TO SPEAK WITH “FORKED TONGUE”: OR, THE DISHONESTY OF TED CRUZ, PRESIDENTAL ASPIRANT

“To speak with forked tongue” appropriately, on one account of its origins, goes back to 1699, to the French army in America, which invited the Iroquois Indians to attend a peace conference, only to have the French end up treacherously butchering all the attending Iroquois. Thenceforth, for Indians, to speak with “forked tongue” meant to lie—specifically, the idea that the white man lies and so cannot be trusted.

This unspeakable act of treachery by the French, in dealing with the Indian, has been all too common throughout our history. In the early years of our Republic, we would announce our peaceful intentions towards the Indians, and sign a peace treaty with them; but when the treaty became too inconvenient to honor—when gold or silver was found on Indian land, or land was needed for homesteading, or cattle-raising, or for the coming railroads, et. al.—then the white man would summarily break his “solemn oath” by breaking the treaty…until, that is, he needed a new treaty, and then his oath was “as good as gold.”

Enter our latest expert in the high devilish art of “speaking with forked tongue,” the right-wing extremist from Texas, Ted Cruz (though as far as speaking with “forked tongue” goes, any Tea Party politician more than qualifies, so little is Truth honored among these “very honorable” men and women).

A day watching Cruz is a lesson in this fine art of forked-tongue speaking: or what historically is called “sophistry”—defined as when someone attempts to persuade with half-truths or complete falsehoods. Cruz is against Obamacare because, he says emphatically, “it’s costing people’s jobs and is taking away their healthcare.” But this is pure sophistry! Cruz cites not a single shred of evidence to back up his argument—because he can’t. And he knows it, too. There is no evidence whatsoever that jobs have been or will be lost due to Obamacare. And far from taking away people’s health care, millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions will now be covered—and that is both humane and good. And millions more will be insured for the first time. Again, that is both humane and good.

I suspect that Cruz is against Obamacare in part because big, for-profit insurers will now lose out, as they should—both on account of their amoral behavior (see Michael Moore’s Sicko documentary, which will make you ill to see how our insurance companies let people suffer and die so that they could make more profit)—and because, on principle, health care should be government-financed and thus not subject to the whims and machinations of profit-taking.  It is not just absurd, it is criminal that for-profit private insurers should themselves have the power of life and death over our citizens rather than their physician. Health care before Obamacare truly was Kafkaesque.

If Ted Cruz, presidential aspirant, speaks with “forked tongue” now, when only a member of the House, imagine what would transpire if he were to become president. Without a shadow of a doubt, we’d witness (“Tricky Dick”) Richard Nixon redivivus—and yet another addition to the Dark Ages of conservative Republican governance.

Len Sive

THE DEVIL IN WASHINGTON

Ted Cruz not only seems not to have learned his lesson during The Shutdown, viz., that Americans are tiredtiredtired of gridlock and partisan politics merely; incredibly, he seem to have been emboldened by it all, ready and willing to trumpet out louder blasts of rancor and meanness while pursuing an anti-American agenda of more and more for the top 1% super-rich and less and less for the bottom 85% suffering poor.

Of course, he never—The Right never—tells the truth; The Right is trying its hardest to protect the average American, so it says—by opposing Obamacare(!)—failing to mention how millions of Americans, without Obamacare, are unable to afford ANY health insurance at all: or failing to mention what Michael Moore revealed in his film on healthcare, Sicko (2007), viz., that big health insurers consciously opposed insuring people in order to increase their profits, profits that doomed these uninsured (including children) to die because their families could not otherwise afford the procedures without health insurance! This injustice Obamacare would eliminate.  But nothing is too sordid, or too amoral, for presidential hopeful Ted Cruz to champion. The Tea Party is emphatically “politics as usual”: more for the “haves,” less for the “have nots.”

What speaks volumes about the state of education today is that Cruz was graduated from Harvard Law School—a top student according to a well-known Harvard Law School professor, Alan Dershowitz. But Cruz did come under harsh criticism from Dershowitz for his conduct during the shutdown, saying that Cruz’s antics were “unconstitutional” and would have appalled a Hamilton or a Madison. That a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing anarchist can graduate from our top law school, then be elected to political office, become the spiritual leader of one of our two political parties, and an aspirant to the presidential office to boot, I find absolutely horrifying—and very depressing. It speaks volumes about the diseased nature of politics and education in our nation today.

An argument Cruz used repeatedly during the Shutdown—as justification for it—was his opposition to a medical devices tax: how unfair it was, and how it would stifle a company’s R&D by lowering its profit margin. But an independent medical research group tackled Cruz’s points and—no surprise here—found his arguments to be without a shred of truth.

