Ted Cruz, 2023, Turning Point Action
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaking with attendees at the 2023 Turning Point Action Conference in West Palm Beach, FL. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is the worst kind of demagogue. Unlike so many others in the MAGAverse, he knows that he is spreading lies and still does it.

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In the MAGAverse/right-wing media bubble, there are different types of demagogues. First and foremost, there is Donald Trump. However, considering his apparent mental health disorders, he probably believes most of the lies he tells. Then there are the grifters, like Fox News executives, influencers, and other hangers-on, who are just happy that gaslighting Americans is a lucrative endeavor. Next come true believers, like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who don’t know any better. And then there is Ted Cruz.

The GOP senator from Texas is not an idiot (although he plays one on Twitter, on Fox News, and whenever a real news program is dumb enough to invite him). 

Cruz is the worst kind of demagogue because he does know better.

After graduating from Princeton University and Harvard Law School, he clerked for Michael Luttig, who was then a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and on the short list to join the Supreme Court (Luttig, viewed as one of the most brilliant conservative jurists of his time, has become a persona non grata in the Trump GOP because he has sharply criticized the former president on a number of issues and occasions).

Cruz then went on to clerk for William Rehnquist, who was then the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. 

In other words, the senator isn’t dumb, and he knows the law. 

That is why his behavior is especially appalling. 

Take this tweet from Memorial Day, for example: 

What is most impressive about it is how many lies and how much demagoguery Cruz manages to cram into two sentences. 

He knows very well that Attorney General Garland did not “authorize deadly force during the Mar-a-Lago raid.”

Instead, the warrant contained boilerplate language included in all kinds of warrants. 

At least, unlike morons such as Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), he didn’t suggest that it was President Joe Biden who ordered the “hit” on Trump. (Although, according to Trump, a president should enjoy TOTAL IMMUNITY, and therefore having the FBI shoot a rival while searching for classified documents would be completely fine.)

In any case, the facts of this issue have been known for a few days now after the former president initially made this ridiculous claim. 

So, it’s not as though Cruz didn’t know when he fired off his tweet… and yet he did it anyway. 

This particular lie is especially dangerous because it’s easy to see how some MAGA supporter could take matters into his own hands and harm an FBI agent.

It wouldn’t be the first time. In 2022, an armed man upset about the Mar-a-Lago raid tried to enter an FBI office in Cincinnati before he was killed in a shootout. 

Cruz knows that, too. 

And he still chose to publish this tweet. 

Our best guess as to why is that Cruz wants to boost his MAGA credentials in the hopes of becoming the GOP’s next leader once Trump exits the political stage (after either serving a second term or being defeated) or getting a Supreme Court seat. 

And that’s not good… because a smart demagogue can do way more damage than a stupid one.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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