PART 2 of 3
Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall
August 4, 2013
Mirrored at Western Conservative Summit
SENATOR TED CRUZ OF TEXAS
Within the first three minutes of his speech, Ted Cruz had his audience laughing at jokes – good jokes. His humor was a bit reminiscent of Ronnie Reagan; short stories that were to the point.
“I have some bad news for all of you being at this Conservative function today,” he said in his opening remarks, “As a result of being here, each of you tomorrow morning is going to be audited by the IRS.” Not one person in the crowd – and it was a huge crowd that filled the very large Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Denver Hotel – missed the point. He didn’t have to say the word “scandal” or “Obama.” It was subtle, but at the same time obvious.
His second laugh-getting line was about himself… he was on a commercial flight when the announcement came over the loud speaker saying “Will Tom Cruise please come to the front of the airplane?” He went to the front of the plane and told the waiting crew that he thought they must mean him, Ted Cruz. “You’ve never seen so many disappointed faces,” he told his laughing audience.
The Cruz humor is gentle but potent… and several people with whom I spoke after the speech noted that they got the feeling the Cruz persona was the same: Gentle but potent. As a Conservative, I’ve been following the actions of Senators Cruz and Mike Lee of Utah – as well as Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky – and was particularly interested in what this man had to say.
Cruz told his audience: “We are witnessing something extraordinary and I want to talk briefly about the past, the present and the future because what we’re seeing is a paradigm. We are seeing a paradigm shift for how we’re going to take this country back and how we’re going to restore freedom…” This would be accomplished, he said, by enabling the grass roots to stand up and take us back to our founders.
Cruz pointed to his own Texas Senate campaign as an example of the past and how the paradigm change occurring within the hearts of American voters impacted him, personally. When his Conservative campaign began in January 2011, the polls showed him at two percent in the polls. “The margin of errors,” he said, “was three percent.” He once again had his audience laughing… hard. As someone who has done a lot of public speaking, I can attest to how difficult it is to get a diverse audience with strongly-held political beliefs to laugh hard and offend no one. Cruz did it masterfully.
He went on to say that he was thrilled when he found his U.S. Senate bid showed him at 2 percent in the polls. His primary election opponents – a traditional Republican candidate from the sound of it – spent $50 million, the most expensive primary in the country that year. Cruz was out-spent three-to-one in that primary election. He pointed to the $35 million in personal attack ads used against him. He said the ads were so bad that at one point his wife, Heidi, turned to him and told him: “Goodness gracious! I didn’t realize what a rotten guy you are!” Again, laughter. He talked about how he saw thousands and thousands of people in Texas come together and begin knocking on doors, making telephone calls, using Twitter and Face Book and email and any other form of communication they could find to support his campaign. He won the primary election by 14 points and he won the general election by 16 points.
Cruz talked about how throughout the entire Senate race the pundits said there was no way he could win. He said the pundits were right. That he could not have enjoyed the ultimate victory if Conservatives all over the State of Texas had not come together. He was emphatic that it was they, not he, who won that election.
That – the coming together of the Texas Conservative base – he said, was an example of the paradigm shift that took place in the past and he believes it is continuing and is currently playing itself out in the United States Senate. He believes it will continue in the future. That paradigm shift offers, Senator Cruz said, a path for Conservatives to turn the country around. It begins, he said, by standing for principles.
What is this “paradigm shift” of which Cruz speaks? He talked about standing for principles – and that is the core of a paradigm shift. The question is, for which principles do you and I and the majority of Americans stand? That issue is seldom addressed in politics and I like the fact that Senator Cruz made it of central importance in his speech.
The crowd laughed as he talked about how the American people became fixated on CSPAN during Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster. Senator Cruz and Senator Mike Lee of Utah were the first to join Paul in his filibuster stand. The victories are sometimes small, but each adds to the momentum of a winning political position.
One of the most difficult things people can do is fight negatives with positives. It is so tempting to fight against something (a negative) rather than fight for something (as positive)… to be reactive rather than proactive. Cruz appears to have discovered this philosophical insight into how to breathe strength and energy into a new, more positive GOP paradigm. Not many people will argue with the thought that the Republicans are not breathing strength and energy into anything at a national level – but it will take legislators like Senators Cruz and Lee and Paul to do just that.
A paradigm is society’s model or perception of how things work – or, don’t work. The changes in American society are being wrought by changes in the economy which, in turn, impacts everything we do as a society.
Paradigms, like anything else, exemplify that for every equal there is an opposite. One of the most basic laws of our universe is that two forces of equal but opposing energy levels create balance. We have day and night; we have strength and weakness; love and hate and we have heat and cold. There are uncountable equal/opposite examples. For every equal, there is an opposite.
One thing we need to keep in mind about paradigms is that while one side is focused on building a positive paradigm, the other side is equally focused on building a negative one (positive to them). Sometimes, it is difficult to see the good paradigm at work because it is very subtle. Evil builds its new paradigm based on no values. Thus, evil paradigms lack honesty, goodness, loyalty, caring, faith, family, positive traditions – and, yes, even dreams. And it is positive dreams that destroy evil.
How can I so strongly agree with Senator Cruz and be so certain that a good paradigm exists? I know it because I believe the laws of physics. Those laws tell me that for every equal, an opposite exists. I also know it because I see it displayed at hundreds of Tea Party groups across the country. The people who attend Tea Party and Liberty Action groups are those who dare to dream positive thoughts – and do something to achieve the dream!
