Sen. Ted Cruz will deliver one of the most highly-anticipated speeches at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday evening, and no one knows what he is going to say.
Will he endorse Donald Trump — now the official Republican nominee — for president? Or will he use the podium to trash the ticket, as the #NeverTrump movement hopes?
Regardless, there is one thing that Ted Cruz owes to his audience, and that is a full accounting of his personal political views about Donald Trump.
Suppose, for a moment, that Cruz decides to make a tough stand against Trump, and against the party’s choice. That is what Trump’s opponents within the party may want to hear; it is certainly what Hillary Clinton wants to hear. And it would likely mean the end of Cruz’s own political ambitions inside the GOP.
But he would have to lay out the case against Trump — to explain to the rest of us why voting for Trump is an unconscionable choice, citing concrete evidence (assuming that it exists).
Now suppose Cruz goes the opposite route, giving Trump his full-throated endorsement, the way Bill Clinton backed Barack Obama for re-election in 2012. Many conservatives thought, or hoped, the former president would trash the man who rejected his centrist legacy. Instead, Clinton made the case at the Democratic National Convention that no one could have done better than Obama over those four years.
Cruz could do that tonight, too. The problem is that no one would believe him if he did.
That leaves the best, most honest, and ultimately most effective option. Cruz needs to 1. make the case for conservatism in the United States today; 2. explain why defeating Hillary Clinton is essential to that cause; and 3. argue that voting for Trump is the best and the only way to achieve that.
Again — he could make a more idealistic case, but the pragmatic case is the one voters will believe, coming from Cruz.
It is the case that best serves Cruz’s ambitions — and, in this instance, the country.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, will be published by Regnery on July 25 and is available for pre-order through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.