Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) Cowardly Left His State to Escape to Mexico With His Family While State Was Freezing and Citizens in Need
By Riley Mulcahy
Like the words of the classic James Taylor song “Mexico,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas needed a reason to go, that reason turned out to be the fact that the state of Texas was freezing and his citizens were in dire need of assistance. Instead of remaining with his constituents, Senator Cruz and his wife Heidi decided to go with their preteen daughters to Mexico. When questioned about his decision, Cruz claimed that his daughters wanted to go to Cancun and that he was just “trying to be a good dad.” Leaked text messages show that Heidi Cruz complained about the “freezing” weather, shared the family’s plans to stay at the Ritz Carlton Hotel and invited her friends to tag along.
Cruz’s blatant disregard for human life is atrocious. While his family was traveling to Mexico, trying to vacation and have a good time, Texas was in a state of emergency. Power outages and freezing conditions left many without a place to live, and Cruz could not be bothered to help. Instead of organizing with fellow Texas Republicans Governor Greg Abbott and fellow Senator John Corbyn, there was no sense of organization.
Cruz’s former Senate race rival Beto O'Rourke and New York City Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez decided to do Cruz’s job for him and raise more than 5 million dollars, according to CNN. The lack of connection between Cruz and his constituents highlights the deepening divide of the partisan nation we live in and the real economic discrepancies that should not be present in 2021. Cruz used his position of power to flee a dangerous situation while Texans froze to death. According to The Wall Street Journal, the death toll will take months to determine, however, causes of death that have been determined include hypothermia and carbon monoxide.
Cruz’s impromptu trip is not just a reflection on him; instead, it reflects what Republicans view as good leadership. While Cruz’s actions directly affected millions of Texans, it also showed the recent lows former President Trump has brought to the party. The notion that a leader would flee when he is needed most is unfathomable; however, it has become the norm in the Republican party. When COVID-19 was threatening the lives of millions of Americans nationwide, Trump took the moment to tout ineffective drugs (i.e., Hydroxychloroquine) and claim the virus is a hoax. Still, millions of Americans supported the Republican Party.
According to NBC News, during the January 6th capitol riots, Cruz’s campaign asked for donations: during an insurrection. Instead of condemning white nationalism and hatred that was present on that infamous day, Cruz took the time to get donations from his supporters. Cruz’s lack of compassion is astonishing, however, it is not surprising if you look into his record. In 2013, Cruz came to fame after he completed a 21-hour filibuster, protesting the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Let that sink in, a person who tried to block millions of Americans from getting health insurance left the country after losing power and cold conditions during a national pandemic.
Good leadership should not be determined by a flashy slogan or a charismatic leader. It should be based on the person’s morals, values, and how they treat people. Cruz, time and time again, has shown that he cannot express empathy for others and deflects blame whenever possible. Instead of owning up to his mistake, he pointed to his fatherhood and daughters as an excuse for why he left Texas during a national emergency. A good leader does not leave when the going gets tough, they rally the troops and help out when they can, and from O'Rourke's and Rep. Ocasio Cortez’s example, he most heartily could have helped out the great state of Texas.
Texas will have a vital decision to make in 2022, support Cruz and his arrogance or find a new path forward. Although the traditionally red state would be challenging to flip blue, it is not impossible. President Biden outperformed Hillary Clinton by three percent and came within six points of former President Trump. Time will only tell if Texans will hold Ted Cruz politically accountable in the future, however, until then Cancun Cruz is here to stay.
Victoria Vidales '21,