On Ted Cruz

Backpfeifengesicht.

It’s a German word that roughly translates as “a face in need of a fist”, or “a face that needs to be punched”. It’s come up quite often in discussing Ted Cruz, to the point where a neurologist has discussed Cruz in an article on how people react to facial expressions.

Unusual facial expressions put us off. Cruz’ odd face only partly explains why no one likes him. From his college roommate to his Senate colleagues, people hate him with a passion.

And that’s even before considering his politics.

Cruz is the darling of the “Tea Party” movement. Being generous, they are the contemporary version of the Jeffersonian ideal of a decentralized government based on a rural economy and individual liberties. Being more harsh, they are the radical anti-government, anti-taxation wing of the Republican Party. While the more generous viewpoint is one that is worthy of rational discussion when trying to determine the role of the federal government, the current Tea Party acts like it is actually out to destroy the federal government. And Cruz is at the heart of that.

Back in October, 2013, Cruz and the Tea Party had a hissy fit over the launch of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known as “Obamacare”), and basically went on strike, shutting down the federal government. He’s threatened to do it again whenever he or his faction don’t get their way.

This is not the action of a seasoned politician or statesman; it’s the action of a spoiled brat.

It’s made worse by his religious beliefs, which very strongly influence his political stance on many issues. He’s one of those reactionary evangelical Christians who want to make the country follow the exact same precepts and creed that they do.

Religious freedom is one of the core principles that our nation was founded on. No one should ever be persecuted or discriminated against because of their religious beliefs. Cruz’s stance is the direct opposite. You are going to do what his religious beliefs say you should, and that’s it. End of discussion.

No matter what your faith, there are always going to be more people who follow something different. And you have no right whatsoever to impose your particular beliefs on them. Cruz’ plans would roll back decades of social progress on everything from birth control to sexual discrimination.

Cruz cannot be blamed for his appearance. It’s beyond his control. But given his regressive and destructive political positions, I still think he should be punched in the face.

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