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CRUZ CONTROL: A PERSONAL STATEMENT

MARKHAM SHAW PYLE JD

I have been asked to state why I consider that, of the remaining candidates of either major party, Ted Cruz, and
Ted Cruz alone, is the fit and proper choice for the presidency. I shall now do so.

am a conservative, as that term is now used in American politics. Which is to say, I am a Classical Liberal: like

Gladstone; like Hayek.

I am by formal affiliation, such as it is, and weakly, a Democrat, in the same way in which the admirable Milton
Friedman was, expediently, a Republican. I am a nominal Democrat for the same reason I am a nominal
Anglican: I refuse to allow upstarts and usurpers and heretics drive me from the house of my fathers, and I believe
that after the crash these institutions will need their saving remnant.
But as matters stand, there is no chance whatever of, for example, a Webb-Manchin ticket ever appearing in my
nominal party in my lifetime.
And what matters is not the partisan noun: it is the modifier, conservative.
And I am a conservative, in the modern, US sense: even by the standards of, for example, my business partner,
who rivals Norman Tebbit as a High and Dry keeper of the Thatcherite flame. I am perhaps the Linnaean type of
the Reagan Democrat: except that I was a Movement Conservative before the Reagan presidency.
Mr. Wemyss, or at any rate his more Telegraph-ic friends, knew Andrew Breitbart, as, alas, I did not. But I have
in my time known Chase Untermeyer, Richard Perle, Bud McFarlane, Vernon Walters, and Jim Gavin; when
young, I got into a public argument with Abbie Hoffman (and won), and to much bien-pensant and academic
embarrassment on the part of bystanders challenged a Soviet diplomat as to why, given that the USSR had only
kept two treaties in its existence: Brest-Litovsk, and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Nonaggression Pact: the US, not
being a militarist German dictatorship, ought to treat with them at all. I corresponded with Bill Buckley, and
handled an appellate case at the behest of his brother Reid Buckley.
I am a conservative. Im not a Republican then again, neither is Donald Trump but, unlike Mr. Trump, I
am a conservative.
And I, this year, for the first time in many, many years, crossed over and voted in the Republican primary: for
Ted Cruz.
Why?
I could tell you at length what is wrong with, and about, Donald Trump, as a candidate and as a putative

human being. Mr. Trump is, taxonomically, a fascist: by Lukacs definition as much as by Paxtons or Hayeks.
Mr. Trump is an authoritarian; a statist; an advocate of big government and of autarky; a supporter and beneficiary
of government seizures of private property for private rather than public use; an advocate of the control of business
in the interest of political policy; an interventionist in economics, who fears the free market in which he has never
been a success; a would-be Caesar with an inflated ego; a supporter of what is euphemistically called direct action
(meaning the normalization of political violence: a trait he shares with Sanders supporters, BLM, and the rest of
that needy, seedy crew); a modernist obsessed with palingenesis; and so on and interminably on. His supporters,
revanchist and nativist, are in the main fascists tout court, as they show themselves when they appear in comment
threads, shrieking like swarms of Cybernats (it was Mr. Wemyss who first drew my attention to the profound, and
profoundly contemptible, similarities between Trumpshirts and SNP supporters).
Mr. Trumps entire business career consists of insider deals: the only thing he is remotely competent at buying
and selling is politicians. His attempts to play in a free market can be recounted in two chapters of his business
biography: Eleven and Thirteen.
His political career and style, correspondingly, can be summed up in the old punch-line: Where is the mob? I am
its leader!
I could also point out that it is a grotesque oversimplification to point to the vicious and despicable mobs
violating Mr. Trumps right to speak and to be heard, and to say, They always show you who theyre afraid of. It
is still more unutterably stupid to conclude that therefore Mr. Trump is to be supported. That was von Papens
mistake. The fact that one batch of scum are shouting down another batch of scum who in turn would happily
shout down the first batch, in no way makes either batch anything but scum.
In fact, the attacks on Mr. Trumps rallies and speech rights for all that he advocates much the same thing with
the roles reversed, and regrets only that he and his Straenkmpfer didnt go far enough in doing unto others first
says something very different than the easy assumption that The Leftists Obviously Fear Losing the Election to
Him. It is perfectly true that the Bern-ing youth and rent-a-mobs do not realize being, in an appropriately
Leninist phrase, Useful Idiots that they are only helping Mr. Trump towards the Republican nomination. But
their backers and organizers know that very well. Leftist billionaires including George Soros, everyones favorite
insider-trading convict , whatever else they are, arent fools. They precisely do not fear a Trump candidacy.
To the contrary. If Hillary Clinton is not under Federal indictment on or before the day of the general election,
they are assured that she can beat Mr. Trump: the only Republican they are certain she can beat. They very much
do not think they can beat Senator Cruz, whether with Mrs. Clinton or with any sudden TorricelliLautenberg
substitute (Senator Sanders of course wont be the nominee under any circumstances. New Englands answer to
Jeremy Corbyn couldnt win a general election in this country unopposed).
What those pulling the strings of the rioters have in mind is making Mr. Trump the Todd Akin of the general
election.

