Sen. Cruz’s run reveals hypocrisy

By Carolyn Bossmann 

Opinion Editor 

Phil Pastor | Meme Director
Illustration by Phil Pastor | Meme Director

When President Barack Obama was presidential-hopeful Senator Obama, one of the biggest arguments against his candidacy was his nationality. To be specific, whether or not he lied about being born in the U.S. This question plagued Obama throughout his first term and his re-election and has followed him to the end of his final term.

The biggest proponents of this argument call themselves “Obama birthers.” They argue that Obama should not be able to hold the presidential office.

Fast forward to present day, and the old argument against Obama is facing an unlikely figure: Ted Cruz.

Cruz is the junior U.S. Senator from Texas, but also happens to have been born in Calgary, Canada, to an American mother and a Cuban father.

On March 23, Cruz announced he would be running for the Republican Party nomination for president in 2016. It would seem Cruz would face backlash similar to what Obama received when he announced he would run for the democratic Party nomination. In fact, what eventually broke headlines was not the fact that Cruz and Obama seemed to be in the same position, but that the Republican Party was hypocritical about it.

Yes, there is a lot of hypocrisy surrounding Cruz’s right to run for Republican Party nominee, but it is not the exact argument Obama had to deal with when his right to run was being questioned.

The difference is Cruz is dealing with particular parts of the law when it comes to his legal right for the candidacy, while Obama was dealing with people who did not trust he was telling the truth about his birthplace.

The State Department currently has two definitions for a natural-born citizen, with one that applies to Cruz and one that does not. The first stipulates that both of Cruz’s parents would need to be American citizens at the time of his birth, and his father was not. The second explains that just one parent could be a citizen, as long as that parent had lived in the U.S. for 10 years. Cruz’s mother has made him a natural-born citizen.

Meanwhile, Obama’s biggest challenge was that people believed he was lying, even after he produced his birth certificate. He was accused of forging his birth certificate, of having been born in Kenya instead of Hawaii and of lying about his religion.

This sharp contrast between Obama’s and Cruz’s situations makes the hypocrisy between them even more confusing. Obama’s fight to prove he is a natural-born citizen will always be against those who refuse to see the ridiculousness of their claims, while Cruz’s is more centered on the actual legality of his run for Republican Party nominee.

“If you agree that Cruz is constitutionally qualified to seek the presidency and you are one of those who expended so much energy going after President Obama’s qualifications as a natural-born citizen, many of us would like to know how you justify such blatant hypocrisy,” Rick Ungar, a contributor for Forbes magazine, asked.

There is not a lot in common between the Cruz and Obama debates, except for the fact that they have both had to fight for their right to run for president. What this matter does bring to attention, however, is the difference between a logical argument and a stubborn refusal to admit that a candidate someone might not like actually ran a legal candidacy.