Allegations have broken in the last week regarding Senator Ted Cruz having an affair with at least five different women, and it has brought the already heated race to a new level of negativity. The timing has raised eyebrows, given a Super PAC supporting Senator Cruz attacked Donald Trump’s wife for some racy pictures and Trump returned fire by threatening to “spill the beans” on Senator Cruz’s wife. It also has ignited a debate regarding the source, with some pointing to Trump himself and others pointing to allies of Senator Marco Rubio.
Many bloggers, journalists, and writers have weighed in on a different point however, which is whether or not is right to report on personal matters as political news. Should it matter if Senator Cruz did have an affair?
Common responses from everyday Republicans range depending on their preferred candidate. Many Trump supporters obviously want Senator Cruz to fall and supporters of the Texas Senator want to defend him.
For others, this can be a controversial topic. This is not the first time a President has had allegations of sleeping around and been faced with extramarital affairs. Former President Bill Clinton is a prominent case and despite the clear evidence he had cheated on his wife and current presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, many Democrats still celebrate him.
Why? Because everyone is human and humans make mistakes. Does that make it right? Absolutely not, but there’s clearly a degree to which voters look the other way and focus on purely political matters.
Personally, this was an issue I tackled with Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling facing his own allegations a month ago. When first presented with the story, it was something that was certainly interesting, but the real story wasn’t in the affair itself. Did Mayor Strimling see another woman while married?
At the heart of what was initially reported by The Bollard wasn’t whether or not Mayor Strimling makes mistakes, but potential for improper behavior. There were potential conflicts regarding the business dealings in Portland, and as I had pointed out in a previous Undercover Porcupine article, this should be where the focus is.
The same goes for Senator Cruz really. We can nitpick people’s personal lives and every detail of one’s personal lives is not necessarily relevant. The real story here is in Senator Cruz’s conflict with political endeavors that interfere with the personal lives of others.
Like many evangelical Republicans, Senator Cruz is a strong supporter of what is described as “traditional marriage”, which is the union of one man and one woman. The sanctity of marriage is a major talking point for this group within the Republican Party.
But who is Senator Cruz to be telling loving, law-abiding homosexuals they can’t get married, because it endangers the sanctity of marriage? This is a serious question if he did have an affair, because then it raises the question of what a good marriage is? Does a faithful gay couple hurt the institution of marriage more than an unfaithful heterosexual?
Regardless of who you are in politics, whether it be a Mayor in Maine or a United States Senator running for President, personal lives should have a degree of privacy. Whether that happens or not, it should. But when the personal hypocrisy presents a serious conflict with political positions, it becomes fair game. This is why the Senator Cruz allegations are indeed quite relevant to the presidential primary in progress.