That should tell you all you need to know in order to eschew voting for Mr. Trump.
And if, even so, Mr. Trump were to win?
That also does not alarm Wall Street, or K Street, or the Beltway. They are sure and they have every reason to
be sure that Mr. Trump, were he to become president, would, as Jimmy Carter incautiously revealed (cat; bag;
escaped), be rolled over in a heartbeat. Better still, from their perspective, every colossal, nay, yuuuuge, Trumpian
screw-up (and there would be: in droves) could and would be an albatross around the necks of conservatives (and
Republicans) for a generation: never mind that Mr. Trump is neither conservative nor a Republican.
There is not a dimes worth of difference between Mr. Trump and his old friend (and recipient of his campaign
contributions) Mrs. Clinton: except that the former can be made a lasting embarrassment to conservatives and
Republicans. That is why the Left is trying so hard to make you thing there is a difference between them: so as to
hammer conservatism by association with the unsavory Mr. Trump.
I could tell you, at length, about the lessons of public choice theory in economics, here; but I wont, for the sake
of some brevity. I merely reiterate: those who bear only ill will towards conservatism (and the Republican Party, for
that matter, which is by no means coterminous with conservatism) are slavering for, drooling over, the prospect of
running against Mr. Trump and unmasking their batteries of opposition research and negative ads; and, were he
somehow to win after all the mud had been slung and theres plenty of mud to sling, and it will stick, and deserves
to stick , are eager to run against his record, for decades.
They are deathly afraid of only one candidate: Ted Cruz.
That in itself would be enough to dictate voting for Ted. But that is only the first reason.
It is my firm conclusion that there is little if anything wrong with the Republic just now, Left or Right, which
cannot be solved, peaceably and satisfactorily, by a renewed adherence to the text of the Constitution. And there is
nothing which can be solved without that.
There are, in fact, things about Ted I dont particularly like. They are minor; in the context of the current crisis,
they are de minimis; but they are there. For example, I dont particularly like Evangelicals in politics. Their various
Prot heresies are no business of mine; their social conservatism is. Social is a curious modifier: or, rather, it has
a curious power to reverse the meaning of the word it modifies. Social justice is the opposite of justice; social
conservatism is the negation of conservatism. No one will accuse Gerald Ford of having been a Movement
Conservative; but he was right when he said, in words Mrs. Thatcher might have used, that a government big and
powerful enough to give you everything you want (and all the rent you seek) is big and powerful enough to take
everything you have. And this is true (and havent we just seen it) in the sphere of morals and social engineering,
just as much as in economics and state intervention. When you assent to making these things the object of
governmental meddling, you are asking for meddling against your interests when the Other Side wins an election.
And yet.

Let me again quote the brilliant Milton Friedman. He pointed out that electing better politicians was
precisely the wrong goal. Politicians compete in a market: that of votes. Its nice to elect the right people, he said,
but that isnt the way you solve things. The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the
wrong people to do the right things.
Lets assume that all politicians are liars and crooks. (Historically, this is fair assumption. The exceptions end up
being called statesmen rather than politicians.)
All right. What then?
The self-presentation, self-concept, self-esteem, and self-interest of politicians matters. Mr. Trumps shtick is
that hell put top men on these problems. Top. Men. And make deals; yuuuuuuge deals. (Judging by past
performance, future results will be disastrous. Countries and policies cannot go through bankruptcy in his
accustomed fashion). No one knows better than him, okay? Believe him, says he.
Senator Rubios shtick is that hell be a fresh-faced, Kennedy-esque, bipartisan conservative with a heart. (Heart
is fine. Bipartisan if there were a chance in hell of a bipartisan conservatism in this country, Id be wearing a Jim
Webb sticker right now.) Senator Rubio has been rolled already and is still living it down.
Mrs. Clintons shtick is well, who knows what the addled old drunkard thinks in her lucid moments? When
not taking yuuuge speaking fees from Goldman Sachs and lying pathologically. Hillary Gruoch Clinton has reached
Act V in the Scottish Play.
And then theres Ted.
Assume if you like, for purposes of argument, that he doesnt mean a word of his paeans to the Constitution, or
limited government, or the rule of law, or Jeffersonian democracy, or dismantling the imperial presidency, or
reform at home, or sanity abroad, or muscular policy, or tearing up the red tape strangling the economy, or
enforcing the laws impartially, or visiting Carthaginian destruction upon the incestuous Inside the Beltway set of
lawmakers and lobbyists.
Hes still stuck with it. He still has to do it. This is his brand, his trademark. Its what hed be elected on; its what
hed run for reelection on; its his political identity and his would-be legacy.
And, yes: I am aware that he has that look of houndish melancholy about him. But his politics are surprisingly
(surprising to the superficial, at any rate) hopeful as well as uniquely detailed. Oh, I know; I hear the cries already:
We done heard that hope horseshit before. Bill Clinton; Obama....
Yes, President Clinton and President Obama have both given ritual invocations of meaningless, inchoate, and
undefined hope. Because it was politically profitable. And why was that? Why was it politically profitable to do
so? Because both wished to take up, without acknowledgment and without any shadow of a right to it, the mantle
of Ronald Reagan, who really did preach and practice a politics of hope and restoration, of a morning after darkness
in the shining city on the hill. (Of Mr. Trump, bellowing and snarling, one can say only with acknowledgments

