Last week I wrote about the person challenging sitting Texas US Senator Ted Cruz, Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, of El Paso. Rep. O’Rourke drew my ire with his statement regarding the NFL player kneeling issue. It was his comparison of these overpaid millionaires to Rosa Parks, and the black Civil Rights movement that angered me. When Rep. O’Rourke takes the tired old position that the actions of these players are justified because of police shootings of black men, well, he is duly uniformed. There are several other very important policy positions for which I oppose Rep. O’Rourke, however, this has become a hotly contested senate race here in the Lone Star State. Or has it?
As reported at RedState:
“A new Emerson College poll of registered voters shows the gap between Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and his Democratic challenger, Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, has continued to diminish to just a single percentage point. Cruz has 38 percent to O’Rourke’s 37 percent, while 21 percent of registered Texans remain undecided. The good news for Cruz is Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is polling well ahead of Democrat Lupe Valdez with 48 percent to her 28 percent. Ticket splitting on election day isn’t common enough that Cruz couldn’t expect to get some benefit from Abbott on Election Day. However, Ted Cruz continues to suffer in perceived favorability compared to Abbott, with independents being the key factor viewing him unfavorably at a whopping 57 percent while Abbott is only at 41 percent unfavorable with the same group. The governor also holds an overall 47 percent favorable to 33 percent unfavorable, while Cruz is underwater by 6 percent with 38 percent favorable to 44 percent unfavorable.”
Is it time for panic, and a five alarm fire alarm? No, I don’t think so. What this poll clearly shows is that there is a popularity issue for Senator Ted Cruz. Yes, you can travel all over Dallas, and see these “Beto” yard signs, and bumper stickers, but how many folks actually know anything about this “Beto Bailey” character? The liberal progressive media in these parts has done a fantastic job of keeping O’Rourke under the radar screen, and presenting him in the most favorable light . . . sound familiar? Yep, it was the exact same thing done for one Barack Obama going back to 2004. Always remember, it was an unknown state senator, running for US Senate in Illinois, who delivered the keynote speech at the Democrat National Convention in 2004. No, John Kerry did not defeat George W. Bush, but the skinny unknown fella who gained noted popularity, and won a United States Senate seat, was the one who stepped into the White House after Bush 43.
I see this strategy playing out again, but the tough thing is that the progressive socialist left is trying it in Texas. Yes, they are capitalizing on a lack of favorability, popularity, for Sen. Cruz. Yes, Sen. Cruz did “screw the pooch” with his speech at the Republican National convention in 2016. Many have not forgiven him for that.
Yes, I will be voting for Senator Cruz. However, if I could give him any advice, it would be to improve his image. There is no debating the fact that Ted Cruz, educated at Princeton and Harvard Law School, is a highly astute, and incredibly intellectual individual. However, as the ol’ folks would say, all that “book learning” does not always help a fella out. Let me give you an example, when running for president, Senator Cruz created a video showing him firing off rounds from an AR-15. The weird thing was that he had bacon wrapped around the barrel. Of course the heat off the barrel cooked the bacon, which Senator Cruz ate off the barrel, and stated, “machine gun bacon . . . yummy.” Well, I am a twenty-two year combat veteran of the US Army, and a Board Member of the NRA . . . I ain’t eating no bacon off the barrel of my AR-15s. Then there was Senator Cruz going out and duck hunting with the Duck Dynasty fellas, and his facial camouflage just looked rather strange. My advice to Senator Cruz is to just be himself, genuine, and not try to do things at odds with his personality — kinda like Michael Dukakis riding shotgun on an M1 Abrams main battle tank. Just so y’all know, I have never played chess, so I am not about to do a video of me playing that game.
In any election there are two phases: image and message. Senator Cruz is highly capable of delivering a principled message that highlights fundamental Texas values. Rep. O’Rourke cannot. As a matter of fact, his voting record as a member of the US House of Representatives tells that story — but the left always runs on image and identity politics. That is why this Irish fella is running around featuring a nickname of “Beto.” O’Rourke stands for open borders, abolishing ICE, and a socialist economic model — what about those positions has anything to do with Texas? Not a doggone thing, unless you are a “useful idiot” of the progressive socialist left — and the bumper stickers and yard signs are identifying many of them here in Texas.
The real issue, and concern, here in Texas is that there are too many moving into the Lone Star State that do not understand Texas history, tradition, and values. And that is combined with an atmosphere on college campuses, and universities, that advocates marxism, progressivism, socialism, statism, and communism — none of which are congruent with Texas values. Yes, the left does have their sights set on Texas, and this senate race is what they believe provides them an opportunity — they thought the same with Wendy Davis, who ran for Governor four years ago. She thought murdering unborn babies was a cool thing.
And so it goes: the left has overplayed their hand — again — in Texas, and nominated a far left progressive socialist, former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, for governor. Ms. Valdez checks the left’s identity politics blocks, hispanic, female, and lesbian. Who cares? What does matter is that we have a former law enforcement officer who didn’t enforce the law. She supports sanctuary status. That dog don’t hunt in Texas. But she is hoping that enough leftists have moved to Texas from California, and elsewhere, fleeing their failed policies, to only be like locusts, and bring them to Texas. As the same poll showed, sitting Governor Greg Abbott is opening up a can of whoop ass on her with a 20 point lead, about the same margin that gave him a victory four years ago.
Will Rep. O’Rourke defeat Senator Cruz? Nah, but it will be tight, however. Enough of those voting for Governor Abbott will support Cruz.
There are two lessons to be learned here: first, you can be a very strong and staunch constitutional conservative, but do so with resolve and a smile. Secondly, as my second book, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death evidences, we must do a better job of articulating what makes Texas, Texas. We must, in a forthright manner, convey why the Lone Star State shall never be a part of any fundamental transformation. One would have to be considered mentally unstable to support anyone seeking to alter the path of economic success and growth that defines Texas. The real challenge for Texas will be to educate all these newcomers about the “Texas Way.” It is, indeed, superior to the California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey way. If you look around, the left is truly targeting Red States for conversion — Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Virginia have been turned. Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas are on the list, and just like Islamic jihadists who use the doctrine of Al Hijra, leftists are migrating to successful states and, yes, like locusts, are destroying them from within . . . just as Islamic jihadists have done to Europe.
“Honor the Texas flag, I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one State under God, one and Indivisible” says the Texas Pledge. It’s time to ensure folks know it.
During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
He is a Fox News Contributor, Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom. His forthcoming book, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, is due fall 2018 from Brown Books Publishing Group.