Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Rafel Cruz - The GOP's Mythical Hero

If one wants to find where Ted Cruz gets is craziness from and how he has become so challenged when it comes to telling the truth, look no farther than his nut case father, Rafel Cruz, who has artfully re-written his personal history and happily allowed his son's lunatic and religious extremist followers to transform Rafel Cruz into an almost mythical figure.  While the Cruz campaign doesn't actively promote the myth, it does nothing to set the record straight, including making it clear that Cruz senior fought - if one can use the word - on the side of Castro and not against him.  The story line of Rafel Cruz is, in short, a lie.  A piece in The Daily Beast looks at the myth making effort.  Here are highlights:

Rafael Cruz has biography that seems made of Red-State American dreams: fleeing Cuba, coming to the United States, becoming a born-again Christian, falling hard for Reagan, and now trying to help his son, Ted, inspire an Evangelical resurgence in American politics.

It’s a compelling narrative, and it makes for a great Tea Party rally speech. Cruz was his son’s most beloved surrogate during the 2012 Texas Senate race, and the admiration he found from Tea Party crowds only grew.

But as Rafael Cruz’s star has risen, so have a multitude of myths about his life that Team Cruz doesn’t exactly discourage

[W]hile Rafael himself and the Cruz campaign haven’t (to our knowledge) publicly said anything inaccurate about his personal history, they have left uncorrected some tales that members of the media and prominent conservative activists have woven about Cruz the Elder -- including tales that are totally divorced from reality (and in some cases easily found on the Internet).

It’s unclear where the Rafael Cruz mythologies came from and how much they benefit his standing in the Evangelical community. But it’s clear that the myths are pernicious, and that they’re impactful.
One of the first and most galling falsehoods about Rafael Cruz’s past is the notion that he fought communism. He didn’t, but that hasn’t stopped some of his most vocal backers from repeating, in contravention of all fact, that he suffered under communism and took on Fidel Castro.

Cuba may have been a hellhole when Rafael Cruz was growing up there.  But there’s one thing it wasn’t: communist.

As Andy Kroll detailed in his National Journal profile of Rafael Cruz, the future senator’s father fought against the island nation’s dictator, General Fulgencio Batista. 

In reality, the Batista regime gave Rafael Cruz a student visa in 1957, which he used to travel to the U.S. Two years later, in 1959, Castro became prime minister of Cuba and the island nation became a communist country.

And when it comes to literal fighting in armed conflict, Rafael Cruz fought on only one side: Fidel’s. But this false implication that he was on the other side of history still finds its way into the first pages of his very own book. This isn’t the only instance of Cruz World overlooking misperceptions about Cruz the Elder’s Cuban background.

But that’s not the only persistent rumor. Multiple major publications have reported Rafael Cruz: that he pastors a church in the suburbs of Dallas. Except that he hasn’t. Ever.   

Rick Tyler, a spokesman for Cruz’s campaign, told the Daily Beast that these reports are all wrong, and that Rafael Cruz has never pastored any churches.  He is an ordained minister, Tyler said, but has never led a congregation.

Any relation to “Purifying Fire Ministries,” by the way, is another Cruz mythology. Tyler said Cruz initially branded his work preaching to pastors’ groups with that moniker, but ditched it when he realized that Suzanne Hinn -- wife of famous and sketchy televangelist Benny Hinn -- had a ministry with almost the identical name.

It’s an odd situation. And if his son’s rise continues at the rate it’s going, it could generate no dearth of confusion for people looking for the truth about the dad of the maybe-president.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

More consequential is whether Ted Cruz's mother had renounced her US citizen before giving birth to him in Canada.