years As Senator And Here’s Why Texans Are So Hot And Cold With Him

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In a state that swells with Latino and American pride, it seems that Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has been able to maintain some sort of trust with voters across the spectrum. His policies and actions continue to ring true to a set of ideas that many Texans, including Latinos, find admirable and necessary in the current political climate.

With that in mind, there must be something to explore on behalf of voters in Texas who find merit in Cruz’s leadership. Perhaps there is a silver lining that all communities can identify with because, without a doubt, Cruz is and will continue to be a major political influence in the coming years, potentially having an impact on what occurs in the presidential elections of 2020.

To give you an idea of how far his reach extends, here are 20 reasons why Texans either love or hate Ted Cruz.

He’s had a great education and career.

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Raised in Houston, Sen. Cruz earned a top-notch education at both Princeton University and Harvard Law. After college, Cruz worked as an attorney before serving as a political advisor for George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential election. Enjoying moderate praise and success from Bush’s time in office, Cruz bounced around between a few different positions, which included being the director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, Solicitor General of Texas, and then becoming a senator for Texas in 2013.

He’s a die-hard Republican from a deep red state.

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During his time in office, Cruz has executed some unorthodox tactics in regards to rallying against the liberal agenda. Perhaps one of his most famous moments came when he performed a 21-hour filibuster in 2013 against President Obama’s new healthcare plan. He urged his colleagues to cut funding for the bill, as well as reciting passages from his favorite novel to kill more time.

He’s a conservative celebrity.

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Overall, his escapades have catapulted him into the ultra-conservative spotlight, and in 2015, he officially announced his run for president in the 2016 election. He preached on about Christian values, how Trump was wrong for the Republican base, and that he would put the nation back on track. However, he would ultimately fall short of the Republican nomination, finally endorsing President Trump before his first national debate against Democratic candidate, Hilary Clinton.

He has Texan values.

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Based on what he preached during his presidential campaign, Cruz is a firm believer in “faith, family, patriotism…and the American Dream.” Especially for the Latino community in Texas, he claims that their values are conservative in nature and not accurately represented by left-wing ideals.

He claims to follow the Bill of Rights.

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When it comes to the rights of the people, he strongly advocates for the pillars outlined in the Bill of Rights. He believes in educational freedom and diversity, he supports the foundation of a free market economy with job growth and new opportunities, and he encourages the rehabilitation of the country’s environmental conservation and preservation strategies. With these considerations, Cruz seems like a noble representative for the betterment of the people, but when reviewing his policies toward social issues, in particularly Latino issues, his character quickly starts to fade.

He’s not a fan of The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

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One area of focus that speaks directly to Latinos and Americans alike throughout the state are issues regarding healthcare. Cruz staunchly opposes Obamacare, vowing to repeal the program and replace it with market-based reforms that create a more competitive array of plans to choose from. As for following through since his attempted filibuster, Americans are still waiting for him to name another plan.

He constantly changes his view on immigration.

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In addition, he wants to remove Obama’s amnesty approvals and secure immigration at the border, while cracking down on illegal immigration. His 2016 campaign put his strongly against helping people immigrate to the U.S. or become citizens if they already lived in the U.S. Although Texas boasts a staggering population of roughly 28 million people, stances like these against healthcare and immigration significantly hurt many of those who are Latino or below the poverty line.

He forgets that many Texans are uninsured.

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In the face of Cruz’s actions, it’s estimated that 1 in 6 Texans remain uninsured, according to various government surveys. Once Obamacare took effect in 2014, the state’s uninsured rate plummeted from 22 percent to 16 percent within a two year period. Once Republicans began repealing and attempting to replace the program (one of Trump’s main campaign promises that Cruz backed), uninsured rates for 2017 started to increase again.

Many of the uninsured Texans are immigrants.

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As of now, Texas is still the most uninsured state in the country, and a great deal of the uninsured are immigrants who are in fear of jeopardizing their legal status and eligibility to gain citizenship. This fear directly relates to the opportunities that Cruz wants to eradicate.

Immigrants boost Texas’ economy, but Cruz wants them out.

