While Donald Trump continues to get most of the media attention, there is another quasi-stealth candidate for the position of American fuhrer: Ted Cruz. In some ways, Cruz is even more frightening than The Donald. He uses toned down rhetoric but basically supports all of the hate and bigotry policies Trump is pushing and that his very scary followers clamor for. Now, Cruz has received the endorsement of virulently anti-LGBT Bob Vander Plaats, head of the Family Leader, an anti-gay hate group that seeks a Christian theocracy. Note how Fox News, a/k/a Faux News, calls a hate group leader an "influential conservative." Cruz has been previously endorsed by the hate group, National Organization for Marriage that never lets the truth get in the way of its anti-gay propaganda. Right Wing Watch looks at this disturbing development:
Ted Cruz won a major victory in his effort to consolidate support from the Religious Right today when he was endorsed by Bob Vander Plaats, who leads the Iowa-based conservative group, The Family Leader.Vander Plaats, a two-time gubernatorial candidate who in the two previous election cycles backed Iowa caucus winners Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, respectively, offers one of the most highly sought after endorsements in the state: Donald Trump reportedly joked that he would turn his plane around to join The Family Leader’s presidential forum if Vander Plaats would guarantee him his backing.Vander Plaats is one of several right-wing figures to coalesce behind Cruz, who has attracted the support of ultraconservative activists like Troy Newman, who wishes the government would execute abortion providers; Ron Baity, a pastor who links gay rights to Ebola; Flip Benham, a convicted abortion doctor stalker who holds protests at gay couples’ weddings; Sandy Rios, a virulently anti-LGBT radio host and hate group official; Dick Black, a Virginia lawmaker with noxious views on marital rape and “baby pesticide”; and Cynthia Dunbar, who thinks gay rights advocacy is “the same type of thing that was done in pre-Holocaust Germany.”Vander Plaats, as we’ve reported, may be sought after by GOP candidates but he should not at all be considered part of the political mainstream:Slavery RhetoricWarning Republicans not to “abandon their base” by softening their opposition to gay rights, Vander Plaats insists that fighting same-sex marriage is not a losing issue for the GOP. . . . . “We actually stand for what God has designed because, just like with slavery, the truth is on our side,” Vander Plaats said last year in an interview with right-wing talk show host Steve Deace. “We can win this battle." . . . suggested that African-American families were more stable under slavery than they are today.Conspiracy TheoriesIn Vander Plaats’ world, the right to speak freely about “faithful heterosexual monogamy” is under attack, “Sharia Islam” is a menace in American politics and President Obama’s birth certificate is missing.Gay Marriage PredictionsIn his campaigns against marriage equality, Vander Plaats has done whatever it takes to scare voters about the dire consequences of gay rights. He warned that the legalization of same-sex marriage would lead to “tyranny” and sanction “a parent marrying their child.” He defended his group’s comparison of homosexuality to second-hand smoke by explaining that both represent “a public health risk,”No Separation of Church and StateWhile Vander Plaats’ prediction about gay marriage ushering in adult-child marriage has come true in exactly zero of the dozens of states with marriage equality, he was prophetic in one respect: Vander Plaats advocated for governors to ignore court rulings on the marriage question well before it became a widespread sentiment among conservatives.Vander Plaats insists that a governor can simply set aside any ruling that violates his or her reading of the Bible, insisting that if a judge legalizes marriage equality in a state, the state’s governor should simply issue an executive order “that places a stay on the judge’s decision” since it “goes against the law of nature and the law of nature’s God, which means, it’s against the Constitution.”Vander Plaats believes that the U.S. government must fall under God’s jurisdiction and follow “God’s principles and precepts,” not just on social issues like marriage but also in economic and foreign policies.
In short, Vander Plaats in sane circles would be considered a lunatic, but in today's GOP and in Ted Cruz circles, he's an endorsement to be sought out. Be afraid.