Ted Cruz and Barack Obama.
Photos courtesy of nbcnews.com
We will start with the President. Obama was born in Hawaii (or Kenya if you believe the birther conspiracy theories) to a Caucasian mother who was an American citizen. His father was a Kenyan citizen in the United States for an education scholarship. His parents divorced when he was a young boy. He graduated with a BA in Political Science from Columbia University and a JD from Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, he was president of the Harvard Law Review. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School. His political career started as a State Senator in Illinois before winning a seat as a US Senator. He served in the US Senate from 2005 until he won his election for US President.
Next the (as of yesterday) Presidential candidate. Cruz was born in Canada (Calgary, Alberta to be specific) to a Caucasian mother who was an American citizen. His father was a Cuban citizen who left Cuba by bribing a Batista official, entered the US with a student visa, later on political asylum, eventually getting a green card. His parents divorced when he was in college. He graduated with a BA in Public Policy from Princeton University and a JD from Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, he was primary editor of the Harvard Law Review. He worked as a private attorney, associate deputy attorney general for the DOJ, Solicitor General for Texas, then returned to private practice. His political career started by representing the NRA and involvement in the Clinton impeachment proceedings. He has been serving in the US Senate since 2013.
So many similarities. Both men are of racially mixed decent. Neither of their fathers were American citizens. Both men earned bachelor's degrees from prestigious schools and both graduated magna cum laude from Harvard. Both of them were editors at the Harvard Law Review. Both worked as attorneys. Neither come from swing states - Obama from the traditionally liberal Illinois and Cruz from the traditionally conservative Texas. Both men served in the US Senate and both were only senators for a short duration before announcing their Presidential candidacy.
Of course, the similarities stop there. Obama's dad returned to Kenya and Cruz's dad eventually become a citizen - 48 years after leaving Cuba. Obama was not only editor but also the President of the Harvard Law Review, Cruz founded Harvard Latino Law Review. 768 days passed from day Obama was sworn in for the US Senate to the day he announced he was running for president. Cruz waited 41 days longer - a month and two weeks. Obama is a Democrat and Cruz is a Republican. Obama was once described as the most liberal candidate to ever run for President. Many sources are calling Cruz the most conservative candidate to ever run for President. When it comes to issues, there is very little on which these two men agree.
Allow me to repeat, I am not campaigning in favor of or opposition to either of these men. I don't care if you approve or disapprove of the job Obama has done as President. It doesn't matter to me if you think he is the best or the worst ever President. The same is true of Cruz. As far as I am concerned (for the purpose of this post) it is irrelevant whether or not he could be a good President.
This is a post about those who do not live by what they say. This is about individuals who hold a certain set of standards for one group of people that they do not hold for another group of people.
This is about people who thought Obama was un-American because of his campaign rhetoric about how America lost it's greatness and he wanted to make it great again, but have no objections to Cruz using the same rhetoric.
This is about people who were afraid of Obama's ethnicity but are not concerned with Cruz's ethnicity.
This is about people who called Obama an elitist for his education at Columbia University and Harvard Law, but do not think that Cruz is an elitist from his education at Princeton and Harvard Law.
This is about people who believed that Obama was born in Kenya and that meant he wasn't a natural born citizen, but have no problems with Cruz's Canadian birth and his maintaining dual citizenship until last summer.
This is about people who alleged that Obama was ineligible for office because of his Kenyan father but do not think that a Cuban father makes Cruz ineligible.
This is about people who claimed that Obama was too inexperienced to be President because he had only served as Senator for two years, but find Cruz to be perfectly experienced despite serving as Senator for only two years.
This is about people who criticized Obama's lack of military service but have no criticism for Cruz who has not served in the military either.
This is about people who did not like Obama because he was a lawyer, but embrace the lawyer Cruz.
There are words for people like this. Cognitive dissonance. Intellectual dishonesty. Double standards.
Another word? What is it called when you verbalize contradictory beliefs? What is it called when you say it's OK for one person to engage in certain behaviors but not OK for another to follow those same behaviors?
Don't be a hypocrite. If you do not approve of Obama - that is fine. It is also acceptable if you support Cruz. There are many valid reasons to support your preference for one over the other. However, there are many similarities between the two candidates. If you are going to criticize Barack Obama for his heritage, or place of birth, or his family background, or his choice in colleges, or his lack of military record, or his minimal tenure in a legislative position, then you better criticize Ted Cruz for the exact same issues. If that is all you have to work with, both candidates are identical.
If you believe that Obama is a foreign born, inexperienced, and un-American elitist yet think that Cruz is a natural born, down to earth, and accomplished patriot, there is only one word that can possibly be used to describe you.