Another member of the (defeated) conservative intelligentsia weighs in on Ted Cruz. This time, it’s Ross Douthat, currently an op-ed columnist at the New York Times, a man who no one has ever accused of leaning left.
In a blog post Douthat makes an interesting point about the future, about which none of us knows anything, and personal integrity. Since everyone seems to be convinced that they know what the future holds for Ted Cruz—nothing good—take this opportunity to repeat a point I made yesterday. The future is uncertain. You do not know what it will bring.
Before quoting the offending passage, I will include a trigger warning for those who have turned thuggish in their adoration of Trump.
Douthat wrote yesterday:
Cruz made a version of this mistake early in the primary campaign, with his ever-so-calculated embrace of Trump. But last night he chose the better way. You don’t know what tomorrow holds — so do the right thing today. You don’t know what strategy will play well four years hence — so stand up for your own integrity, your cause’s principles and your family’s honor. The future is unwritten — but you can make sure that when the history of the present year is written, your place won’t be with those timid and temporizing souls who surrendered both their party and their dignity to Donald Trump.
That’s what Cruz earned himself last night: not a better chance at the presidency, but a profile in political courage that will be remembered no matter what happens to his political ambitions henceforth. And it’s yet another irony of this most ironic year that it would be the most overtly Machiavellian of Republican politicians who would keep his honor, and pass a test that so many politicians of more conspicuous high-mindedness have failed.