Before Ted Cruz dropped out of the Republican presidential race, students in my spring course shared why they supported his candidacy. Students were given the opportunity to complete a candidate statement for extra credit where they were asked to write a 300-500 word statement about which candidate they supported and why. They were required to focus on two to three policy issues on which they agreed with the candidate on.
Out of the students who completed the extra credit, 33% supported John Kasich, 32% supported Bernie Sanders, 15% supported Donald Trump, 12% supported Ted Cruz, and 8% supported Hillary Clinton. Every few days, I will post some of their statements to this website in order to a) highlight their work and b) to provide some context on how today’s college students feel about the 2016 presidential candidates.
Here’s the schedule for the postings (in alphabetical order by candidate):
Today, we will hear from three students who personally support Ted Cruz.
Response 1, Jacob B.*
I support Ted Cruz because he has demonstrated time and time again that he will fight for the Constitution, limited government, and free market capitalism. First and foremost, Senator Cruz supports a pro growth flat tax that is projected to raise incomes exponentially, end loopholes that connect millionaires, stop massive corporations abuse, and is border-adjustable. Currently, the United States is one of the only countries that double-taxes its foreign companies when they attempt to repatriate money back into the US. It is estimated American companies have anywhere from $2 to $5 trillion dollars overseas, and Ted Cruz’s tax plan substantially reduces the repatriation tax burden. As a result, companies will repatriate their earnings back into the U.S., and the result will be cash and investment flowing into the United States. Also, Senator Cruz is a big supporter of ending the cronyism that exists in Washington, D.C. and he, like me, believes the way to end government cronyism and corruption is making the government smaller and taking control away from unelected bureaucrats in Washington.
Another issue that Ted Cruz and I agree on is marijuana. Senator Cruz has taken a wait-and-see approach with recreational legalization in Washington and Colorado and believes in leaving the legalization decision to the states and enabling “laboratories of democracy.” I wholeheartedly agree with those stances because they both utilize our federalist system and empower the states.
On immigration, Ted Cruz is a strong supporter of legal immigration and believes that legal immigration is a fundamental pillar of our nation’s heritage. On illegal immigration, Senator Cruz believes in building a wall, tripling border security, and that border security is national security. He argues that, illegal immigration costs the federal government and the American taxpayers billions each year, hurts American low-wage workers, and has strong ties with our nation’s drug epidemic. A wall may be farfetched, but they have been proven to work in other countries. Personally, I’m in favor of any policy that helps the American worker, taxpayer, and keeps the American people safe. Ted Cruz also strongly opposes amnesty, a view that I agree with him on, and believes in enforcing our laws. I also support Cruz’s proposed defunding of sanctuary cities because, as he says, they defy federal immigration laws.
On foreign policy, Senator Cruz takes a Reagan-eque approach in the sense that he believes peace can be achieved through American strength. I agree with this stance wholeheartedly. Cruz has been a sharp critic of the current administration’s strategy, citing the failures in Iran, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and the South China Sea, and has declared that America and the rest of the world are at war with ISIS. Cruz also pledges to tear up the “catastrophic” Iran Deal on day one of his presidency and says America will stand unapologetically with Israel.
Response 2, Jacob M.*
I support Ted Cruz because he supports reforming the criminal justice system. In particular, Ted Cruz wants to implement various reform policies to address specific issues. I support him on this issue because there is too much inconsistency in today’s criminal justice system, which has led to a number of issues such as overpopulation in prisons and over punishment of citizens throughout the United States. We need to get back the principals behind the creation of the criminal justice system, and I think Ted Cruz’s reform policies will help us achieve this. In Ted Cruz’s essay of reforming the system, he calls for addressing the main issues of “over criminalization, harsh mandatory minimum sentences, and the demise of jury trials” (Reduce Federal Crimes and Give Judges Flexibility, Ted Cruz, 4/27/2015). Some of Ted Cruz’s policies to address these issues require that all criminal offenses be put into one title of the Code and to pass legislation requiring courts to treat a single criminal act as one crime with one punishment, even if the act is punishable under multiple statutes. Policies like these will help eliminate the over criminalization and overpopulation in prisons, as well as make the criminal justice system more efficient and fair.
I also support Ted Cruz because he supports reforming Social Security policies in the United States. With the approaching retirement of the Baby Boomers, reform is needed to address social security payments and the generational difference in population size. There is simply not enough money to pay for the big retirement payouts that are about to occur. Ted Cruz has proposed a number of policies to reform the system that may be difficult for the younger generation in the short term but are undoubtedly necessary in the long term. Ted Cruz proposes that Social Security and Medicare payouts remain in place for retirees, while there is a gradual increase in the retirement age for younger workers, which helps ensure tax revenues. The growth in benefits will match the inflation rate, and a portion of the tax payments made by younger workers will be set aside for their own personal accounts. Even though these policies require some sacrifice for the younger generation, these policies will help ensure Social Security payments can be made and continue going forward.
Response 3, Xiaohan Y.*
I support Ted Cruz´s presidential bid because of his opposition to abortion except when it is necessary to save the life of the mother. I support Ted Cruz´s position on abortion because I likewise believe that abortion should be illegal in most cases due to my strong conviction that life begins at conception and that protecting innocent human life at all phases of its development is a legitimate function of the government. Ted Cruz has promised to appoint Supreme Court Justices who will vote to overturn its previous 7-2 decision in Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide. Like Ted Cruz I believe that Roe vs. Wade was wrongly decided. Ted Cruz and I share a strict constructionist view of the U.S. Constitution and therefore we both believe that interpreting the constitution should be based solely on what it explicitly states. Hence, we both reject the notion that the Constitution conveys implicit rights. There is no mention of abortion and also no explicit mention of the right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, the logic on which the majority decision in Roe vs. Wade was based is faulty from the viewpoint of strict constructionists such as Ted Cruz and myself. Thus Ted Cruz´s strong pro-life stance as well as his vow to appoint conservative Supreme Court Justices who will vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade constitute a significant reason underlying my support for Ted Cruz´s 2016 Presidential bid.
Second, I support Ted Cruz because of his strong support for the Second Amendment and his concomitant opposition to gun control. Specifically, he supports the right of individuals to carry concealed guns in public to protect themselves. I concur with Ted Cruz´s position on his support for gun rights in general as well as his specific support for allowing individuals to carry concealed guns in public because I believe that people should be allowed to carry concealed guns outside of their homes, and that the public-at-large will be safer when criminals know that their potential victims might be armed. These issues positions are substantiated by the empirical evidence. States that prohibit its residents from carrying concealed guns in public have violent crime rates above the national average (¨GUN FACTS¨). According to an analysis of the data during the time span of 1980-2009, the gun homicide rate was actually 10% higher than the national average in states with stringent concealed carry statutes (¨GUN FACTS¨). All of the facts underscore my support of Ted Cruz´s position on the right-to-carry concealed gun laws as a rational means of reducing violent crime.
What about you? Why (or why not) did you support Ted Cruz?
*Responses shared with written permission from the authors. Replication in any form, without permission from the author, is prohibited
- ¨GUN FACTS.¨ gunfacts.info. GUNFACTS, n.d. Web. 4 April 20