As you no doubt have heard, the craziest crayon in the Republican toolbox, Ted Cruz has just told the waiting world that he will run for President in 2016.
Are you breathless ?
Mr. Cruz chose to make this announcement from the podium of Liberty University, in Lynchburg, VA.
A bastion of Christian fundamentalism so extreme as to tinge its very name with irony, this nominal “university” was only minted in 1971; and, at that, by the Rev. Jerry Falwell (remember him?), who himself graduated in 1956 from the then unaccredited Baptist Bible College in Springfield MO.
What has largely escaped the immediate attention of U.S. media, but, alas, not that of the world, is the fact that Cruz’s chosen launch venue adheres to a Christian conservative model known as “young earth creationism,” under which it teaches its students that the world is only 6,000 years old.
Liberty University has even dedicated a special place, “Creation Hall,” to the teaching of this off-the-wall theory.
On a visit to Liberty University last year The Telegraph saw displays showing Noah’s ark as a scale model next to a Boeing 747 and the US space shuttle, explaining in detail how all the animals had fitted in.
Personally, I can’t think of a better perch from which to reach out to the flat-earth fringe that represents Cruz’s natural constituency.
In case you didn’t get the memo, Cruz is being styled a far-right Barack Obama, and the appearance at Liberty was intended to fire-up that mind-numbingly conservative student body so that it might represent the groundswell of youth that would presumably carry Cruz to the White House.
Of course the 10,000 plus young people in attendance for Cruz’s announcement were there because they were required to be by the University, and apparently there was considerable grumbling about that.
It is worthy of note that, despite the fact that Cruz was the son of a conservative minister, when it came to his own education, even he had the good sense to pick Harvard over Liberty.
Cruz, of course has that in common with Obama, as well as an international ethnic heritage that had him born in Canada to a Cuban father and U.S. mother. No doubt the constitutional basis for his qualification to run will give Donald Trump a reason for some apoplectic camera time, and may even be toyed with by other Republican rivals; but that will be amusement for another time.
Returning to the stupefying position that the world is only 6,000 years old, the obvious question is: how can anyone believe that, given all the scientific evidence to the contrary?
Well, the answer is that it is simply an article of faith, like Catholics’ belief in a “Holy Trinity.”
Defenders of the doctrine will tell you that the huge body of scientific evidence disproving it is just a trick sent by God, to test the faith of true believers.
By the same rights, climate change, endangered species, limited resources, crippling poverty can all be rationalized away as mere illusions designed to test the faithful.
(Heck; maybe that’s where Holocaust deniers get their mojo.)
…And that is why Ted Cruz could be the PERFECT Republican candidate. Never was a man better equipped to traverse the thinly supported scaffold of relativism that Republicans have constructed for their assault on the White House.
Ever since an uppity black man had the temerity to claim that hallowed address…twice,… the Republican base has sailed in a parallel universe, where ‘up’ has been ‘down’ and ‘down’ has been ‘up.’
Even the most unassailable statistics supporting positive outcomes from the Obama presidency are routinely dismissed by Republicans as simply untrue. How can you argue with that?
When rational accountability has been removed from the conversation you can make an argument for almost any outlandish view if you take the position that the evidence against it is nothing more than a test of faith.
‘Sounds ideal for defending Republican ideology, which has strayed into especially deep denial waters when it comes to things like climate change, and Liberty University is the perfect Neverland from which to make that stand.