The naked truth is this: Companies which sell these medical devices don’t put much money into R&D even when they do make good profits (!); that these companies force doctors and hospitals to sign an agreement not to disclose their prices so hospitals and doctors can’t shop around for the best prices; that hospitals and doctors pay 50% more in the US for these devices than in other countries where there are open prices, controls and checks; that these companies, furthermore,  lobby Congress, giving money to its members in return for their support. Cruz and others thus work not for the American people but for these medical devices companies.  And Cruz thinks he operates on “principles?” And just what “principles” might those be that enrich his own pockets at the expense of the average, poor American’s?

Len Sive Jr.

GOD-TALK: THE DIVINE TEA PARTY

God:  How are things down below? At your insistence, I gave you nine years of great power. Are you making life better for everyone?

Ted Cruz: Yes, Lord, and we’re having a ball, too. You wouldn’t believe those Democrats,  mealy-mouthed, weak-willed nothings…No wonder our country’s in trouble. Who cares about the little guy? Does the little guy help our great country? Does he start new businesses, develop real estate, invest in new products? No, he’s  just a sponge. Let him mop floors, that’s all he’s good for. It’s the richest 1% that matter, not the bottom 85%…And Obama, that non-US citizen…. Just between us, Lord, I hate that guy.

God: Now, Ted, you surely have read where I state very clearly that you are to love your neighbor.

Cruz: Well, to be honest, Lord, I haven’t actually read it personally. No offence, but  I just have more important things to read, books by von Hayek or von Mises, for example. “ Loving your neighbor”—No offence, Lord, but I just don’t see the point.  I mean, realistically Obama’s not my neighbor. And if he or his kind ever did move into my neighborhood, I and all my friends, we’d move right out—before the value of our real estate dropped. In fact, Lord, we in the Tea Party think that  the world would be a better, saner place if everyone just called a spade a spade. If you hate a guy, be a man and tell him exactly how you feel. That, Lord, is honest and manly. And if he takes umbrage and wants a fight, by all means, just take out your AK-47 and let him know who’ boss.

God: And what about my Ten Commandments? I spent a billion years working on them, trying to get them just right.

Cruz: I think, Lord, the different time zones up here must have  confused you; You mean  you spent 5,000 years, don’t you?—Listen, Lord, you’re a nice enough fellow, but things have to change. Your old way just doesn’t work anymore. So the Tea Party has voted to shut down heaven and hell unless you defund these silly Ten Commandments—and especially that ridiculous law, to love your neighbor as yourself. You must have had a little too much ambrosia to come up with that one, sir. Look, Lord, on a practical level, I really love myself; I just don’t see how I could love another that much. It just wouldn’t work. And those other commandments—“Thou shalt not steal”—are you kidding? How do you think politics works? Enforce that one and everything grinds to a halt. Effective politics is when you steal from the poor and give to the rich. It’s a good policy, too; been around a long time; well ratified by law and custom. Corporations, banks, insurance companies, investment firms…they all love it. Of course you never ever say that. No; you sound noble: “We need to lower the deficit, lighten the tax burden on the rich, the corporations, etc.”

God: But Ted, haven’t you read where I said, “What you do unto the least of these you do unto me.”

Ryan: Let me field that one, Ted. I may have heard it read in church once, I’m not sure. Never meant much to me, though. Listen, Lord: Has anyone told you that sometimes your language sounds too antiquated? I know; you’ve been around 5,000 years. Still…Listen, for a small retainer fee, I can help you spruce up your language. Anyway–Lord, as a pretty powerful personage yourself, you must know that power is where it’s at. It’s the same thing on earth. When, for example, you’re dealing with Democrats, immigrants, Obama, you’ve got to show them who’s boss. That’s why we voted to shut-down the government. We’ll talk only if they get down on their knees and beg…You just can’t treat these Democrats as equals. That’s one of the things we have got to change. Like our heroes who ran those big slave plantations, you’ve got to let them know who’s boss—keep them in their place.

God: And what about “Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”? I spent ages working on that one.

Ryan: Now, Lord, how the hell did you ever come up with that one? That’s the dumbest one of all. You simply can’t get elected without lying about your opponent. It’s impossible. You have to wound them any way you can.  And the bigger the lie, the better. You know, Obama’s a Muslim, a socialist, not a citizen (Trump takes care of that one for us)—whatever you think will hurt your opponent the most. Now, Lord, about our shutting down of heaven and hell….

Len Sive