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Dear Fellow Upstate NYers – I’m voting Cruz on April 19, here’s why

Dear Fellow Upstate NYers – I’m voting Cruz on April 19, here’s why

Upstaters deserve to be angry, but not to have their anger manipulated.

It’s not often that a Republican presidential primary in New York matters.

This year it does. It’s a time for choosing, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan. The choice is between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, though John Kasich is on the ballot too. The real race to the nomination has been Trump v. Cruz for at least several weeks and it is likely to remain that way.

Faced with that choice, it’s easy.

Legal Insurrection started in October 2008 in anticipation of the Obama presidency. We were part of the Tea Party movement (though aligned with no specific group) since the beginning. We worked hard through Operation Counterweight and campaign coverage to find and elect candidates who would push the window towards conservatism. Sometimes we were disappointed once they took office, but the window opened wider.

Slowly, over multiple election cycles, the freedom-loving Tea Party agenda of smaller government and individual liberty took hold. We took back the House and the Senate on the enthusiasm of grassroots activists and people (like me) who never had been involved in politics before. Some of the Tea Party fundraising groups took advantage of the movement for their own gain, but by and large it was a movement of the people against creeping government control of every single aspect of our lives, embodied most poignantly in Obamacare.

We had enemies. The Democrats smeared us, and so did the Republican establishment. I’m angrier at people in the Republican Party who attacked the Tea Party than I am at the Democrats.

While we had many disappointments along the way, and the movement no longer looks anything like it looked in 2009-2010, we accomplished a lot. Not enough, but a lot. That some in the House and Senate turned out to be disappointments, and that entrenched power was more entrenched than we thought, does not change the fact that a Tea Party supporting candidate is now one of the two remaining choices as we head to the July Convention.

That we did not accomplish everything, does not mean we didn’t accomplish anything. It took seven years. Let’s not throw it all away on someone who believes in big government, albeit big government he thinks he can run better.

Even more was accomplished at the state and local level. We took back state houses, legislatures, attorney general offices, and through that, redistricting. This hard work over many years was the true legal insurrection, as one commenter recently noted.

I remember who stood with us and who didn’t. Ted Cruz ran for Senate on a Tea Party platform and stood with us.

Donald Trump was nowhere to be found. He was too busy buying political favors from the Democrats and establishment Republicans who stood against us.

There is nothing in Trump’s history to suggest his new platforms are genuine, or that he actually cares about the people who turn out in droves to his rallies. The legitimate anger many people feel over loss of country and jobs will be even more severe once they realize that their emotions have been manipulated by a master showman and supportive media.

I often hear Trump-supporting media claim that Cruz and other candidates are beholden to the “donor class,” as if only a billionaire who can self-fund is somehow pure.

Donald Trump is the donor in donor class; he is the thing Trump supporters supposedly are against. That Trump has convinced so many people that only someone who spent his life buying political favors can save us from people who buy political favors reflects one of the great marketing feats of all time.

The people of Upstate New York have seen jobs flee because of liberal policies that chase businesses away and crush family businesses and farms. Liberal college towns like Ithaca thrive, while factories and jobs flee from the rest of Upstate. People deserve to be angry here, but they do not deserve to have their plight manipulated.

There are many other reasons I could cite why I do not support Trump. Others have done that, though I do not like the demeaning tone displayed by some people.

Cruz also is not free from criticism. No shock, a politician is not perfect. This is not about hero worship or cult of personality. It’s about the choice in front of us.

Donald Trump will win the New York Primary. Whether he sweeps or nearly sweeps the delegates is less certain. Every vote matters.

My choice is easy.


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