Ted Cruz Believes He’s the New Galileo

by Steven Gan



I’ll be honest with you. I was a little shocked when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced in March that he was throwing his hat into the ring for the presidency. I mean, come on now….  Here’s a person who loves to be so outrageously provocative in everything he says and does that outside of his large cadre of radical followers he’s often viewed as a carnival barker, a wacko bird, and completely off the wall, even by some of the more rational members of his own party.  I thought perhaps he might have said to himself, “Do I really have a chance to pull off a national campaign?”

I guess I was wrong.  When you’re completely out of touch with the rest of America, as I believe Cruz is, right or wrong, you do what you want to do without flinching.  There were two things that Cruz recently said that made me want to just shake my head until it rolled off my shoulders.

On March 24th, in an interview with The Texas Tribune, Cruz compared what he termed “global warming alarmists” to flat-Earthers, analogizing himself to Galileo Galilei, one of the fathers of modern science.  “Those who believe the Earth’s climate is changing as a result of human activity are comparable to those who once believed the planet was flat,” Cruz said.

I can’t begin to wrap my head around Cruz’s analogy. Galileo was persecuted for asserting his rational conclusion, based upon scientific observations, that the planets revolve around the sun (and not the Earth as the Church taught).  And Cruz asserts that as one of the minority who do not accept that human activities are impacting climate change, he is being “persecuted” for his “beliefs”?

First of all, science is not a matter of beliefs; it is a body of knowledge.  Except for a very few fringe individuals, scientists worldwide have clearly stated that today’s endless burning of fossil fuels and the spewing of pollution into our atmosphere has, at a minimum, contributed to climate change. Yet, despite today’s rapidly melting glaciers and polar regions, warming sea temperatures, increased droughts, and more intense hurricanes, poor Senator Cruz insists that these climatic phenomena have nothing to do with us humans.

In any event, I see no evidence to support Cruz’s claim that, like Galileo, he is being “persecuted” for his contrarian beliefs.  To be persecuted is to be ostracized from society, emotionally (and even physically) abused, perhaps imprisoned, and maybe even made to pay with one’s life. Then there’s Ted Cruz, a United States Senator and declared candidate for President of the United States.  So just how is he being persecuted for not “believing” that man’s activities are contributing to climate change?

Really. How pathetic that Cruz has to depict himself as a victim in order to appeal to the ignorant who blindly follow and support his irrational thinking on climate change and other issues.

Turning to just one of these other issues, on April 9th without missing a beat, Cruz doubled down on his support for the so-called “religious freedom” laws passed by Republican legislatures in Indiana and Arkansas.  By that time, potential GOP nominees Jeb Bush and Rand Paul (who subsequently declared his candidacy) had already attempted to backpedal from supporting such laws, in light of overwhelming public opposition.  Unconcerned that such laws are widely seen as sanctioning discrimination, particularly against LGBT individuals, Cruz claimed that such laws are needed because the gay community has launched a “jihad” against Christians.

Yes, “jihad” is the word Cruz used.  Accompanied by former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (who may run again, and who, in my opinion, uses his religious belief system to cloak his animus toward the LGBT community), Cruz told a crowd of homeschooling activists to beware of “the jihad that is being waged right now in Indiana and Arkansas, going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”  By using that loaded word “jihad,” Cruz attempted to depict LGBT Americans as the “other” – terrorists who are trying to take over America and defeat people of faith.

What worries me most about Ted Cruz is that, no matter what outlandish and provocative things he says, he seems to be quite good at pushing all the emotional buttons of the religious right.  Persecution by people who understand science?  Jihad by people who insist on tolerance?  Could this self-proclaimed victim actually end up being a viable candidate for President of the United States?

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