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Matching the statistics of those uninsured, 1 out of 6 Texans is also an immigrant, and in total, immigrants make up 17 percent of the state’s total population. In terms of numbers, 17 percent equals roughly 4.5 million people (over half of which are of Mexican descent) who contribute to a competitive economy in several industries. Despite this truth, Cruz actively supports legislation that disrupts the success of those trying to achieve a better life.

He even wants to deport “Dreamers.”

Credit: @SamSandmire / Twitter

Cruz has been highly outspoken against stifling the pathway Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to obtain citizenship.

The bottom line is that major aspects of Cruz’s political platform ostracize an important part of Texan values and identity. Nonetheless, he has still managed to gain sizable support in many demographics, while exhibiting counter-intuitive behavior that rallies against those in need.

His voting habits play a huge role in his popularity.

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As much as you would like to think that people vote according to a candidate’s beliefs and values, that’s only half the battle. According to a study done by Jon A. Krosnick of Ohio State University, most people vote for the political party that they identify with, regardless of who the nominee ends up being. Next, people will base their preferences off of their initial reaction to a candidate’s personality, intelligence, and trustworthiness. For Cruz’s sake, these principals work well in his favor.

Cruz has a Latino background by way of his immigrant father.

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Not only does Cruz have a firm track record of leading Texas since 2013, but his family history strikes a personal chord with many Latinos across the country. Cruz’s own father, an immigrant from Cuba, fled the communist country during the 1950s and moved to America with virtually nothing. He couldn’t speak English, had only $100 to his name, and washed dishes to help make ends meet. Eventually, he earned enough money to finance his college education and created a better life for his family.

Latinos can relate to Cruz’s history.

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The majority of Latinos can relate to his father’s humble beginnings, and with a name like Cruz, it pushes the envelope even more to a familiarity that’s easy to associate with. To help solidify this connection, after the election with O’Rourke was finished, Cruz requested that his polling team research how many votes each candidate received within areas where Latinos account for at least 40 percent of the population. The findings showed that Cruz lead in 39 of the 62 counties.

Cruz plays into Texan stereotypes.

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Aside from Cruz’s personal story, the other factor that keeps Texans wrangled into his herd is that Cruz plays into the Texas identity of trailblazing a rebellious path towards a new frontier. Much of the state honors the wild west originality of unrestricted gun laws and endless barbecues, and these stereotypes are qualities that Cruz himself admits. In an article written by the New York Times, Cruz says that “the ethos of [Texas] is, ‘Give me a horse and a gun and an open plain and we can conquer the world.'”

Publicly, Cruz tries to distance himself from Trump but votes the party line.

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Cruz has managed to walk a fine line between fully supporting Trump’s policies and maintaining his own integrity as a state senator. Although it’s important for him to gain the trust of conservatives who agree with Trump’s actions, Cruz makes it a point to meet with conservatives who are against the extreme right-wing agenda, creating flexibility for Cruz that adheres to all sides of the party. Interestingly enough, this ability to maneuver led to him finding more success in the 2018 senate race.

Beto O’Rourke gave Cruz a nailbiting run for his money.

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Despite O’Rourke being the most financed and most popular Democrats to run in Texas, Cruz was able to claim victory by a narrow margin. In the most expensive senate race in history, Cruz barely pulled ahead of O’Rourke, resulting in a 50.9 percent victory compared to O’Rourke’s 48.3 percent. Many people hoped that O’Rourke would win, but the truth is that he showed the nation how toxic Republican policies have become and it is changing the way Democrats run across the nation. A top Democratic strategist said that “Beto was a cause, not a candidate,” and this truth is what propelled Cruz’s likability for Texans who sought the leadership of someone with firm plans to help the state.

Cruz is willing to follow people to save his political career.

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For now, it looks as though Texas will remain a deep red state to some degree, but the momentum of the liberal mindset and the painstaking ordeals of the current administration could someday lead to a blue wave making considerable changes for an area in strong need of reform. However, Cis willing to change his views to protect his political career.

There is a lot of question around what Cruz thinks America should look like and his anti-immigrant comments are at the forefront.

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In some ways, it’s vital to not only look at the trajectory of Texas but to examine the direction of the country as a whole. It remains as a land of hope and opportunity for immigrants all over the world, and it protects the belief that perseverance and dedication can lead to a successful future. That being said, Cruz certainly embodies these demands and seeks to find a solution, even though it’s shrouded in Republican ideals.

