Posted Sep 26, 2016 by Michael L. Brown

Before last week, there was one main reason Ted Cruz did not endorse Donald Trump after previously pledging to support the Republican nominee.

It was not because he didn’t think Trump would make a good president or because he didn’t like Trump’s chances against Hillary. Those were not the issues.

No, Sen. Cruz had made a commitment to support the Republican nominee whoever that nominee would be, and so, even if he didn’t like the outcome of the primaries, he was morally obligated to keep his word – unless, of course, he had a morally justifiable reason not to.

That was the very argument Cruz had previously made, namely, that when Donald Trump went after his family, specifically his wife and his father, Trump thereby rendered Cruz’s commitment null and void.

What about the biblical principle, surely known to Cruz, that a righteous man swears to his own hurt yet keeps his word (see Psalm 15:4)?

Some would argue that there are no limits to that principle, based also on biblical precedents (see, for example, Joshua 9).

Others would argue that, of course, there are limits to the principle of keeping your oath no matter what.

After all, what if Candidate X won the nomination as a pro-life candidate only to announce that he had now changed his position and advocated forced sterilization of all black and Hispanic Americans? Would those who previously pledged to support Candidate X be morally obligated to keep that pledge? Certainly not.

For Cruz, Trump had crossed a line, thereby removing Cruz’s obligation to keep his word.

Not surprisingly, after Cruz endorsed Trump, Dana Loesch asked, “If you can’t defend your wife how can you defend the country?”

And Comfortably Smug tweeted: “Ted Cruz: I guess endorsing Trump is my only shot at becoming president. Ted Cruz's Dad: If you ever get a shot at the president, you take it.”

Why, then, did Cruz change his position now?

Did the Texas senator put aside his pride, overlook personal offense, and make a courageous stand for the common good? Did he sell his soul on the altar of political expediency, betraying the very principles on which he had built his reputation? Or did he simply make a pragmatic political calculation in the midst of a tight Senate race and with a cloudy political future?

I asked my Twitter followers the question, “How do you feel about Sen. Cruz's endorsement of Trump?”

Forty percent believed that, “He did the right thing.”

Thirty-three percent agreed that, “He sold out.”

Twenty-seven percent felt that, “It was a calculated risk.”

So, opinions were clearly divided.

But for prominent Never Trumpers, Cruz’s endorsement of Trump was an act of cowardice and betrayal, not to mention a total disappointment.

As Dustin Stockton documented on, reactions from Cruz supporters (and/or Never Trumpers), including Glenn Beck, Erick Erickson, Steve Deace, and Ben Shapiro, ranged from profound sadness to genuine anger to apocalyptic grief. (See here for Beck’s head-on interview with Cruz, after which Beck expressed his real regret for putting Cruz on a pedestal as if he was not like other politicians.)

As for Cruz’s argument that this is a binary election between Trump and Hillary and that by endorsing Trump he was voting against Hillary, the obvious question is: Who didn’t know this several months ago? Who didn’t know this at the time of the Republican National Convention? Why change your tune now?

Was it due to pressure from Cruz’s donors? Was it because his “vote your conscience” line at the convention hurt him more than helped him?

It could well be that Cruz did not expect such a negative response to his “vote your conscience” line, although many applauded him for showing backbone and integrity.

It could well be that Cruz was under intense pressure from supporters to help his party win the nomination.

It could well be that he was simply making pragmatic political calculations.

It could well be that there were various factors at work, including the fact that Trump seemed to be stepping higher and espousing some important conservative principles.

But there is one word which, for me, tips the scales in favor of Cruz endorsing Trump, and that word is forgiveness. As Cruz said to a crowd of supporters, “My faith teaches me to forgive, with or without an apology,” and therefore he and his family would hold a grudge against Trump.

And, he explained, “Both Heidi and my dad — they are strong, independent people.”

Since the only legitimate reason that Cruz could previously offer for reneging his commitment promise was Trump’s attacking his family, with that now obstacle removed (presumably with the blessing of his wife and father), he was morally bound to support him.

And the fact that Trump recently expressed regret for some things he had said, especially those which caused personal pain, the door was opened wide for Cruz and his family to forgive and move on.

Whether candidates should be expected to support the nominee is another question, as is the ultimate reason for Cruz’s belated decision.

But from the viewpoint of Christian integrity, of which forgiveness and reconciliation are important tenets, a good argument can be made that Ted Cruz did an admirable thing.

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ttrb3g2 posted a comment · Oct 01, 2016
Actually not, as he was doing what he had to do to keep a right standing with-in the Republican party. I personally don't think that Senator Cruz has the maturity to handle the office of POTUS at this time in history. He has tried some questionable things, even how he dressed, and walked, to make an impression. And his whining demeanor just about cuts it with me. Do I hate people, no, but I hate what they do. Senator Cruz knows better so he shouldn't have to dress and act and whine like the world.