HONOLULU, February 29, 2016 – Next week, over a million Hawaii residents will have the opportunity to select a courageous, conservative leader for our State and Nation during the March 8th Republican Presidential Caucus. As a Hawaii voter and a Republican leader committed to an American millennium of peace and prosperity, I know that the best choice for our children’s future is Ted Cruz.
Last year, as the presidential election cycle began, I initially asserted that it would be best for state Republican Party officers like myself to refrain from making endorsements because our primary focus should always be on organizations and communities, rather than personalities.
This year, there is also much to admire about all of the Republican presidential candidates, who each have unique strengths and special qualities that set them leagues apart from previous contenders for the White House in past elections. Voters can be proud that 2016 has attracted a spectrum of excellence to the Republican Party, and can be understandably undecided in making a choice between so many greats. However, so much has changed for America and the world in these troubling last few months, from the outrageous kidnapping of our Navy sailors by Iran, to an increasing chill between the United States and Russia, to the passing of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.
These challenging and confusing times call for mature, level-headed, leadership-by-example at the White House, and only Ted Cruz stands apart among giants as the best choice for America. There are three reasons why I will be caucusing for Ted Cruz on Tuesday, March 8, here in Hawaii, and encourage my friends and neighbors to do the same:
During the Cold War, the United States was the undisputed leader of the free world. This commitment to freedom and leadership-by-example inspired tyranny-shattering courage in the hearts of billions, from Soviet Lieutenant Viktor Belenko, who defected to the West by landing his nation’s MiG-25 Foxbat in Japan in exchange for U.S. citizenship, to the lone 18-year old West German pilot Mathias Rust, who successfully penetrated the world’s most formidable air defense network in an unarmed civilian Cessna to leaflet Moscow in 1987.
Today, the upside-down world of 2016 is one where Americans like intelligence professional Edward Snowden abscond to Russia, and where tens of thousands of young people leave the United States in search of quality, high-paying jobs in places like communist China. The world sees the United States as a fading economic power and a military has-been, while China emerges as an titan in trade, industry, and technology with military superpower status on the horizon.
Our long-held, traditional allies see America divided and indecisive, and are beginning to reconsider their relationships with Russia. This paradigm shift, if not checked, can result in a dangerous world where liberty as a way of life is disarmed and preyed upon by terrorists, renegade states, and communist superpowers. Among the Republican candidates, only Ted Cruz has a solid plan to reverse this decline and restore America’s place as leader of the free world.
Hawaii is at the very frontline of potential conflict and instability, located at a strategic point in the Pacific that places it well within the cross-hairs of North Korea, China, and Russia. Any major global conflict will first touch Hawaii in the 21st century, and Hawaii residents know all too well from the legacy of December 7, 1941 that our state is not immune to enemy attack.
Hawaiians have already once seen the horror of a smoke-stained sky filled with attacking enemy planes and know the first-hand the human cost of a weak national security policy. We have two words for politicians in Washington D.C.: Never Again. We need a president who combines discerning wisdom, technological insight, and understanding of historical patterns to protect our lives and decisively secure America.
Anyone can say they support our troops or make empty, showman-like promises of making America great again. As demonstrated by the two terms of President Obama, campaign platitudes and extravagant statements of deal-making prowess may win votes, but they did not stop Russians from flying armed nuclear bombers near the airspaces of our allies, nor did they deter Chinese from building fortresses in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, or stop Iranians from kidnapping our sailors.
Ted Cruz is the first and only 2016 Republican presidential candidate to specifically recognize the crucial role of the U.S. Air Force in deterring 21st century threats to peace. The last three presidencies have given lip service at best to America’s nuclear deterrent, and with the retirement of the LGM-118 Peacekeeper ICBM in 2005, the U.S. has ill-advisedly rested the bulk of its secured, second-strike capability first on ballistic missile submarines – followed a distant second by cruise missile carrier aircraft like the B-52 – which, while both formidable, have certain design and operational limitations that restrict their time-sensitive utility in instances of an enemy decapitation strike.
Only Ted Cruz has specifically named the land-based ICBM deterrent as being critical to national security. During the Ford, Carter, Reagan, and H.W. Bush administrations, it was universally recognized that our Minuteman missiles needed a survivable replacement, as the Soviets and Chinese built newer, more accurate missiles with greater rocket payloads which made the existing Minutemen vulnerable to a first strike. This unity of purpose resulted in the M-X missile program, which matured into the LGM-118 Peacekeeper, an ICBM that President George W. Bush retired, leaving America at risk to the same deterrence gap that prior presidencies worked so hard to resolve.
Today, the Russians are aggressively modernizing their strategic rocket forces, and the Chinese are engaging in the world’s largest buildup of ICBMs utilizing stolen U.S. warhead technology. This arms buildup is neither benign nor will it end well for an America that refuses to meet this emerging nuclear threat with vigilance.
Only Ted Cruz has taken the principled, unpopular stand of seeking to modernize our nuclear forces. If elected, Ted Cruz will upgrade our aging LGM-30 Minutemen ICBMs, returning America to the balanced, strategic deterrence model that won the Cold War.