Senator Cruz spoke eloquently about the need for firmly established principles in government.
People often confuse the words “values” and “principles,” thinking they are the same thing. Though they are similar in concept, they are quite different from one another. Cruz seems to understand the important difference between the two and he got another large laugh from the Colorado-based audience when he said “I’m sure no one here is concerned about the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms.” Colorado has had gun legislation passed that is being contested by 58 of the State’s sheriffs and it was to that situation Senator Cruz referred.
How do you define ‘values?’ Generally a system of social values consists of the laws and rules made by humans to create a stable society. Principles are not man made. They exist as part of a higher order and they are unchanging.
The difference between the words “values” and “principles” is critical to understanding that though it is important to find truth, finding truth is rather useless unless you recognize it when you see it and do something with what you’ve found. Senator Cruz made a very important statement and the thing required to truly understand what he said is that values are man made and change as progress occurs, but principles come from God (or natural/nature’s laws, if you prefer) and do not change. They represent the laws of physics – what goes up must come down, etc.
Principles represent the social application of universal laws and they rarely change – in fact, universal laws don’t change. We once thought the earth was flat… we learned it was round. The principle of the earth being round didn’t change; only our belief system. We once thought the sun moved around the earth… we learned otherwise. The principle didn’t change; our understanding of natural law and physics expanded.
Regarding the example of political principles given by Senator Cruz, he got another good laugh when he mentioned that because so many Americans were responding to Senator Paul’s filibuster, Senate aides were coming to the floor to report on Tweets and about 20 members of the House of Representatives showed up on the Senate floor. “I didn’t even think they knew where it was,” Cruz said softly and got the expected laugh.
Senator Cruz got another huge laugh when he brought up the name of Vice President Joe Biden. He gave an explanation of Biden’s anti-Second Amendment beliefs wherein the Vice President told people that if someone was trying to break into their home they should take a double-barrel shotgun outside and shoot it into the air. “Which is good advice,” Cruz said, “if you’re being attacked by a gaggle of geese.”
Though his speech was interrupted regularly with applause and laughter, perhaps the biggest applause of the night came after Cruz explained what happened after President Obama came out with his statement that Trayvon Martin could have been his son… “could have been me 35 years ago.” Senators Cruz, Lee and Rand recognized the move for what it was: A means to politicize and attack Second Amendment rights of law abiding gun owners. Cruz said the momentum in Washington was entirely on the President’s side. The three Senators sent Harry Reid a note saying that they would filibuster any legislation designed to limit the Second Amendment rights of Americans.
Cruz gives total credit to the people for all of the Obama Administration’s efforts to compromise Second Amendment right being voted down. It’s part of his paradigm… a paradigm that says if a few elected officials stand on principle (not values, principle), it focuses attention on them and causes thousands and thousands of telephone calls to other Senators or Representatives with people asking: “Hey, these guys are standing up for our rights. Why aren’t you supporting them?” And that, my friends, is a paradigm change. An important one.
Senator Cruz held a press conference after his speech – to his credit (and to Governor Scott Walker’s discredit… he didn’t bother). Even more to his credit, he agreed to take my question after the Associated Press, Washington Post, Michael Barone of the Washington Examiner and a major television news network had asked their questions and the Cruz aide said Barone’s question was the final one. I said, “Excuse me, Senator… I’m with the Internet media and would appreciate it if you would take my question.”
Cruz turned with a smile and I made a statement that would lead to a question. “You said in your speech that Washington has too much centralized power – and I certainly agree. However, I didn’t hear any comments about the too centralized power of the Federal Reserve System.”
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My question was going to be: “The 100-year Federal Reserve contract with the United States Government is over on December 23, 2013. Is Congress going to renew the contract? Or, are we through with the Federal Reserve System when the contract expires?”
I didn’t get to ask the question because the guy running the Conference cut me off. Even so, if you are anywhere close to Denver next July, I highly recommend this three day conference. It was well done and the quality of speakers – and, surprisingly to me, attendees – was quite high.
As for Senator Cruz… I’m almost tempted to move to Texas so I can vote for him. However, he also carries a downside if he decides to enter a presidential primary. See Article 3 for an explanation.
© 2013 Marilyn M. Barnewall - All Rights Reserved
Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall began her career in 1956 as a journalist with the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne. During her 20 years (plus) as a banker and bank consultant, she wrote extensively for The American Banker, Bank Marketing Magazine, Trust Marketing Magazine, was U.S. Consulting Editor for Private Banker International (London/Dublin), and other major banking industry publications. She has written seven non-fiction books about banking and taught private banking at Colorado University for the American Bankers Association. She has authored seven banking books, one dog book, and two works of fiction (about banking, of course). She has served on numerous Boards in her community.
Barnewall is the former editor of The National Peace Officer Magazine and as a journalist has written guest editorials for the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and Newsweek, among others. On the Internet, she has written for News With Views, World Net Daily, Canada Free Press, Christian Business Daily, Business Reform, and others. She has been quoted in Time, Forbes, Wall Street Journal and other national and international publications. She can be found in Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in Finance and Business, and Who's Who in the World.
Web site: http://marilynwrites.blogspot.com