Yesterday, Ted Cruz got a healthy dose of his own medicine on his Facebook page when he posted a tribute to South Africa’s favorite son, Nelson Mandela, who passed away a couple of days ago. In his post, Cruz said,
“Nelson Mandela will live in history as an inspiration for defenders of liberty around the globe. He stood firm for decades on the principle that until all South Africans enjoyed equal liberties he would not leave prison himself, declaring in his autobiography, ‘Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.’ Because of his epic fight against injustice, an entire nation is now free. We mourn his loss and offer our condolences to his family and the people of South Africa.”
To his supporters, though, you would have thought the tribute was to their arch enemy, Barack Obama. They went crazy, calling Cruz “squishy” and other choice adjectives as the hate and bigotry of the right wing of the GOP burst forth for all to see. At this writing, there over 1,000 comments with another several thousand replies. A few examples captured by Daily Kos yesterday:
Cruz regularly traffics in radical rhetoric of the type that eventually lead our country into a government shutdown in October with disastrous consequences. After voting to shut down the government, he then lead a protest (along with Sarah Palin) against the government shutting down the World War II monument that he shut down. It was nothing short of breathtaking. One of the speakers who stood with Cruz, Larry Klayman, spouted that our country was “ruled by a president who bows down to Allah,” and “is not a president of ‘we the people.'” He continued, saying,
“I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come up with his hands out.”
Cruz didn’t disavow this radical, hateful rhetoric, and continued his participation in the event.
Cruz’s followers are extreme, and spout crazy conspiracy theories about the US government, the President, and have even ressurected the old, wild conspiracy theories about the Clintons since Hillary has become the obvious candidate for President in 2016. Above all else, the number one requirement for the extreme right wing is ideological purity. All politicians who cater to this crowd to gain power must strictly adhere to this very narrow line on the ideological spectrum, and are then beholden to them forever lest they be severely punished for straying. Even Cruz, the darling of the Birchers and Tea Partiers, was victim of that purity test yesterday. He dared to honor one who was world famous and a Nobel Laureate who also happened to be black. Cruz’s own supporters went crazy, slapping him down in public screaming that Mandela, a hero for world peace, was somehow instead a terrorist, murderer, racist, a dictator, and a Communist, though none of those accusations is true. Oh, and that he was black.
This is what you get when you use hate, fear, bigotry, and xenophobia to gain power – the same thing used on you. Cruz is now the victim of his own success after using these negatives to beat a mainstream candidate to win his Senate seat. Now it’s in plain sight for all to see.