Cruisin’ with Cruz

From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield
From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield

While Donald Trump is known to be bombastic and throwing jabs at anyone and everyone, the real bruiser in the race to be the Republican presidential nomination is the junior Senator from Texas, Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz.

Cruz has had a reputation as a fighter ever since he was elected to the US Senate. He is credited with the single handled shut down of the government since his tenure began.

Whether Democrat or Republican, Cruz has no problem going for the jugular. He even called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar from the floor of the most prestigious club in the world.

The only area where Cruz seems to be hesitant about calling out or taking a punch is with Trump. This has led to speculation that Cruz is perhaps waiting in the wings to be a running mate to the New York Mouth. Some talking-heads point out that Cruz may be hoping to pickup Trump’s more right-leaning supporters if the front runner stumbles or drops out.

While Cruz is of Cuban-American descent, his position on immigration is in stark contrast to the other Cuban-American in the race, Marco Rubio of Florida. Taking a hard line, Cruz is adamant about the deportation of illegal immigrants and has sided with Trump on the issue.

The Texas firebrand is a stalwart of the Tea Party. He is a staunch fiscal and social conservative. He espouses a belief that compromise is a betrayal of one’s principals – thus he is often seen as obstructionist in moving legislation through the Senate – even when sponsored by Republicans.

There has been controversy surrounding the eligibility of Cruz to run for president since he was born in Canada. As a result he renounced his dual citizenship. Most, however, believe that Cruz is eligible since he was born to an American mother and a naturalized father while in Canada.

Currently Cruz is running in 4th place in the national composite with 7%. That is nearly 20 points behind front runner Trump. In the key state of Iowa, Cruz stands at 3rd place with 7%  still far beyond The Donald.

On Cruz’s website (tedcruz.org), you won’t find a link called, “issues” or “policies” or “goals”. What he does share is his “proven record”. 

What we know is what positions he has taken since his election to Washington and speeches he has given. This produces the following:

We know that Cruz is against all tax hikes and wants taxes cut.

We know Cruz is for complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

We know Cruz is against ever raising the national debt limit.

We know Cruz is not accepting of the Supreme Court ruling on equality for all long-term couples.

We know Cruz is a tank in defense of the Second Amendment.

We know Cruz wants a wall, a fence, troops on the border, anything to stop illegals from crossing.

We know Cruz is against allowing the 11 million in the country illegally to stay.

We know Cruz is pro-life and anti-abortion for any and all reasons.

We know Cruz accepts only one position on any issue – his own.

What we do not know is exactly what Cruz will do on anything should he become president other than undoing everything he opposes.

From the Desert with my feet firmly planted in the Cornfield, while Cruz cruises along waiting for the misstep that will push Trump out of contention, we are left with little of substance to judge whether he should be the pick of GOP voters.

Middle Ground – Marriage Equality & Religious Freedom

cornfieldlogo

We – humans – have a bad habit of making problems or creating issues where there are none.

Following last weeks decision by the US Supreme Court that all legal-aged couples, without regard to the gender of the parties, has a constitutional right to dignity and to apply and receive a license to have their long-term relationship recognized by the state with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities that entails, to the right and to the left there were battle cries.

On the right among social conservatives, there was the call to rally the troops to protect religious liberty – even though the Supreme Court majority did not abridge religious liberty in any way.

On the left among social liberals (primarily in the GLBT community) a siren call went out to form the lines to force religious organizations to put their “sincerely held religious beliefs on the shelf or you hate me and are a bigot and violate my right to marry.” This even though the Supremes in no way gave any right or mandate to the GLBT and their supporters to demand religious bodies to abridge their freedom of free exercise guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.

This whole mess is man-made ridiculousness.

There is a simple solution, one which I have advocated for years. Those who read or follow my dribble will recognize this simple solution from my Principles Which I Carry Over, which I have posted for the world to see for the past few years.

To quote:

Same-gender relationships should be afforded the benefit of state blessing just as opposite-gender relationships now are. There is no reason to complicate or not allow equality under the law with all the benefits and protections afforded opposite-gender couples over the use of a word on the state license. Best option is that all state licenses use the term civil union on all state documents. Let the couples have a “marriage” privately within the framework of their religious institutions or according to their moral view. All couples, whether same-gender or opposite-gender, should be afforded the same rights and benefits under the law when receiving a license to recognize the joining of the two individuals legally.

To put it more simply, the Justices upheld that states must recognize all legal-aged, consenting couples right to wed. The Justices did not take away the states rights to regulate marriage in several areas.

States still determine the age of majority and at what age minors must get parental consent.

States still determine how closely related by blood couples may wed.

States still determine residency requirements to obtain a license.

States still determine who may issue licenses.

States still determine who officiates marriages.

On the last issue, states deciding who can and can’t perform ceremonies – this is the solution.

For “official” state recognition in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling, all exchange of vows must be conducted by a civil servant acting in a secular role as an agent of the state.

Those who wish to have a religious ceremony can plan, can spend, can be as lavish as their church allows, but after the official, civil ceremony. Same-gender couples can do the same, but would have to find a church or religious body which agrees that God blesses both gay and straight.

There would then be no assault of religious freedom. There would be no cause for some to try and make a “federal case” by entrapping some preacher in the cross hairs.

From the Cornfield, as a man, who happens to be married legally to another man (at least for the moment), there is middle ground. There is a path we can walk which gives respect for those who agree and those who disagree that all couples should be equal under the Constitution when it comes to state (which is secular) recognition of ones vow to love and to hold.