STATESBORO, GEORGIA – Rafael Edward Cruz, one of our many national nightmares, is no more.
Take a moment and revel in the fact. Try not to focus too heavily that his demise has birthed another monster, an arguably more dangerous one, but try and find relief and solace in the fact that this rat fink asshole, maybe the most unlikable candidate to get this far and garner this many votes and states, was finally digested by the system and sent to crawl back under whatever piece of shit rock he emerged from in the first place.
There are few nights in the political process that really bring joy. I’m talking real, unadulterated, hard-earned joy. It’s a terrible business that runs and feeds on disappointment. Of my decade-plus working, analyzing, and giving two shits about politics, roughly ninety percent of the outcomes have been, in a word, disappointing. Let’s be honest, disappointing doesn’t even begin to cover it. This racket is the most heartbreaking, savage in the world and good people—hardworking, compassionate people—are regularly ground under the foot. Dreams and hopes and aspirations are routinely smashed beyond recognition and in the end it’s enough to make you question the existence of good.
But this, this final and inarguable rejection of the piece of filth that is Ted Cruz, this is delicious.
Say what you want about Cruz’s personality, which is just as affable as a double-homicide, but the true crime of the Texas senator is his inability to hide, even for a second, his craven ambition. His drive to continue climbing a ladder he never should’ve gotten a foot on has turned him into one of the most unpleasant candidates we’ve ever seen and it was only the rise of Donald Trump that gave his run any credence. This is the kind of asshole the system is supposed to never let get beyond Congress and only the abnormality of these times let him get any farther.
But regardless of his personality, it is the ugliness of Cruz’s character that truly makes this a moment of celebration. Ambition isn’t the worst thing, after all. Society has been built on the backs of ambition and it takes a special level of narcissism for a person to run for president in the first place. Cruz stands alone though in his unabashed self-aggrandizement, a man who spearheaded the shutdown of the federal government, a plan that would’ve left millions of people without the goods and services and incomes they desperately needed, and then walked away from the disaster as if he’d been against it from the beginning only to fundraise on both sides of the issue.
This is a candidate who has never found an issue too important to use as a lever toward his own gathering of power and influence. A senator whose personal egotism has powered every decision, no, every single word he’s so much as uttered in public office. A Canadian, ivy-educated lawyer who covered himself head-to-toe in camouflage to gain whatever points a photo opportunity with the Duck Dynasty crew, themselves a fraud of working-class pandering. And not to mention that the Senate, admittedly full of the most calculating and self-absorbed humans in the world, fully rejects Cruz because they find him so unpalatable that former Speaker of the House John Boehner called him “Lucifer in the flesh” and Lindsey Graham, who has paled around with some of the most detestable humans, has openly joked about a desire to murder the man.
Not to mention, a politician so disgusting his entire brand has been built upon corrupting a faith that he appears to only hold close as to wield any power it might grant him, regardless of grace or charity or holy love.
What might be most despicable about Cruz, however, is that his general vileness is what has more or less delivered to us Nominee Trump, a development that could’ve been avoided had his main competition not been such a simpering vermin. Had he so much as an ounce of likability, a drop of relatability or person-ness, we would be looking at an entirely different race now. He would’ve united the Stop Trump factions—a directionless mass that was just dying to coalesce behind anybody…except for Ted Cruz—and harnessed the fundraising power of this country’s most historically strong apparatus and vanquished the worst thing to happen to America’s democracy since Bush v. Gore or the Corrupt Bargain of 1824. But that’s all past now. The most incompetent and laughable candidate of this, or maybe any era, was loosed onto the electoral world because this joyless, lying, gutless embarrassment of a televangelist couldn’t realize his destiny and bring to heel the FOX News machine, of which he was born and nursed, and then lose in an unprecedented landslide come November.
The real historical legacy of Cruz, though he will most definitely be an afterthought in the future narratives of the time, will be his incredible success at being unsuccessful, his unheralded talented at being untalented. And in this, his fate is forever sealed: the Whore of Babylon who gave birth to The Beast heralded to lay waste to the cities of men, lord over the kings of Earth and all the nations.
Illustration by Hans Burgkmair the Elder. “The Whore of Babylon; sitting on the seven-headed beast, St John and the angel looking on from a cloud in top right corner. From a series of 21 woodcuts of the Apocalypse for Martin Luther’s translation of the New Testament (Augsburg: S. Otmar, 1523). 1523 Woodcut”