I’m an opinionated person, but – you may have to take this on faith – I really do try to look at most issues objectively. In part it’s because I’m a journalist, but also because I’m a novelist who can’t write fiction, i.e., a frustrated one. Show me a fucked-up person, and I try to think what made him or her into such a mess, and if I think I have a pretty good idea, I start to feel empathy. So while I might express very strongly worded opinions, inside I’m thinking, you poor thing.
Did that make sense? Because I’m trying to explain how I feel about Ted Cruz. And I have to add this: I can’t get my head around him.
I mean, I understand how this ambition monster was birthed and nurtured, but what I can’t understand is how he can not know that hardly anyone actually likes him. Lindsay Graham says (in public!) that everyone in the Senate hates him, his college roommate has a second career making funny insults about him – and he doesn’t care, he still thinks he should be president, and who knows, maybe he will be, someday. Repellent candidates have worn down the American people before (koffNixonkoff), and anyone who thinks Cruz will go away after 2016 is a fool.
But I’m amazed at how tin his ear is, how a guy who’s so smart can be so amazingly bad in any sort of candid spotlight. Every photo of him, even allowing for the prejudices of photo editors, makes him look greasy and smarmy. How does a man with an ounce of self-awareness use a term like “basketball ring” in a place like Indiana? And having done so, how does he not make an immediate joke – something about jet lag or brain farts – at his own expense? I understand why so many comments/tweets make reference to “his human suit getting itchy.”
And now he’s picked a running mate who is every bit his equal, personality-wise.
There’s a guy who sometimes rides the bus when I do. I see him reading National Review, and once he and a couple of other guys had a little chat about their personal weaponry that made me want to move and go sit next to a homeless guy. From where he gets off, I know that he lives a block away. When, before the primary, a solitary house sprouted a TrusTED sign, I had a feeling it was his, and sure enough, it was.
Maybe I should ask him.
Speaking of politics, here’s a writer I’m not fond of, hitting a nice triple about “the woman’s card.” I sense improvement.
Happy Thursday, y’all.