As we get closer to the midterm elections, one of the most closely watched races is taking place in what is the typically solid red state of Texas. Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke is looking to unseat Republican Senator Ted Cruz to become the first Texas Democrat to be elected to the Senate in decades. Some polls showing Cruz in the lead, while others give a slight advantage to O’Rourke. This race could go either way, and it is likely to come down to who can convince the most undecided independent voters in the last few weeks.
In today’s partisan world, full of propaganda and misleading ads, sometimes it is not about what you can do for your constituents but why the other candidate is worse than you are. While O’Rourke has largely utilized events and political ads espousing what he can do for Texans, Cruz has gone out of his way to smear his opponent with lies, going as far as claiming O’Rourke wants to legalize heroin.
After CNN invited both candidates to participate in a televised town hall event, Cruz declined the offer, resulting in O’Rourke getting an hour to pitch his case to the people of Texas. Perhaps Cruz felt that their previous debate went so poorly for him that he is better off giving O’Rourke the free airtime and minimizing any self-inflicted harm. However, if Cruz were truly looking to avoid negative publicity, he should not have hired someone who previously worked for a dictator currently on trial for crimes against humanity.
Back in April, the Cruz campaign announced the addition of new members to their team. An obscure name, Omri Ceren, was listed as the new National Security Advisor. While the press release announces Ceren as the previous Managing Director at The Israel Project, it completely omits the part where he worked for Laurent Gbagbo, the former president of Cote d’Iviore. Gbagbo is currently on trial, according to Reuters, for crimes against humanity “including murder, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts allegedly committed after 2010 elections when Gbagbo and his supporters refused to accept his electoral defeat.”
This could explain why Ted Cruz does not want to discuss the previous additions to his team. I suppose if I hired someone who was registered as a foreign agent, and who had previously worked to help someone currently on trial at the Hague, I would not want to talk about that either. Oh wait. I would never hire someone that was fine with crimes against humanity. Yet Cruz apparently was not bothered enough by it to not hire him.
I’m a ceramic engineer living in Central New York, avid sports fan but find myself more interested in politics lately.