Ted Cruz and the GOP, along with the conservative media, have happily exploited the “controversy” over President Obama’s eligibility to be president. Even though he was born in Hawaii and has produced his birth certificate, right-wing conspiracy nuts continue to deny the fact that President Obama is a citizen.
While many members of the GOP are more than happy to overlook Ted Cruz’s birth in Canada, there are many who have embraced the “birther” movement that they also used against Barack Obama. Give them credit – while they’re misinformed, at least they’re being sort of consistent.
There are quite a few liberals who have also joined this birther movement against Cruz, including Alan Grayson who is running for the Senate job that Marco Rubio can’t be bothered to show up for. Websites like Raw Story which cater to outrage clickbait on the left have also happily exploited this subject, facts be damned.
This is a schadenfreude moment, but liberals shouldn’t get caught up in throwing mud back at the GOP, as Dana Milbank at The Washington Post writes:
More broadly: Do Democrats and liberals and all those who howled about the injustice and the outrage of Obama’s birtherism really want to join the cause of Cruz birtherism, simply because he’s a Republican, or a conservative? No doubt it would be satisfying to give conservatives a taste of their own medicine, but that would mean embracing the nativism that is turning the Republican Party into a fraternity of old white men from rural areas. The right is uniquely ill-behaved these days. Why join it? (Source)
The GOP and their far-right supporters have shown that there is no low they won’t stoop to, but why should we wallow in the mud with them? I know it’s fun to throw their hateful and xenophobic rhetoric back in their faces. Trolling the GOP is a cathartic exercise and we love when a bigot gets a taste of their own medicine, yet Ted Cruz and his conservative media backers care nothing about that.
There are many reasons why Ted Cruz is unfit to be president, but the place of his birth is not one of them. He is a citizen of the United States by birth. While concentrating on speculative technicalities is fun, it ultimately does nothing more than to act like the GOP.
Ted Cruz knows how to exploit the far right and has made his career in the Republican Party doing exactly that. He may have a radical platform, but Cruz has learned to blend his conservative upbringing with the trends of GOP politics to gather support from the base and propel him to where he is today.
Playing into the birther schadenfreude ultimately is harmful for the left, as tempting as it may be. As I said before, Ted Cruz would be a horrible president, but his place of birth is the least of our worries. His anti-women, anti-LGBT rights record is horrendous enough. Let’s concentrate on the things that matter and not act like the far right. There’s too much at stake as it is.
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