Sen. Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz, (R-Texas) will not go away. Unlike a House Republican who only has a two-year term and has to constantly rerun for office, the good Senator Mr. Cruz, who was one of the primary architects of the recent government shutdown and the attempt to irreversibly damage the ‘full faith and credit’ of the U.S. government, was elected to a six-year term in November 2012. He can bedevil President Barack Obama and the rest of us for quite a spell before having to submit himself for re-election.
And the word is, he’s planning on trying for a big promotion, having convinced himself he is doing a bang-up job and that he deserves it. According to the rumor mill and his own discreet actions, Sen. Cruz is planning a run for the presidency of the United States.
We shouldn’t be worried, however. Notwithstanding his own delusions of grandeur, he is at best a primary spoiler of a candidate. He will get some votes during the long Republican primary season, but will not wear well on the national stage. America clearly has its fair share of extremists and wild radical political figures, but it is not an extremist country. Fact is, from its inception, this nation has always had a significant minority of political zealots through each of its historical periods, and the present-day is no exception.
But although we have certainly had a number of poor leaders and policy makers, the really extremist ones rarely, if ever, have ascended to the top. I say that knowing there are many who would challenge that statement with a nod to former President Richard Nixon, who was a very strange bird indeed.
But Sen. Cruz will not become president and thereby make the lives of Black folk in this country more unbearable than they already are for far too many of us. Why? The simple fact is that he is not technically qualified to be the president of the USA.
Article II, section I of the U.S. Constitution says, “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of 35 years, and been 14 years a resident within the United States.”
While clearly, Sen. Cruz qualifies based on residency, he was not born in the USA, but instead in Calgary, Alberta Province, Canada. That means he is disqualified based on where he was born. This is indeed ironic, given the pedantic, consistent bleat of the “birthers” about President Obama’s birthplace, a position Sen. Cruz endorsed for a time. The Republicans do not have nearly the votes needed in Congress to get an amendment to the U.S. Constitution passed to allow Mr. Cruz to be eligible to be president. Cruz’ father was born in Cuba, and became a citizen of the USA in 2005.
Just as a side note, there are 26 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, 10 of which came at the same time in 1791. Although there have been thousands of attempts since then to amend the Constitution, only 16 more amendments have ever gotten through, and there were several very deserving ones too, like the Equal Rights amendment, which went down in flames. It is a political certainty that there will not be a successful constitutional amendment anytime in the future to allow Sen. Cruz to run for the presidency.
Mr. Cruz, then, will not be president of the USA. That is a quixotic, delusional quest which will remain unfulfilled. He may, however, stay around the Senate long enough to be a perpetual nuisance, even a political menace, but the Oval Office will not have him as an occupant. Thank God for small favors.
Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the stepparent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Friday.
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