This is example #347,319 why you should hitch your wagons to ideas and not people.
As a Constitutional libertarian I am innately distrustful of politics and politicians. Even the best politicians are barely tolerable. The trap far too many people fall into these days is latching their political identity to a person and not a set of ideas and ideals. This means when that person does or says something you would otherwise disagree with, you are bound to find some way to justify it—or explain it away.
In the 2016 Republican Presidential primary, I was a strong supporter of Ted Cruz (pictured, left). Rand Paul was a close second. It was really quite simple. Of the 17 candidates, Cruz’s views on government and policy most closely mirrored my own. But even with my support, I never got enamored with Cruz-The Man. My vote for Cruz was a vote for his view of Constitutionally-limited government. That’s why I found his comments about a Twitter War on Friday so stunning.
Earlier in the day, Disney fired writer/director James Gunn from “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” over old tweets where he joked about pedophilia and rape. Evidently, someone went digging through his timeline and found some pretty disgusting stuff. I won’t share them, but suffice to say they were HIGHLY inappropriate. In a statement, Disney said:
“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him”
Disney is a private company and is 100% within their rights to hire and fire people based on their net impact on the company’s bottom line. Just as their parent company was 100% within their rights to fire Rosanne Barr last month for a controversial Tweet. I don’t like the “Instant Outrage” society that we have created…but a business has to be sensitive to their bottom line. If they feel keeping someone in their employ will cost them more than it earns them, they must have the right to let the person go.
But government intervention into such matters is an entirely different affair. That’s why I was shocked and dismayed that Sen. Cruz sent out the following Tweet Friday afternoon.
Wow. These #JamesGunn tweets are just horrible. Child rape is no laughing matter. As Texas SG, I handled far too many child sexual assaults. Truly evil. I’m glad Disney fired him, but if these tweets are true, he needs to be prosecuted.
Um…prosecuted for what, Senator? What crime was committed here? That’s right. Not a one. Abhorrent speech is still protected speech. You should know better. As a matter of fact, I think you DO know better. I think this Tweet is simply red meat for your base during this election campaign season. That is sad. You could have maintained your Constitutional bonafides without alienating potential voters. But no…this might win a couple of votes while not impacting the libertarians who will vote for you anyway. A smart political strategy, I suppose—but it diminishes you in my eyes.
Of course, that’s the way the game is played. That is why I utterly *despise* the game.
Now here is the cool thing. Because I feel absolutely ZERO compulsion to defend Ted Cruz-The Man; I am not forced to twist words, invoke mental gymnastics or otherwise compromise my beliefs by trying to defend what he said. What he said is 100% wrong. I can say that and still think that his overall political views fall mostly in-line with mine.
Think about this the next time a politician you’ve supported says or does something that you disagree with. If you are married to ideas and ideals, you can freely criticize them while maintaining your integrity. But if you feel a compulsion to defend them, thinking that an honest critique of them is akin to providing aid and succor to the enemy—then I’ve got bad news for you. You are involved in a Cult of Personality, and that does NO ONE any good. Well, other than the object of your worship.