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IS TED CRUZ SUFFERING From Harvard Disease?

As the 2016 election approaches, many serious conservatives are frustrated and confused. As they see it, for the first time in decades, the Republican party has a potential nominee who is a genuine conservative, an articulate true believer, who is not only eloquent, but even, according to his liberal law professors, brilliant. Yet, he is losing badly to a bombastic, sometimes even buffoonish, real estate developer/former reality TV star, with a bizarre comb-over and really bad makeup job (Donald, please rethink that concealer!), who makes frequent gaffes that he has to walk back, and whose understanding of public policy issues often appears to be inferior to the rare, well-read college sophomore.

So what’s up with that? Many of Sen. Cruz’ supporters consider him almost the 2nd coming of Ronald Reagan, an idea I’m sure he would find very appealing, since he rarely misses an opportunity to make reference to the former president. I have seen him give speeches that feature “soaring rhetoric,” to use what, thanks to Barack Obama, has become a threadbare cliché, that make conservatives feel that thrill up their legs that MS-NBC resident screamer, Chris Matthews feels when he listens to Obama. Heck, I have felt them myself. So why isn’t Sen. Cruz running away with the GOP nomination?

Of course, there are substantive reasons that could account for Sen. Cruz less than stellar performance in the primaries. I hate to say it, but there are legitimate questions about his honesty. When he says that it’s “settled” that he is an Article II “natural born citizen,” but he has to know that simply isn’t true. His former law professor Laurence Tribe explained as much last January in a Boston Globe piece. There are also the questions raised by his primary opponents about his dishonesty about their records or status, most notably the infamous tweet about Dr. Ben Carson dropping out of the race. Yes, I know that the Rubio campaign’s fingerprints are on that, too, but the incident still tarnished Sen. Cruz’ reputation.

Then there is the fact that he was born on Canadian soil. Please don’t start blowing up social media with page-long rants about Sen. Cruz’ “obvious” Article II eligibility. I’m not buying it, but I conceded long ago that my view is an extreme minority one, as in, it’s me and about six other people at this point. We are like the throwbacks who know where to place a salad fork in a proper place setting, or who even know what a salad fork is. I get that. The Left’s dumbing down project, focusing on making sure Americans are clueless about the Constitution has been very successful, and since Obama was allowed to squat in the White House, that Article II ship has sailed. What I mean is that even Americans who couldn’t tell you what Article II of the Constitution says at gunpoint still may not want to vote for someone born on Canadian soil. I’ve heard them say as much.

A more serious issue is the fact that we may not be able to trust Sen. Cruz on the issue of amnesty and sanctuary cities, due to his endorsement of enthusiastic amnesty supporter, Utah governor Gary Herbert.

Those concerns are all legitimate reasons that might give a person pause before going all in for Sen. Cruz, but I don’t think those are the only problem, and it’s not about substance. I think I know the answer. Sen. Cruz just might have Harvard disease (HD), a crippling disorder for conservative politicians.

Perhaps you’ve heard the following adage: “You can always tell a Harvard man, but you can’t tell him much.” That maxim should help you under the malady that afflicts some who attend the esteemed university after which it is named. Symptoms include a humorless, sanctimonious tone, and an affected debating society cadence that makes every word sound as if the speaker believes that the future of human life on the planet depends on the brilliant pearls of wisdom he’s about to impart to his spellbound audience. In extreme cases, sufferers are infected with a companion affliction, Teacher’s Pet Syndrome, the result of being told repeatedly that they are the smartest kids in the class. These people always seem to be talking at people, lecturing, rather than talking to them. Does that sound a tad familiar? It should because we have seen it from the current president for eight years.

One B. Hussein Obama, who had an affinity for memorizing threadbare leftist talking points that he could regurgitate to the delight of his Marxist professors, clearly has a bad case of HD, and sadly, I’m afraid so does Sen. Cruz, and as a conservative he won’t be rescued by a lapdog media who won’t characterize his speeches infinitely serious, wise, and the answer to all of humanity’s problems.

I would ask that all of Sen. Cruz devoted supporters stop fantasizing about my imminent death, and try to step outside themselves and consider how Sen. Cruz sounds to the average, uncommitted, non-ideological potential voter. Ask yourself whether you think it’s unfair to suggest that to that person, not you, but the average low-information person who watches the pretend news, he comes across as likable, empathetic and intelligent, or whether he seems condescending, or even sneering? Would the person say he was more Ronald Reagan or Snidely Whiplash? I have seen comments on social media about how Sen. Cruz “scares” people, which I think is a direct result of the impression he conveys to some voters. He doesn’t scare me, but I know what they are getting at. I can picture the Texas senator entering the kitchen at breakfast time, setting his stance and solemnly stating “Heidi, I have something to say to you, and it’s important that you pay careful attention. [Pregnant pause]. This is a time for choosing. [Another debating society pause] I have made my choice, [long pause] and it is …orange juice.”

I submit that Sen. Cruz’ presentation is a huge part the reason he’s not the presumptive nominee. It makes him a perfect subject for Alinskyite mockery, which is already happening.

I have not endorsed any candidate, and of course, I will support Sen. Cruz if he’s the nominee. I think his chances of winning the general election will depend on his finding a cure for the bad case of HD that he seems unable to shake.

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Image: Ted Cruz via photopin (license)

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Teri O'Brien

Teri O'Brien is America's Original Conservative Warrior Princess, and host of The Teri O'Brien Show, which debuted on Chicago's radio home for Rush Limbaugh, and now airs in the cutting edge world of online media, She is a yoga-practicing, 2nd Amendment-loving, bench pressing Mac girl geek, attorney, provocateur, author, and dangerous thinker. Teri is also the author of the new ebook, The ABC's of Barack Obama: Understanding God's Gift to America. Learn more at

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