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“Into the valley of death rode the six hundred.” These words from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s classic poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” embody the idea of pressing on in the face of an unwinnable battle.
While his struggle may not be an issue of life or limb, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz knows a thing or two about this situation.
On the evening of Sept. 24, Cruz took to the floor of the Senate to speak, without sitting down, until the next afternoon (more than 21 hours in all), about repealing or delaying the new Affordable Care Act before the new congressional budget is passed.
He told stories about his father’s journey from Cuba to America, and read Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham to his daughters over live video feed from the Senate floor.
His speech wasn’t officially a filibuster, but it was one piece of the puzzle that caused the government to shut down Oct. 1.
Cruz is no newcomer to being the underdog. His election as a Texas senator came after a grass-roots effort allowed him to upset Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the Republican senatorial primary.
Now, he has taken it upon himself to lead the charge against Obamacare and is facing a mountain of opposition from both sides of the aisle.
Republican Sen. John McCain has been one of the most vocal critics of Cruz, going so far as to tell The Washington Times Times that the plan of opposition “impossible.”
He also told CNN that “In the United States Senate, we will not repeal, or defund, Obamacare. We will not. And to think we can is not rational.”
In light of comments such as this, the question arises: Is Cruz’s effort worth the struggle, especially with such hostility coming from within his own party?
The answer can be nothing less than a resounding yes. The stand Cruz has taken is long overdue from conservatives, as the Republican Party has been the pushover party for too long.
If the GOP is to have any chance of reaching this (or the next) generation of voters, members have to stand up and declare that they are more than just the “party of no” as they have been so often referred to, and that they do have a purpose to their stances and a vision for the country.
The Republican Party needs more men and women to do as Senator Cruz has done: to voice their conservative views proudly instead of trying to downplay them in favor of greater appeal.
Cruz’s acts of conservative conviction must be the blueprint for the GOP if it is to move into the future and continue to impact the nation.