This man cannot be our president. And I don’t mean Trump.

During the 90’s I was a nice little Junior Republican Teenager. I listened to obnoxious talk radio. I could debate on all the talking points. I knew all the answers. Yes, I used the word “feminazi” unironically. I was that much of a recto-cranial inversion.

I bring this up because recently my mind has been drawn to a certain talking point I saw the need to memorize. I would quote it from the day Bill Clinton took office through the election in 2000. Whenever anyone brought up the current president I would pull this little gem out and slap it on the table:

Oh you’d better hope Clinton doesn’t die in office. If he goes away then Gore takes over. Clinton may be a joke but Gore is deadly serious!

Boy wasn’t I smart?

At any rate, this comes to mind because we’re presented with a similar situation in the Republican caucuses this year. There are two candidates out there who are truly horrifying choices for Americans to be considering, and it seems that all the horror is focused on one of them. Everyone’s talking about a Trump presidency. And yes, that’s terrifying. However, who is talking about the other threat?

Who is talking about the candidate who brought in Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty to introduce him at his rally in Iowa? Remember Phil? Yeah he’s the bushy-bearded patriarch of the television family who sometime back was unreasonably persecuted called on the carpet and made to answer for just speaking his mind dehumanizing homosexuals and claiming that African-Americans were perfectly happy under slavery and Jim Crow laws. He was said by this candidate to speak things that you’re “not supposed to say … with a joy in who we are.” That’s right. He says these things with joy (that makes it better, you see). Who is talking about the candidate that went on to suggest to a crowd in South Carolina that Phil Robertson would make a great UN ambassador? Phil Robertson. Representing us. To the UN. I can only hope he was joking…

Oh hey, while we’re on the subject of buddies and associations who Presidential candidates should be ashamed of, let’s talk about the “Kill the Gays” pastor. You thought Phil Robertson was a fruit basket of wonder? How about Kevin Swanson? Here’s a man who has openly called for a death penalty for homosexuality. This candidate went to a conference hosted by Swanson and both he and his Father SPOKE at it. I’ve linked to info below. Check it out. Go ahead and mention that little nugget next time someone talks about Trump being endorsed by the KKK leader.

Who is talking about the candidate who would like to fill a seat on the United States Supreme Court by appointing Judge Edith Jones to a vacancy? This is a woman who has repeatedly ruled against measures to stop sexual harassment and abuse, including at least one case involving a minor. Judge Edith Jones, if given the power of a Supreme Court Justice would be able to take women’s causes and efforts back in time at least 30 years. And this candidate wants to give her that power, saying that she’s a “rock ribbed conservative” who he’d love to see on the supreme court. Rock ribbed indeed. I can only hope he’s joking…

Who’s talking about the candidate who has formed a “Religious Liberty Advisory Council” to protect the religious liberties of all Americans of every religion maintain the grotesque Christian privilege the Church has enjoyed here since the formation of the US? No, really. It’s a council comprised completely of Christians who are supposed to advise him on issues of religious freedom (because you know, Christians have had a stellar record the last few decades when it comes to respecting freedoms.) Make no mistake; this council has one purpose: maintain the American Church’s right to bully the people around them. This council will not address the mistreatment of Muslims across the country. They will certainly not discuss the extreme over-representation of Christianity in our culture at the expense of other religions. They’ll be too busy making sure we Christians get to yell at retail workers for saying “Happy Holidays!”. Perhaps they could protect shop owners from the consequences of doxxing a gay couple to a community that goes on to make death threats. Oh, and probably coming up with ways to fine or fire teachers for giving the next generation proper sex education. You know, the important religious issues of our time.

Further, is nobody talking about one Paige Patterson being appointed to this council? If there is any indication of how this council will approach problems, it’s Patterson’s approach to situations of domestic abuse. Here, let this quote keep you from sleeping tonight (TRIGGER WARNING: Domestic abuse!):

I had a woman who was in a church that I served, and she was being subject to some abuse, and I told her, I said, “All right, what I want you to do is, every evening I want you to get down by your bed just as he goes to sleep, get down by the bed, and when you think he’s just about asleep, you just pray and ask God to intervene, not out loud, quietly,” but I said, “You just pray there.” And I said, “Get ready because he may get a little more violent, you know, when he discovers this.” And sure enough, he did. She came to church one morning with both eyes black. And she was angry at me and at God and the world, for that matter. And she said, “I hope you’re happy.” And I said, “Yes ma’am, I am.” And I said, “I’m sorry about that, but I’m very happy.”

This person shouldn’t be anywhere near public office, folks, let alone advising a presidential candidate. I can only hope this is a joke…

Are you noticing my theme here? These are all things that I wish I could dismiss as easily as I would a Trumpism. The trouble is, I can’t. We can’t. We as a nation cannot afford to joke about these matters because for every Ted Cruz out there, there are thousands (if not millions) of people lining up to vote for him. Yes, a Trump presidency is scary, but it’s a drunk driver, “random danger” kind of scary. A Cruz presidency is a whole different sort of horror, calculated and intentional. It’s a “Say his name three times and he’ll appear behind you” sort of fear. While I’m sick to my stomach over the idea of a Trump administration, I’m chilled to the bone over the Cruz alternative.

This man is a dominionist, and therefore should not be given executive power. I cannot imagine how Christ must weep at the American Church’s addiction to being the world’s moral police.

People are beginning to talk about Cruz’ response to the bombing in Belgium, at least. That’s encouraging (that people are talking about it, not the response itself). Cruz is jumping aboard the Trump-train and suggesting that we should have patrols of predominantly Muslim neighborhoods. This sort of discrimination doesn’t belong in a peaceful, democratic society. This is no more palatable than Trump’s threats to use nuclear weapons against ISIS.

No, Cruz cannot be our president. I have too much faith in us, in decent Christians, and in The People. The United States are too good for that.

(And before anyone mentions it, I’m not really going to talk about the sex scandal except to say that I’m not going to talk about it. To be honest, the rest of this all is indication enough about Cruz’ commitment to unbridled Christian privilege. Whether or not he’s also a hypocrite on top of this is inconsequential to me. I’m finding that disgusting moral failure is just par for the course when you’re discussing absurdly conservative religious figures.)

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