Winston Churchill on Senator Cruz’s endorsement of Donald Trump

Senator Cruz has announced that he will vote for the man who had, as the New York Times‘ Matt Flegenheimer noted,

…questioned Mr. Cruz’s eligibility for the presidency, citing his birth in Canada; seemed to disparage the appearance of Mr. Cruz’s wife, Heidi, in a Twitter post; and insinuated that Mr. Cruz’s father, Rafael, was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Then there was the Trump-branded nickname: “Lyin’ Ted.”

As it happens, Winston Churchill offered a cogent analysis of Senator Cruz’s announcement many years ago:

I remember when I was a child, being taken to the celebrated Barnum’s Circus, which contained an exhibition of freaks and monstrosities, but the exhibit on the programme which I most desired to see was the one described as “The Boneless Wonder”. My parents judged that the spectacle would be too demoralising and revolting for my youthful eye and I have waited fifty years, to see the The Boneless Wonder…..

I have similarly seen the boneless wonder today. To coin a phrase, it’s sad to see someone–even Senator Cruz–debase himself in this way. I hope and expect that public figures who support Donald Trump will be remembered the way we remember public figures who supported segregation or Joseph McCarthy.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect, tnr.com, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

6 thoughts on “Winston Churchill on Senator Cruz’s endorsement of Donald Trump”

  1. Churchill's target was Ramsay MacDonald, who was unlucky enough to be the first Labour Prime Minister when Wall Street crashed in 1929. Churchill would not have liked it either if MacDonald had responded to the Depression in a truly socialist way.

    It might be remembered that Churchill was consistently wrong on economic policy. The contemporary British politician who most nearly got it right was Neville Chamberlain, if you don't count the fascist Oswald Mosley.

  2. Cruz didn't debase himself, because he had already reached bottom. It's not as if his opposition to Trump had been principled. "Lyin' Ted" may be the only honest thing that Trump has ever said.

    1. It might not have been principled, but in bad lighting it sort of looked principled. For all his lies, Ted Cruz said a lot of true things about Trump. As a principle, "I can't support a man who publicly lies about my father and humiliates my wife" is a fine one as far as it goes, and one wouldn't think it'd be a difficult one to hold on to. I'm not a great admirer of Senator Cruz, but I figured he was at least that good.

  3. I hope and expect that public figures who support Donald Trump will be remembered the way we remember public figures who supported segregation or Joseph McCarthy.

    Let's be careful here, Harold. William Buckley, among other prominent conservatives, was a strong supporter of both segregation and McCarthy. Yet he is still, in too many circles, remembered with admiration.

    The Bull Connor treatment is fine. The Bill Buckley treatment isn't.

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