2 Feb '16     home | previous

Equality, Politics, and Ted Cruz

Following his success last night in Iowa, to his joyous audience Ted Cruz made a political pitch that included the following:

To the revolutionary understanding that all men and all women are created equal, that our rights do not come from the democratic party or the Republican party or even from the tea party. Our rights come from our creator.

He did attribute his victory to "the courageous conservatives across Iowa." And he added that "the federal government's responsibility is to defend those fundamental rights."

These, like other government actions, should be recognized as political acts – as was also the claim that "all men and all women are equal, as written into the Declaration of Independence – definitely a political act and a political document. Explaining this equality some have resorted to the supernaturalism that Ted Cruz frequently employs. (Today Raw Story tells us of his father, Pastor Rafael Cruz, saying that Ted's decision to run for president followed six months of prayer and two hours of divine inspiration.)

The equality that Jefferson wrote about applies to the realm of deeds and considerations of people that do not have to be wrapped in the gauzy magic of heavenly spirits or divine creation. It is hard politics. During thousands of years, aristocrats, often with the gods in mind, have ruled with the assumption that those they ruled were unequal in their being and in the law. That ended with a new politics that developed in recent centuries. To treat someone as less that equal is to make a political assumption that we in a modern democratic society don't wish to make.

Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.