Republican senator Ted Cruz recently announced his candidacy for the presidency in 2016. While this ambitious and dramatic mouthpiece for the far right does have a small pack of devoted followers, his ubiquitous poor reputation will almost certainly keep him from the White House, and probably even from the Republican nomination.
The news story alone of Ted Cruz's candidacy serves as evidence to the sort of campaign the senator is accidentally running online. Any internet search on Cruz's announcement will yield pages of articles with snarky titles like "Can You Imagine Ted Cruz As President?" and implicit expressions of disbelief, such as "Wait... Can Canadian-Born Ted Cruz Actually Become The Next US President?" But beyond all the subdued satire and the left-leaning journalism is an internet exploding with mockery.
Within a day of Ted Cruz's announcement, #TedCruzCampaignSlogans had started trending on Twitter, with relentlessly spiteful fake slogans pouring in by the minute.
Don't tread on me! Tread on women, blacks, Mexicans, and the poors. #TedcruzCampaignSolganspic.twitter.com/gHZbrVMEJl
— Very Serious People™ (@TheXclass) March 23, 2015
The vast majority of the mockery against Ted Cruz makes an effort to point out his notoriously negative stance on almost every major issue. He is best known for disapproving of gay marriage, for disapproving of immigration reform, for denying climate change, for filibustering to stop Obamacare, and fighting net neutrality. While some of those political issues are backed by other, more moderate politicians, Ted Cruz has become the poster boy of disapproval. In fact, the primary theme behind the storm of Ted Cruz jokes is that he's a bigot. Racism, homophobia, religious intolerance -- you name it, Ted Cruz is known for it. None of those things can be fairly attributed to Ted Cruz, but that's the impression he's given much of America.
An opinion piece on Slate explains that Ted Cruz never had a shot at the presidency because his only plan is to rally the support of social conservatives, which is only a portion of a portion of a portion of the American populous. Some of the major issues Ted Cruz plans to tackle are being rapidly de-politicized as American culture becomes more secular, namely outlawing same-sex marriage and abortion. With the list of states approving gay marriage quickly growing, Ted Cruz may be fighting a losing battle with a side society will soon consider to be outdated.
"Instead of a federal government that works to undermine our values, imagine a federal government that works to defend the sanctity of human life and to uphold the sacrament of marriage."
Raw Story put together a list of things Ted Cruz has done and said that should disqualify his chances at the presidency based on their stupidity -- and none of them were gaffes.
While it's true that the internet only represents a portion of the voting populous, Cruz's abysmal online reputation may not affect his candidacy, especially since young people have not consistently made it to the polling booths. However, even outside of left-leaning cyberspace, Cruz has been labeled as the mascot of the recent U.S. government shutdown and established himself as an adversary of science. Neither of these positions, regardless of whether Cruz would own up to them, will do him any favors in 2016. His fierce denial of climate change despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary and his brazen opposition to almost every progressive issue up for debate will certainly eliminate any liberal or moderate support, and possibly some conservative support.
According to Salon, Cruz has even made the mistake of alienating members of his own party. In the past, the Republican candidates who leaned more moderate were the only ones who got anywhere, namely Mitt Romney, who was known for his across-the-aisle accomplishments in his home state, and John McCain, who admitted he agreed with Obama's foreign policy after the election.
Peter Weber from the Week suggests Ted Cruz may not even believe he can win, saying, "There's a good chance Cruz does think he has a real shot to win, but there's at least an equally good chance he's doing this because he can, because he wants to help steer the national Republican agenda."
What do you think? Does Ted Cruz have a chance?