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Duplicitous Reactions to GOP Convention-Non Endorsements and Plagiarism

During the Republican Convention this week what was not said drew more ire from some than what was said. Ted Cruz in his magnificent speech on freedom and our founding principles failed to say the “E” word (endorse) much to the chagrin of ardent Trump supporters. And Melania Trump, wife of the GOP nominee Donald Trump, seems to have quoted Michelle Obama, without attribution, which perturbed the mainstream media, and the left.

Melania TrumpMelania Trump in her speech on opening night of the convention unknowingly quoted from Michelle Obama from a speech in 2008. “From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily life,” Melania Trump said in her speech in Cleveland.

Two paragraphs were very similar, yet phrased slightly differently. Similar enough to certainly raise the prospect of plagiarism. It was surprising to learn that the mainstream media and Democrats still have scruples, as they responded with contempt. Judging from their outrage over Melania’s faux pas, it is apparently more detestable than putting national security at risk with unsecured emails! Also, based on their reaction, you’d think that liberals have never plagiarized before. Clearly a case (or a trait) of selective outrage based in moral relativism. It’s a big thing if a Republican does it, but not if a Democrat does.

Joe Biden PlagiarismIronically, Michelle Obama herself plagiarized by lifting entire phrases from Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” and attributed them to her husband. Hillary pilfered other’s lines in both her 2008 and her 2016 presidential runs. And of course, Joe Biden stole other’s words, sentences, paragraphs, as well as the biography of a writer when he was in college, and even later when he was in law school. But we don’t hear much outrage over those instances.

In a Twitter message the next day, Donald Trump said, with just a touch of hyperbole, “The media is spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania’s speech than the FBI spent on Hillary’s emails.”

A campaign speechwriter claimed responsibility for the error, and offered her resignation. It was rejected by the campaign.

Ted Cruz Addressing ConventionIn his speech Wednesday night, the GOP runner-up, Senator Ted Cruz, delivered a rousing speech on individual freedom. Some sources referred to it as “The speech of his life.” Yet many Trump supporters were outraged that the Senator refused to endorse Trump. Instead he said, “I congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night. And like each of you, I want to see the principles that our party believes prevail in November.” Later he said, “Don’t stay home in November. Stand and speak and vote your conscience.”

It’s immensely ironic that those who are ardent supporters of Trump, he who knows no bounds in what he will say, politically correct or not, would seek to impose their own political correctness on the runner up. What Cruz said was justifiable and principled. Why on earth castigate him for what he didn’t say? The campaign is far from over, and Cruz vowed months ago that he would support the GOP nominee. Perhaps his statement of congratulations and desire to see party principles prevail in November is all the support he could proffer to one who had so maligned the character of his wife and dad.

anderson-cooper-donald-trumpTrump’s devotees perhaps conveniently forget what the nominee said in a March Townhall on CNN. When asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper if he continued to pledge to support whomever the Republican nominee is, Trump blatantly said, “No, I don’t anymore.” Yet just last fall he signed a pledge to do just that. Trump took it one step further. He said of Cruz, he “doesn’t need to support me, I have tremendous support right now from the people. I don’t really want him to do something he’s not comfortable with.”

Interestingly, what Cruz did was very similar to what Reagan did in 1976. Reagan came up short of endorsing Ford, and said, “Rally behind our principles of freedom and work to show the world that we may be small in number but our ideas are the right ideas.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, many of these same critics of Cruz are the most vociferous in their denunciation of those who simply vote for the candidate with an “R” behind their name. Yet now they seem to demand it. Apparently with many, loyalty is only to be expected or demanded when their candidate is selected, while voting one’s conscience is anathema.

New-Election-2016As Redstate.com printed the next morning, Trump supporter’s response to Cruz’s non-endorsement proved that they are “more interested in settling perceived grievances with the Republican party than they are in actually winning the White House.” Their entire focus was on what Cruz didn’t say, rather than what he did, and judging from their response in social media, they allowed Ted’s unsaid words to completely eclipse what should have been the highlight for the evening, the superb speech by Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence. This does not bode well, either for the party for the foreseeable future, or for the November election.

