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A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America Hardcover – June 30, 2015
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About the Author
In 2012, Ted Cruz was elected the thirty-fourth U.S. Senator from Texas. A passionate fighter for limited government, economic growth, and the Constitution, Ted won a decisive victory in both the Republican primary and the general election, despite having never before been elected to office. Before joining the Senate, he was the solicitor general of Texas. Ted and his wife, Heidi, live in his hometown of Houston, Texas, with their two young daughters, Caroline and Catherine.
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Most of the book is devoted to Cruz’s family background, early years, academic career at Princeton and Harvard Law School, and career thus far (culminating in his election as a US senator in 2012). It’s an authentic account, including triumphs, defeats, and some incidents that must have been a bit embarrassing to disclose. And while it’s true that Cruz has spent most of his life in intellectual endeavors, he does have some administrative experience under his belt – notably as solicitor general for the State of Texas.
The picture that emerges from the book is of a man who is highly intelligent, disciplined, and driven to succeed. Cruz cares about principles and will go to great lengths to uphold them. Not blessed with athletic ability (his story of playing tennis with Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Rehnquist’s other two clerks is hilarious) or a naturally outgoing personality, he has struggled at times with personal relationships.
In political terms, Cruz is a solid conservative. He has often angered other Republicans for refusing to “go along to get along.” Thus, the atmosphere at a Senate Republican lunch on February 11, 2014 turned acrimonious after Cruz objected to a proposal to forego a filibuster of a bill to raise the debt ceiling. Not only would this ensure the debt ceiling would rise without any quid pro quo, he writes, but it would permit Republican senators to vote against the increase for which they had just cleared the way.
Is it admirable to take such a stand, or simply quixotic as the Wall Street Journal and others maintained? One could argue the case either way. Clearly, the debt limit was bound to go up. Cruz is right about the hypocrisy of congressional Republicans who espouse conservative principles on the campaign trail and ignore them in DC, however, and he made his point without stooping to personal attacks.
Is Cruz too far to the right to be electable? Many might think so, but he argues otherwise – citing the success of President Ronald Reagan in winning the support of Democrats in the 1980s. “When you paint in bold colors, two big things happen: You turn out the base by the millions; and you earn more crossover votes.”
Remember how the GOP presidential candidate wrote off 47% of the population in 2012 – Mitt Romney’s unguarded comments at a fundraiser were captured in a bootlegged video and would haunt him throughout the campaign. The mistake was not in saying many low income Americans would be hard to reach, that was simply a fact, but in failing to recognize that they could potentially be reached by articulating conservative principles in a positive versus apologetic fashion. For example, minimum wage laws don‘t help people at the bottom; instead, such laws make it harder for the unemployed to find jobs and trap them in long-term dependency.
Cruz goes on to outline a positive (albeit rather general) agenda for conservatives. Some of the goals seem like a stretch, but perhaps they shouldn’t be taken too literally.
•Rollback “excessive government regulations” that kill jobs and restrict opportunities. For example, repeal Obamacare, stop the EPA from “strangling the American energy renaissance,” audit the Federal Reserve and stop its “endless quantitative easing that is debasing our currency.”
•Lower taxes and fundamentally reform the tax code to make it fairer and simpler. Using the flat tax proposal of Steve Forbes as a model, Cruz claims, “we can abolish the IRS.”
•Implement educational reforms, such as vouchers and scholarships and charter schools, so children won’t be trapped in bad schools due to “their race, ethnicity, income level, or simply because they live in the wrong zip codes.”
•Support Social Security reform and personal retirement accounts, which will allow low-income Americans to accumulate wealth on their own and pass it on to their children and grandchildren.
•Rebuild the US military, and make sure it has the right mission. “If and when military force is required, it should begin with a clearly defined objective, directly tied to our national security interests. We should use overwhelming force, and then we should get the heck out.”
Conclusion: here is a well-argued case that deserves to be taken seriously.