In his latest piece posted at Townhall, veteran conservative columnist Pat Buchanan has joined the brigade of Trumpists demanding—yes, demanding—that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (A, 97%) fall in lock step with the Party line and salute the leader.
Before getting to Buchanan’s demand of Cruz’s conformity to the dictates of the Party, let’s first consider the commands of other Trumpists, because their behavior is astonishing and appalling, and not something we should be seeing in America, let alone the Republican Party.
Yes, that’s right: Ted Cruz—not Donald Trump—is, in the minds of Trumpists, a narcissist.
Kayleigh McEnany leveled the same breathtaking charge at Cruz on CNN the night of Cruz’s speech. She said that Cruz, not Trump, suffered from narcissism.
Sarah Palin, too, has stepped forward, telling Breitbart that she wants Ted Cruz politically dead—permanently. She dubs his betrayal of the leader “career-ending.”
Let the purge begin. Trumpists apparently want the revolution to begin with the scalp of their man’s chief political adversary. Submission or scalp. Such is not unusual among political movements. As Trotsky said, the revolutionaries will not arrive at their kingdom with white gloves on a polished floor; blood will need to be spilled.
This brutal treatment of Ted Cruz is, obviously, shocking, but it’s especially outrageous given the target and circumstances. Consider this:
Donald Trump repeatedly, for month after month, denounced Ted Cruz as “Lyin Ted.” He called him a liar and cheater. And remember Trump’s treatment of Cruz’s wife. A quick rehash:
This was shortly after Trump had earlier threatened Cruz and his wife: “Be careful, Lyin’ Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!”
Trump also promoted the insane charge that Cruz’s beloved father, who Cruz admires more than any other man, was part of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. These claims were peddled by Trump’s most frequently quoted journal-of-record: the National Enquirer.
This is a very short-list of Trump’s unbelievable treatment of Ted Cruz (not to mention countless others).
And then, after all of that, Trump not only never apologized to Cruz—he should have done so both privately and publicly—but demanded that Cruz come to Cleveland to offer his hearty endorsement. Trump never apologized because it’s against his nature. He has said, in the context of his professed Christian faith, that he doesn’t seek forgiveness because he doesn’t make mistakes. (“Why do I have to repent or ask for forgiveness,” said Trump, “if I am not making mistakes?”)
And now, Trump’s apologists, surrogates, and followers, assuming the persona of their leader, make the same demands on Cruz, and do so with a brute insistence. Worse, they are going so far as to assert that not only does Cruz’s non-endorsement make him some sort of a treacherous human being, a “traitor,” but that his non-submission forever disqualifies him from the presidency and public office at large.
In fact, all Trumpists ought to ask themselves this question: Would they have any respect for a man, after all of this mass-heap of abuse, crawling to Cleveland and endorsing Donald Trump? Ted Cruz would be the biggest patsy-sissy in the history of American politics if he slinked to Donald Trump after all of these nasty insults against him and the people he loves the most.
How could anyone respect Cruz if he did that?
“I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” explained Cruz in Cleveland the morning after his non-endorsement. He said that his onetime pledge to endorse the Republican nominee (long before anyone imagined the nominee could possibly be someone with the behavior of Donald Trump) “was not a blanket commitment that if you [attack] Heidi I’m going to nonetheless go like a servile puppy dog” back to his master.
Amen. Imagine the image: Trump orders his puppy, “Bark, ‘Lyin’ Ted,’ bark! Nice little puppy. Obey, obey. Good boy, good boy.”
Who could possibly object to Ted Cruz’s position? Do conservatives no longer believe in integrity, in character, in manliness?
I thought Sarah Palin liked manly men.
This is why countless conservatives like myself look at the Trumpists and stare in speechless disbelief. This is cult-like behavior. They are framing Ted Cruz as nothing less than a modern-day political Judas. Is their Donald the only man who matters?
Why such shrill intolerance and bullying from our side?
This refusal to let a man be his own man, to not directly beckon to the calls of the Party, is frightening.
I have spent years reading Party archives of Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and the Soviet Communist Party. The Trumpists’ demands of obedience of Cruz really remind me of how the Communist Party harassed dissenters. When someone committed the unforgivable sin of bucking the Party line, CPUSA hacks denounced them as “stool pigeons.” They were deemed “traitors” who were harassed into giving full obedience or were purged from Party ranks.
But alas, this is apparently the mental make-up and culture of intimidation that pervades the atmosphere of the new Republican Party that Donald Trump is forging. And now, even an old Republican like Pat Buchanan has jumped aboard the Trump Train steaming down the tracks toward “Lyin Ted” Cruz.
Pat Buchanan isn’t thinking that way. He disparages Cruz for his lack of “loyalty.” And he echoes Peter King and Chris Christie and the New York-New Jersey crew by offering this cold, angry prediction: “About Cruz, a prediction: He will not be the nominee in 2020. He will never be the nominee. If Trump wins, Cruz is cooked. If Trump loses, his people will not forget the Brutus who stuck the knife in the back.”
Note, too, what Buchanan and his Trumpist allies are doing with this 2020 tool: They are using it to threaten Ted Cruz into submission. They accuse Cruz of being bitter and vindictive, even as Cruz has every reason to be furious at Donald Trump. But what about this 2020 threat they are wielding at Cruz. Is that not bitter and vindictive?
Pat Buchanan tells us that the “weeping and gnashing of teeth are justified.” Not seeing any self-righteousness in his own words, he judges Ted Cruz: “For these self-righteous folks are all getting eviction notices. They are being dispossessed of their homes.”
Dispossessed of their homes? Wow. Alas, where’s the howling Siberian wilderness when you need it?
Buchanan tells us the big picture that’s at stake here: He informs us that what is being born is “a new Republican Party.” Apparently so. If this is the new Republican Party of Donald Trump, then I want nothing to do with it. Goodbye. Sayonara. Adios. Ciao. Enjoy your new GOP, folks.
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