Texas Senator Ted Cruz wants us to think he stands with the people of Australia. Many Texas Republicans with characteristically short attention spans probably don’t remember that Cruz doesn’t even stand with the people of his own state. It was only 8 short months ago, almost to the day, when Cruz split for Cancun while unprecedented winter storms were causing Texans to freeze to death. Now he wants us to think that he is all het up about the “freedoms” of average Australians. The message from Down Under? “We don’t need your lectures. Thanks mate.”
The problem started, as it invariably does these days with Republicans, with a tweet. Cruz tweeted:
“I love the Aussies. Their history of rugged independence is legendary; I’ve always said Australia is the Texas of the Pacific.
“The Covid tyranny of their current government is disgraceful & sad.
“Individual liberty matters.
I stand with the people of #Australia.”
First of all, Australia isn’t “the Texas of the Pacific.” They’ve banned guns and abortion is legal there. What’s more, because Australia’s politicians didn’t turn the pandemic into a political football, Covid infections and deaths are an infinitesimal fraction of those of Texas.
But the best part was the rebuke Cruz received from Michael Gunner, chief minister of Australia’s Northern Territory. “We’ve done whatever it takes to protect the Territory. That’s kept us safe AND free,” Gunner tweeted back. “We have been in lock down for just eight days in 18 months. Our businesses and schools are all open. Did you know that?”
Gunner goes on to say, “We don’t need your lectures, thanks mate. You know nothing about us. And if you stand against a life-saving vaccine, then you sure as hell don’t stand with Australia. I love Texas (go Longhorns) but when it comes to COVID, I’m glad we are nothing like you.”
As I write this Gunner’s tweet currently has about 63,000 likes. Cruz’s tweet has just over 3,000 likes. Truth has a funny habit of being more popular than lies when they stand back to back. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.