Ted Cruz’s Dangerous Ideologies

Louis E.V. Nevaer


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Whenever Ted Cruz appears on television, I cringe as unpleasant memories of distant relatives cross my mind, reminding me of things best forgotten. And what is best forgotten is simply the Hispanic political tradition of severity.


Think Francisco Franco. Think Fidel Castro. Think Ted Cruz? Yes, Ted Cruz is a would-be autocrat.


My paternal grandmother, a Galician matron who despised sexism in all its forms, called it “la maldición gallega,” or “the Galician curse.” By that she meant the dreadful and familiar anti-democratic tendency in the political lives of the Hispanic world where dictators, strongmen, caudillos, and caciques have ruled as autocrats.


She was in a position to know. Her maiden name was Bahamonde; she was related to Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, who ruled Spain during his dictatorship with an iron fist. Fidel Castro, with no tolerance for dissent, brought ruin to his country, banishing millions of his fellow countrymen into exile.


And Ted Cruz, today, represents the same menace as someone who wishes to impose a theocracy in the United States.


Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, fled Cuba in 1957, becoming a zealous born again preacher. “It’s time we stop being politically correct and start being biblically correct,” the elder Cruz told the Associated Press in 2014.


Ted Cruz follows in his father’s footsteps. His idea—that the separation of Church and State has to be done away with—is consistent with the ideological worldview that characterizes dictatorships in the Hispanic world. Francisco Franco embodied the Catholic Church during his reign of intolerance; Fidel Castro replaced faith in God with faith in himself when Cuba became officially atheist.


That’s the cloth from which Ted Cruz’s political philosophy is cut.


This twisted predisposition resonates in his declarations: “I am blessed to receive a word from God every day in receiving the scriptures and reading the scriptures. And God speaks through the Bible.”


Does America want a leader who claims to have a hotline to heaven? Does America want to impose a Christian version of Sharia law? Does America want “divine right” rule to be restored?


Cruz says, “Sí!”



To his way of thinking, the Bible alone offers the framework for the entirety of civil society.


“I think the Hispanic community, the values that resonate in our community, are fundamentally conservative. They are faith, family, patriotism,” Ted Cruz has said, in English, to non-Hispanic Americans.


My grandmother rolled her eyes in both bewilderment and anger at the manifold manifestations of “the Galician curse” in the Hispanic world. She told stories of an uncle who would caution his daughter on the importance of remaining a virgin by saying, “Remember, no man buys a used shoe.” She told stories of one of Franco’s relatives who, determining that garbanzo beans were meant to be peeled, demanded that his wife peel each garbanzo bean one by one—in dishes that required hundreds of garbanzo beans.


Ted Cruz’s singular world view would lead him to appoint judges to the Supreme Court who would undo social progress that is consistent with what his reading of the Bible tells him has gone “wrong,” including a woman’s right to choose and the right of same-sex couples to marry.


Ted Cruz in the White House would bring the worst of intolerance and religious bigotry of the Hispanic world to the United States. His vision is for our country to turn back the clock and be governed with an iron fist imposing law, order—and God.


Dictators in the Hispanic world have longed to fashion societies where political dissent is crushed, young women are left to wonder what their honor has to do with a new shoe, women are badgered into peeling hundreds of garbanzo beans, and what is not biblically sanctioned is outlawed. These are the vestiges of dictatorship all Hispanic democracies struggle to overcome.


My grandmother loathed what her distant nephew, Franco, had done to Spain. She applauded the reforms introduced after his death and she never looked back at his dictatorship with nostalgia.


Though she is not alive today to recoil in horror at the sight of this would-be strongman, I know the one word she would tell the American people concerning Ted Cruz: “Corran!” “Run!”


Author Bio:


Louis Nevaer is the author of the first guides to Cuba compiled since the re-establishment of relations, Cuba As Never Before, and The Best of Havana: 2016.


From our content partner New America Media

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