Only time will show Cruz’s full impact on political discourse.

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Ted Cruz prides himself as one to uphold the values of his constituents and the country, and only time will reveal the kind of leader he ends up being or continues to be.


READ: Protestors Forced Ted Cruz Out Of A Restaurant Demanding To Know His Thoughts On Brett Kavanaugh

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Colombia Is On Alert After Six Candidates Running For Mayor Have Been Murdered In The Past Six Weeks

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Colombia Is On Alert After Six Candidates Running For Mayor Have Been Murdered In The Past Six Weeks

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Yesterday saw police in Colombia arrest two people in connection to the death of Orley García, the mayoral candidate for the municipality of Toledo. But the wildest thing is that García isn’t the first mayoral candidate to have been killed this election cycle in Colombia. In fact, he’s actually the sixth

The most heartbreaking death was that of Karina García.

Pinterest / The Guardian

The 32-year-old was running to be the first female mayor in the rural municipality of Toledo when she was attacked. Following a day of campaigning on September 1, García was returning to her hometown of Suarez when the car she was traveling in was shot at, before being set on fire. Six people died from the attack, including García’s mother, three local activists and a candidate for the municipal council, who were also in the car at the time. According to authorities, a grenade was used in the attack. Somehow, though, García’s bodyguard, who was driving the vehicle, survived.

Before she was killed, Karina reported receiving threats and asked for security.

Twitter / @JZulver

A reward of almost $44,000 has been offered for information leading to the capture of the dissidents who were responsible for the murder of Karina García, who is survived by her husband and three year old son. It seems like a case of too little, too late, though, as García had already reported to authorities that she was on the receiving end of death threats. It was only in August that four armed men confronted members of her campaign, ordering them to take down banners and posters supporting her candidacy. García took to social media, calling on authorities to protect her and her fellow candidates against harm. “Please, for God’s sake, don’t act so irresponsibly,” she said in a video posted to Facebook on August 24. “This can bring fatal consequences for me.”

Authorities are blaming the killings on FARC rebels.

Instagram / @stern

And just who are FARC? The Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, on the most fundamental level, are a guerilla movement that began in 1964. Motivated by Marxist-Leninist leanings, on paper they’re a peasant force that promotes anti-imperialism. However, what this means in practice is that they kidnap, ransom, drug run and extort their way into opposing Colombian authorities and consolidating power. By the time 2016 rolled around though, the group was running out of steam. This led to a ceasefire accord between FARC and the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos. June 2017 saw FARC hand over its weapons to the United Nations.

Yes, FARC legitimized itself legally but several dissidents disagree with that decision.

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Obviously, that’s not the end of the story. Despite the peace deal, and despite the fact that FARC had officially announced its transformation into a legal, political party, there are still plenty of dissidents out there who disagree with the change and still operate under the original FARC doctrine. What’s most likely sparked the recent mayoral candidate killings is FARC’s announcement, on Youtube no less, that it’s resorting to violence due to the Colombian government’s failure to comply with the peace agreements from 2016. Of course, Colombian officials heartily disagreed with this statement, and responded with offensive strikes against FARC.

This has basically turned into tic for tac killing.

Twitter / @Citytv

And the repercussions of the violence and killings are far-reaching. Beyond the devastated friends and family left behind, this also spells trouble for the democratic process in Colombia. Because who’s going to risk running for office, if they’re risking not only their own life, but the lives of their friends, family and coworkers? And who’s going to even consider turning up to vote, when the candidates themselves are being murdered, left, right, and center? It’s hard to conceive of cultural and legislative change in a country where part of what needs to be changed is what’s preventing change in the first place.

The other thing to keep in mind is that this is the exact kind of violence that people are fleeing when they arrive at the US border and make an appeal for asylum.

Instagram / @every_day_donald_trump

It’s a legitimate fear: the operation of gangs and cartels negatively impacts on the safety of the citizenry, as well as influencing the way that the entire country can be governed. However, because US legislation under the Trump administration states that asylum seekers cannot be granted refuge against gang violence, it means that these people have no choice but to go back to their country of origin and continue to risk theirs and their family’s lives. Something’s gotta give – otherwise, we’re going to see a lot more deaths at the hands of these gangs.

