It Gets Better, Ted

Bloggified by Jake on Friday, March 25, 2016

Schadenfreude is a powerful drug.

Much as one may want to be a good person and bring a positive attitude to the world, it's hard not to pump your fist and laugh when something terrible happens to a truly horrible human being. I have been floating all day since seeing my first #CruzSexScandal tweet. Cruz has since denied the rumor and there seem to be plenty of reasons to doubt it, starting with "what human female would willingly have sex with Ted Cruz for free?"

But while I love seeing a sanctimonious Christian right winger get his face rubbed in hypocrisy as much as anyone else, I can't help but feel that pang of "good guys aren't supposed to kick someone who's down, even if he is a certifiable monster."

Instead, I think it's time we stop worry about tax rates and foreign policy and transgender public restroom rights and focus on the very obvious fact that Ted Cruz is a severely psychologically-scarred human being motivated by a need to be loved and accepted.

Ted Cruz is an Unloved Child

In college, I dated a girl whose parents brought her to the United States as a small child from the Soviet Union. They left family and spent all the money they had so she could have a better life. And she was reminded of that regularly. She didn't get a lot of hugs and kisses growing up. Were you to suggest they show some affection to help their daughter's emotional development, they'd likely point out they'd given up everything for her so how could anyone question their love for their only child?

Ted Cruz's father gives a similar vibe with a religious zealotry added to the mix of being a refugee who fled Castro's Cuba. You can see the desperate need for approval from a father who would much rather preach than spend time with his own flesh and blood. That's driven Cruz to the success he's had, pushing his father's religiously-motivated hate and discrimination into public policy.

Last year, Cruz's campaign put out 15 minutes of raw video of him with his family for SuperPACs to use in "independent" advertisements on his behalf. Watching it, you realize he's as smug and over-rehearsed in real life as he is on the stump, but mostly, you realize even his own family doesn't like him and is creeped out to the point that they need coaching on how to hug him.

Correspondents on the campaign trail have talked about how Cruz is painfully devoted to his shrewish wife, a Goldman Sachs executive who clearly married him for status and not for love. While that devotion may take on a new light if the sex scandal rumors are true and that he was cheating on her while she was suffering depression and contemplating suicide, it speaks to the emptiness of his relationship and his desperation to earn the love of someone who has no interest in him emotionally.

And let's not forget that his children--who say in that video that they consider him a guest when he comes home--don't want to interact with him.

Ted Cruz is a Socially Awkward Teen

Making people laugh is a good way to get them to like you. But how do you learn to be funny? From the time we are babies, we observe what makes others laugh. Children will mimic things that made their parents or others laugh in an effort to get the residual humor.
Over time, they learn not just what is funny, but why it's funny. Using successful jokes and scenes as a template, they're able to develop their own personal sense of humor.

Or not.
What was the point of this? He wasn't leading up to some metaphor like "What this reminds me of is that eight years of Obama's administration has left us only mostly dead." His hurried performance makes clear he knows his audience is familiar with the film. Try watching it again but pretend you've never seen Princess Bride.

The point is again that Cruz wants to be liked. He wants to make people laugh and be win that "candidate I'd most like to have a beer with" support. Yet everything he does results in the opposite reaction. I'm sure it's frustrating to a Harvard-educated lawyer who's argued before the Supreme Court not to understand why Carrot Top gets laugh and he doesn't.

On that note, how disgusting are those sycophants laughing at him? He gets some polite laughter, the way you would for a child or a mentally disabled person if they were rattling off dialogue from Star Wars with emotionless, rapid-fire delivery. But there are a few guffaws that feel dirty. There is no reason to laugh at this. If you've seen the movie, this would at best make you think about it and how awkward it is that a man who want to be the most powerful man in the free world is trying to impress you with the fact he memorized parts of it; and if you haven't seen it, none of this would make sense.

Ted Cruz is the Kid the Teacher Forces You to Play with at Recess

As the aforementioned sycophantic laughter illustrates, Cruz can see that people suck up to power. His starvation for love drives him to be an important and powerful person. He worked hard to make himself the personification of congressional obstruction by marketing himself as the face of the government shutdown and the Tea Party. He has set the uncompromising tone that has driven the GOP for the past eight years, and that's made him one of the top two contenders for his party's presidential nomination.

Yet no one likes him.
Lindsey Graham endorsing him while saying he's the third worst of the 17 Republicans who threw their hats in to the presidential ring, and that John Kasich would be a better president, may be the epitome of the feelings toward Cruz by his fellow Republicans.
While they will fall in line because of his political maneuvering, no one wants to be Ted's friend. When people do listen, he boasts of all the things he's done and then comes up with crazy ideas of things he'd like to do. Like the kid in elementary school who insisted his dad was friends with John Elway, claimed he could do a 1080 flip, and swore he had a girlfriend who goes to another school, Cruz vows he'll carpet bomb the Middle East, create special police patrols for Muslim neighborhoods in America, abolish the IRS, and repeal Obamacare. No one believes him any more than they do the kid who maintained Elway was going to come talk to the class after the season was over, but he keeps at it in a pathetic grab for respect and attention.

So while Ted Cruz is undeniably a horrible, homophobic, Christofacist monster fueled by hate and awkwardness, who among us can say we wouldn't be if our own family members didn't love us and our only friends were people who felt obligated to pay us any attention, and that every well-calculated effort we made to endear ourselves to people served only to push them further away?

Someone, please give Ted Cruz a genuine hug and tell him everything is going to be okay. Maybe then he'll finally go away.