Cruz’s supporters loyal to his vision

Supporters of Ted Cruz envision their own way to reform Washington, a mindset that is similar to religious and constitutional fundamentalism.

It was undeniable that terms such as Constitution, anti-establishment, Bible and God dominated the rhetoric at the Cruz campaign event in Iowa City, Iowa. One supporter likens Cruz’s campaign to a revolution, focusing on the prosperity of men, refuting the establishment and returning to the origins of human rights. Congressman Steve King rallied for Ted Cruz and says Cruz has been taught constitutionalism and the Bible at the dinner table since his youth.

The audience appeared to resonate with this ideology. Entrepreneur Ted Miner says he thinks getting back to the basics of the Constitution will solve most of the country’s issues. Miner says he thinks there isn’t a stronger candidate advocating for the Constitution than Ted Cruz.

“Our founders set forth the Constitution for us to live by, a rule of law, and we’ve gotten away from that,” Miner says. “[The Founding Fathers’] idea was small government and the people’s voice, not Washington’s.”

A young Cruz supporter wearing a printed sweatshirt with ‘Jesus’ stamped across the front, says he thinks Ted Cruz is an honest candidate, and because Cruz is a Christian that means a lot to him. He says the most important issues to him are related to the Constitution and supporting the restoration of Christianity in society.

“There are so many things in this nation, like taking God out of things,” the Cruz supporter says. “This nation was founded on godly principles and it needs to go back to them. The establishment now does all of this junk and that’s why this nation is in the mess it’s in.”

Cruz supporters cheer during a rally in Iowa City on Jan. 31. Photo by Austin Hornbostel/TMN.

While attendees at the Cruz rally were charismatic for their positions regarding the Constitution, some were not as well versed on issues like tax reform, income inequality and economic progress. The Cruz supporter with the ‘Jesus’ t-shirt says he is less informed about Cruz’s policies on tax reform and income inequality.

“I’m not real sure on [income inequality], some of the things I’m not really up on,” the Cruz supporter says. “I believe in God, and biblical principles mean a lot to me … if you believe in God and believe in biblical things … you’re going to do the right things to benefit this country.”

Haley Poort says she is participating in her first caucus event and plans to caucus for Cruz. Poort says she thinks Cruz’s proposal to reform taxes and implement a flat tax is smart.

“It’s almost like, in my personal opinion, communism — taking from those who have more and giving it to those who have less,” Poort says. “I feel like if it’s standard, it’s all the same and people can enterprise off of that. I think the government just needs to balance the budget without increasing taxes.”

Other Cruz supporters were adamant about less government involvement on taxes and distribution of wealth, and more emphasis on a regulation-free market system.

Wilson Leppert plans to vote in the Iowa caucus on Monday. He says Cruz’s tax reform sounds great to him. Everyone paying the same rate makes the most sense, he says.

Contrasting Cruz’s proposal to proposals from Democrats, Leppert says he wonders why Democratic candidates want to charge the wealthy more.

“They’re the ones making the jobs and bringing the money into the economy,” Leppert says. “If we’re taking the money from the wealthy and giving it to the nobody, that creates lazy people who aren’t working. If the poor people aren’t working, someone has to pay for it.”

Leppert says he thinks the fewer government programs, the better. He says people can work out their affairs better without government, and too much regulation will kill the economy.