Ted Cruz also has also wisely committed to supporting the Air Force’s manned B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber. Advances in cruise missile technology and proliferation of stealth aircraft mean that China and Russia can be expected within the next two decades to develop operational stealth bombers of their own that threaten our cities at home and military installations abroad. Meanwhile, their efforts to produce fifth-generation fighter aircraft such as the T-50 PAK-FA and the J-20 fighters threaten our existing stealth technology, jeopardizing our nuclear and conventional deterrence capability. (As it is, in 1999, Yugoslavian Army forces were already able to down a U.S. Air Force F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter using obsolete SA-3 Goa missiles, providing the Russians with ample U.S. stealth material to study and refine their systems against.) With Russian President Vladimir Putin already demonstrating an aggressive pattern of provocation with nuclear Tu-95 and Tu-160 bombers, the U.S. Air Force must have the B-21 to convince any potential adversaries that America can counter any air attack with strength and resolve on our part. Weakness on our part only breeds temptation by our enemies.
Like Ronald Reagan, Ted Cruz recognizes that a free world requires a strong America. Ted Cruz is not a “poker player” who will gamble America’s future away, nor is he willing to leverage an American bankruptcy of power for personal gain.
Ted Cruz has never had the privilege of manipulating regulations and laws for personal gain by buying liberal politicians like Hillary Clinton or Rahm Emanuel. Like the rest of us, Ted Cruz has had to live by the same set of rules that hard-working Americans follow every day without special favors from elected officials to exempt them from.
As Solicitor General of Texas, Ted Cruz fought harder for the rule of law and justice than any other predecessor to the OSG, never shying from a fight and appearing before the Supreme Court a record nine times. His salty, no-nonsense, Texas-tough attitude will ensure that if elected, a Cruz Administration will not sell economic favors to the highest bidder or deal the middle class out when it comes to powerful corporate interests.
The primary reason America is in such economic peril is because Washington – with some five finance lobbyists for every one member of Congress – has sold out the middle class for political gain and personal greed. Some men have fighting words for personal pride, but Ted Cruz has consistently demonstrated a fighting spirit for what is right. Ted Cruz can be trusted to reform unfair regulations, enforce existing laws against corporate corruption, protect hardworking taxpayers, and lay the foundations for an America whose economic engine rests on individual innovation rather than government pork.
Ted Cruz’s promise to pass the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act will prevent any one executive agency or overzealous presidency from abusing administrative rules to legislate by fiat, restoring economic accountability to elected officials in Congress. As Ronald Reagan famously said, “if you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the fire.” This promise alone by Ted Cruz is one of the greatest reasons to support him, as it will put enhanced pressure on Congress to respect voters targeted by regulations, rather than special interests – and big donors – who profit by regulations.
Hawaii, which suffers from some of the highest costs of living but endures being one of the worst places to earn money and do business, would greatly benefit from Ted Cruz’s promise to pursue a strong dollar through stable monetary policy at the Fed. This means that inflation will be brought under control and slowed, while Americans will see more purchasing power in their existing incomes, both at home and especially abroad.
Ted Cruz has also promised to abolish class warfare by creating a Simple Flat Tax, a long overdue reform that would once more reward individual saving, private investment, and hard work. The benefits of a ten percent tax would reduce the exorbitant compliance costs of filing taxes and set an example for state and municipal governments to do the same.
FREEDOM AND PERSONAL LIBERTY
Of the remaining presidential candidates seeking the Republican nomination, liberty has no greater advocate than Ted Cruz. This is why young liberty leaders like Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) have asked libertarians to vote for Cruz, and why many fiscal conservatives are choosing to caucus for Cruz. Ted Cruz’s career began with defending the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, living by his oath to protect these sacred documents from all enemies, foreign, and domestic. He also understands the correct role and place of faith in our society, and has been a champion for religious freedom. Unlike those that believe that government is a tool to do whatever must be done, Ted Cruz respects the limits set by America’s Founding Fathers and has the experience before the Supreme Court to back it up, should he be elected to the presidency.
As one of the last born into Generation X, I took President Ronald Reagan’s words very seriously when he stood before the White House and promised the-then “future youth” of my generation an America brighter and more prosperous than any other time before us. Speaking of Generation X, Reagan said, “Their security, their job opportunities, and the dreams they’ll take into the next century all begin with what we do today.” A lot has happened since Reagan’s promise, and in many ways, our elected leaders failed our generation, but what we were unable to accomplish for ourselves, we can still do for our children.
Ted Cruz, as a fellow GenXer, understands our unique, shared hopes, dreams, and the struggles which have frustrated us along the way. He knows that while delayed, we still have a destiny with greatness. He is the most Reaganesque candidate to seek the GOP nomination, and he is the leader that my generation has been waiting for.
America needs more than just big promises and opportunistic politicians. This country was built by men and women of principle, who carved a place for themselves and their family through bitter sweat, tears, and even the blood of their sacrifice in fighting for America’s freedom. There is no better man for our families, our future, and our United States of America than Ted Cruz. I humbly invite Hawaii to caucus with me for him on March 8.
Dr. de Gracia is a political scientist, an ordained minister, a former elected official and the author of the new political thriller “American Kiss,” available now from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other major bookstores. DISCLOSURE: Danny de Gracia is an elected Republican district chairman, but his opinions are expressly his own and do not reflect the official opinion of any organization.