On a cold rainy Wednesday afternoon, Texas’ new U.S. senator, Republican Ted Cruz, appeared at a luncheon hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Austin. Patrons of the conservative organization, and of the luncheon, included Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, State Farm Insurance Company, and Texas Instruments, to name a few.
Cruz began his sermon with a few words on Texas’ undeniable superiority. “Well I spent the last week up in DC trying to get settled in my new job, and I will tell you, it’s great to be back in America.” He followed that with a charming anecdote on how his two-year-old screamed hysterically upon meeting Vice President Joe Biden.
Cruz went on to focus, primarily, on how the GOP must rebuild after its defeats in the November 2012 election, citing the words of Margaret Thatcher, “‘First you win the argument, then you win the vote.’ Republicans did neither.” Cruz went on: “On Election Day over 50 percent of voters said that our dismal economy was George W. Bush’s fault … President Obama said that every single day of the campaign. And Republicans were so terrified to utter the words ‘George W. Bush’ that we didn’t even bother to contest it.” Cruz contended that to win the argument and subsequent vote, Republicans must look to Texas for a shining example of successful economic policies.
Cruz proclaimed his inspiring message: “The reason I’m a conservative is very simple. Conservative policies work. They improve people’s lives. There has been no end for prosperity, for opportunity, for economic advancement like the free market policies of the United States of America … You want to make a difference in people struggling to get ahead? Adopt policies like the state of Texas has adopted.”
From Ted Cruz and his supporters’ view from the hotel ballroom where attendees dined on butternut squash ravioli on white linen-clad tables, conservative policies have made a clear improvement in their lives. Meanwhile, less than two blocks away from the cloth napkins and delicate chocolate torte, a line of Austin’s most destitute population snaked around the back of the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless shelter as they waited for the nightly gamble for a bed.