It’s always disconcerting to learn that certain elements of the right share some of the less desirable traits of those on the left. But there’s obviously a reason election time is often referred to as “silly season.” Emotions prevail, reason is suspended, judgment often clouded by biases, issues are eclipsed by personalities, and sound principles are trumped by identity politics.

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Richard Larsen

AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at rlarsenen@cableone.net.

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  1. The Ted Cruz, Presidential Candidate is not the same Ted that ran for Senate or so it seems. I worked on his Senate run and had occasions to visit with him and his wife. After one of these I came home and told my husband “He’s not running for the Senate, he’s running for president”. In hindsight (which always better than) I did witness some remarks in conversations that weren’t just critical of a volunteer, but were actually mean….I thought he would do just what we wanted in the Senate….raise hell and wake the sleeping and feckless members….But did not see the temperament as White House appropriate and a short fuse. After my choice dropped out, I easily switched to Cruz. but immediately questioned my choice in Wisconsin….I saw a vindictive trait that has absolutely no place in top leadership.

    This convention was to unify the party…no one was forced to attend…knowing what I do about Ted, I was among the surprised when he accepted an invitation to speak…All through the initial speech I was waiting for the shoe to drop and starting to think I was wrong and hoping I was. I saw the smirky grin as we all waited for the unexpected all out endorsement of Trump….If I had any doubt how he meant it that was gone the second he threw up his hands, smiled, waved and walked off with his famous “gottcha” look.

    It’s going to get uglier…..Anyone that supports the Constitution, 2nd Amendment, each of the three branches of government and freedom of choices will want to think twice even if you hate the Trump factor….There is no sitting on the fence or staying hidden under the bed…forget it’s a vote for Trump, it’s not !! It’s a VOTE FOR AMERICA

    1. Of course I don’t have your first hand insight Jan so I appreciate your point of view. I’ve heard many people express their wary regard of Cruz. Who can know the hearts of men – except by their fruits. In my estimation Cruz was raised with the right values that develop into Americanism. “Train up a child in the way he should go…” and when he becomes president maybe he won’t depart from it? I believe Trump was also trained with good values and much of what we hear of him – the negative stuff – is probably as much spin as it is truth. who can say. After all I know I am a pretty scurrilous guy even tho I was trained up to be an Americanist.

      But to the core of your comments I truly recognize that no matter who of the candidates became the nominee we are all compelled to vote against the Criminal-Bitch for the sake of even the shreds of hope we can yet have a Truly honorable among nations and Americanist America again. (it’s been a very long time before we were even thought of that that has been true.)

      Political parties make me sick! Once again – no matter how good the candidate is – the party system has blackmailed us into voting against someone rather than for someone!

    2. Phenomenal insights, Jan. I’ve not had that privilege of seeing Cruz up front and personal, as you have. I would still take Cruz’s temperament over Trumps! But when we came down to the final three in the primary, I leaned heavily toward the constitutionalist, as opposed to the “squishy” governor and the bloviator. 🙂

    3. Darrell, you’re spot on again! It IS a vote for America! The political parties have done their job and provided us the candidates the majority of their respective voters preferred. It’s too bad that through the open primaries of so many of the states, that Democrats and liberal-leaning independents played such a big role in the primary success of Trump. It surely makes a strong case for closed primaries. Let Republicans select their nominee, not everyone else!


  2. In a recent article Ben Shaperio pointed out the brilliance of Donald Trumps acceptance speech – brilliant in its defining of our nations problems but lacking in any shred of solutions.

    I made the points in response that the Constitution IS the solution and listed several actions that Donald SHOULD act upon to truly make our nation great again.

    The differences between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz center around these solutions. I truly believe Ted Cruz would agree with and take up – indeed would not need my input as compulsion to take up – every one of the points I suggested. I am an Americanist. Ted Cruz is an Americanist. As you’ve pointed out, Richard, Ted IS supporting Trump, by supporting the Party. But to those calling him a cry-baby because in their two dimensional minds he isn’t meeting their expectations of what support is, he is an immature brat – just like they are. In the end we all legally have one vote and that is support of substance as opposed to Ted telling all the Cruz fans (who are likely more intellegent – or at least more mature – than the Trump fans) that they should support Trump just because Ted said so! Isn’t that what endorsements are for? Telling the mindless masses what they should do?

    Isn’t that what political parties are for – telling the mob what to think?

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