At this stage, we can only keep our eyes peeled for more news coming out from Colombia, as the elections are to be held October 27, across almost 1,100 municipalities. Unfortunately, with the murder of the sixth mayoral candidate in Colombia, this marks an even more violent election season than that of 2015, which saw the deaths of five mayoral candidates.

Here’s What Happened When Alyssa Milano Live-Streamed Her Gun Reform Discussion With Ted Cruz

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Here’s What Happened When Alyssa Milano Live-Streamed Her Gun Reform Discussion With Ted Cruz

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Hollywood actress Alyssa Milano has long been using her platform to creatively advocate for political change in America. In the past, she’s even called on women to partake in a sex strike in response to the onslaught of abortion ban bills that swept the nation. More recently, she’s taken to calling out the elected officials whose careers are most benefitted by the National Rifle Association (NRA). The Congressperson who received the highest donation from the NRA and other gun-rights organizations is none other than Texas Republican Ted Cruz. 

The two have been spitting fire at each other via Twitter for the last few weeks. All of it culminated in an actual, real-live, live-streamed meeting between the two Tuesday morning. Why was it live-streamed? Because Milano wanted to make sure “the American people can hear your bullshit 1st hand.”

Alyssa Milano told Ted Cruz that part of the reason she wanted to meet was to make sure he was a human being. Literally.

Credit: @BIZPACReview / Twitter

“That is why this meeting was so important to me,” she told him during the live stream. “I wanted to look at you in the eye and know that you really are a human with a heartbeat.” Ted Cruz started the meeting by telling Milano that he was a fan of “Who’s the Boss?” and “Commando,” while Milano started by letting Cruz know his politics on gun control “has made you almost like this caricature of a villain.”

The two talked for more than an hour on gun control, with Milano beginning the conversation by imploring, “I’m asking you, begging you, to have the courage to lead.” In the room was also Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was murdered during the Parkland shooting. 

Cruz didn’t make any revolutionary statements throughout the meeting, arguing that merely having a civil discussion is a triumph.

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“This is a divided time. This is an angry time. … I think it is beneficial for is to have a human conversation,” Cruz said. “I also hope that just seeing people on different places on the spectrum, treating people with civility and humanity, that is contagious.” Instead of agreeing to introduce or urge the Senate to discuss new gun control laws, Cruz instead wanted to “focus on policies that would really stop these crimes.” Cruz claims to be leading the charge on preventing mass shootings in America by proposing harsher prosecutions of gun cases and making background checks more “accurate.”

Cruz and Milano agreed to meet last week, after tweeting jabs at each other over their stances on gun control.

Credit: @Alyssa_Milano / Twitter

We hear that a lot, right? The “God-given right” to own guns in America. Cruz decided to respond to Milano, tweeting, “it is of course not the right to a modern-day firearm that is God-given but rather the right to Life & the right to Liberty. Essential to that right is the right to DEFEND your life & your family.”

Cruz gave a lengthy (for Twitter) response to Milano:

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He went on to say, “The right to self-defense is recognized repeatedly in the Bible, eg Exodus 22:2: ‘If a thief is caught breaking in at night & is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed.’ (Note, though, verse 3 says it IS murder if during daylight (ie, not self-defense). The Declaration of Independence acknowledges our rights thusly: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And, for that reason, the Second Amendment provides “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, SHALL NOT be infringed.” It wasn’t to protect people’s ability to hunt, or to shoot target practice, but to defend their lives, their homes & their families. Stephen Willeford exercised that fundamental right when he risked his own life to stop the Sutherland Springs murderer, saving countless others as a result.” 

Just like that, the meeting was born in resentment and frustration but seemed to end in civil resentment and frustration.

Credit: @Alyssa_Milano / Twitter

After the meeting, Milano tweeted, “He was gracious. I’m unsure if it changes anything. But appreciative for the opportunity to bridge the divide with civil, meaningful discussion.” Cruz described the meeting as “productive and respectful.” Basically, nothing noteworthy really happened except for that Alyssa Milano gave Ted Cruz a hug. What is noteworthy is that civil discourse cannot sway the NRA-lined pockets of Ted Cruz.

READ: Ted Cruz’s Legal Team Believes That His Fight For $10,000 Is The Same As Rosa Parks’s Fight For Civil Rights