to Ann Widdecombe that there is more than something of the night about him.)
The hope represented by Ted is not inchoate and meaningless. Like him or not, he is formidably intelligent, and
his positions are detailed, not merely happy-gab. He has the forensic mind; he may be the best appellate lawyer in a
presidential race since Henry Clay or Daniel Webster. And his character is such that he would in many ways have fit
in with the better aspects of that remarkable generation in our history.
That dont matter ary a whit! Evbody hates Ted Cruz: Mr. Trump done said so! He aint never going to get
nothin through Congress! But Mr. Trump, hell make deals, real good deals, and them Congress-critters wont dare
to say nothing on account of how the countrys behind Mr. Trump!
Leave aside for a moment that Mr. Trumps deals rarely benefit anyone save Mr. Trump except when they
benefit the opponents who rolled him and cleaned him out and almost never benefit those who, ah, were invested
in him. Leave aside that Mr. Trump makes deals for the sake of making deals, and has no actual principles. Leave
aside even that any victor in a presidential election can tell Congress that he and not they have the peoples mandate.
Ask yourself, instead, why, as you are so scornfully angry and bitter at the hated Warshinton In-siders, them
damn sumbitches, you would allow their prospective opposition to veto you in casting your vote for the candidate
they really do dread.
I have voted for Ted in the primary. I will vote for him in November if he is on the ballot. I will not vote for Mr.
Trump, or Mrs. Clinton, or Sen. Sanders: I will vote the down-ballot races only, if Ted is not on the ballot.
I do so not because I despise Mr. Trump though God knows I do and am little less respectful of his
supporters (and endorsers). I do so because he suits my principles; and has so lashed himself to the mast of those
principles that he cant not follow them in office.
If you truly are a conservative, or call yourself one, there are certain things you cannot, as a matter of simple
intellectual honesty, do. One of those is to vote for Mr. Trump. You certainly cannot call yourself a conservative
and allow yourself to be stampeded into voting for Mr. Trump to spite his fellow insiders and oligarchs (who are
laughing at you as rubes being rope-a-doped); or to do precisely what George Soros wants you to do (if you dont
know who the mark is in a con, look in the mirror); or because you fear those paper tigers Mitch McConnell and K
Street and think that that pack of invertebrate eunuchs can block the reforms on which Ted will insist.
If you do those things, you are a fool and a knave, auditioning to be the next ex-Mrs-Trump or next discarded
Trumpish mistress: in other words, you are a Trump supporter. And it will be you who is morally guilty for electing
Hillary, or, should Mr. Trump be nominated and win a term, for assuring that conservatism, unfairly blamed for
that contemptible creature, is exiled from American political discourse for generations to come.
And you will not be forgiven.
Choose wisely.


MARKHAM SHAW PYLE holds his undergraduate (Politics and Philosophy, with Special Honors attainments in the latter)
and law degrees from Washington & Lee. He is an historian; and a partner, with the British historian and novelist GMW
Wemyss, in Bapton Books.
Mr. Pyle is the author of Fools, Drunks, and the United States: August 12, 1941; and of Benevolent Designs: The
Countess and the General: George Washington, Selina Countess of Huntingdon, their correspondence, & the evangelizing
of America; and co-author of, among other works, 37: The year of portent; When That Great Ship Went Down: the
legal and political repercussions of the loss of RMS Titanic; and Freedom, Fascists, Fools, & Frauds: Bapton Books Position
Papers and Other Critical Pieces, 2011 2014.