Tuesday night’s victory for Ted Cruz is a message that will send shockwaves throughout the Republican Party. The people of Texas spoke loud and clear that they know that a moderate dealmaker endorsed by the Republican establishment is not going to bring meaningful change to a state so badly in need of some. What Tuesday tells us is that contrary to the prophecy of James Carville, the Tea Party is not dead. The left can no longer assume that the Republican Party will help them grow the size and scope of government, albeit at a pace slower than they would prefer. Cruz represents a faction of the Republican Party consisting of conservatives and libertarians who realize that without drastic policy changes, the United State will soon more closely resemble the bankrupt welfare states of Europe than the shining city on a hill. He will be sent to Washington with a mandate to reduce the burden of government, and restore the principles of the constitution.
A seasoned political strategist once told me that an incumbent always has two things, “votes and quotes.” While Cruz, the newcomer had few of either, GOP rival David Dewhurst tried to pretend he had neither of both. Dewhurst spent much of the campaign vehemently denying his support for a wage tax, which the Wall Street Journal called a backdoor implementation of a statewide income tax, despite his urging its passage. Dewhurst has also taken a page out of Obama’s playbook of manipulating the past by deleting records from his Lieutenant Governor Website showing that he once supported amnesty.
What is most astonishing has to be Cruz’s path to victory and what it means for the Tea Party nationwide. Cruz didn’t win by outspending Dewhurst, although he certainly found support from conservatives nationwide. Cruz overcame his early deficit in the polls by building a grassroots machine that reached out to his supporters, and activated them in a way few Republican campaigns ever have. The Cruz campaign might serve as a blueprint, or redprint, as to how the Tea Party will have a permanent impact on the direction of politics in America. Most importantly, this was all done in the second most populous state in the union, meaning the lessons learned here could be applied on a national scale.