Where would be be today if we had president Cruz instead of president Trump

Alternative history June 16 2015, Washington post page A8:

Real estate Mogul Donald Trump is dead at the age of 68. Tragicomedy struck at Trump tower today as Trump tripped over his 4" platform shoes and fell down an escalator breaking his fool neck in front of a crowd of paid of supporters. He leaves behind 3 wives, 5 children, 10 grand children and innumerable mistresses who immediately began squabbling with eachother over the scraps if his estate.

In a wave of resentment against a black president, and general dissatisfaction with the status quo, Republicans nominate the most extreme red meat conservative they have available. Then and ginned up allegations about Clinton’s e-mails, Russian disinformation, and progressives staying home to teach the Democrats a lesson, Ted Cruz scrapes together enough electoral votes to win the presidency in 2016.

What does he do differently. I assume that the number of lies drop by an order of magnitude, and there is no effort to actively piss off our allies. I think we still probably get out of the Paris climate agreement, and the Iran nuclear deal, while leaving the Trans-pacific partnership hanging. He probably doesn’t start the trade wars with the world, but maybe a Muslim ban?

On the domestic side, we get the same boondoggle of a tax cut, but with someone relatively competent in charge can the Republicans also get enough votes to nix the ACA, even if they have nothing to replace it with? Racism is still rampant but may be still confined to dog whistles rather than bull horns.

Russian interference still happens and is downplayed, but to what extent does the Cruz campaign play along? In any case I doubt that Cruz will so blatantly obstruct justice making the Mueller report a much less interesting read. Also no shenanigans with Ukraine and no coup attempt at the end so no impeachment.

Finally to the elephant in the room, Covid. While there may be some attempt to minimize the apparent severity of the crisis there isn’t the level of outright denial that Trump exhibited. However in terms of maskholes and keep everything open, I’m not sure how much of that was Trump as a leader versus how much was Trump as follower. I think the “my freedom trumps your health science” attitude is going to show up in conservatives no matter who is in charge, and I suspect that a president Cruz would bow to partisan pressures and follow that stance. So the Covid result might not be all that different, minus the jokes about sticking a light bulb up your bum.

Basically with this thread I’m curious in ascertaining what portion of the situation in which we find ourselves can be laid specifically at Trumps feet, versus what portion is just a result of the rise of far right Republicanism.

A much tougher policy line against Russia and China.

The same conservative judges.

Dignified-sounding tweets.

Cruz would probably beat Biden by a hair for reelection. Unlike Trump, he wouldn’t screw things up so badly that incumbent advantage couldn’t save the day.

I have to disagree with this assesment. trump’s refusal to war a mask was one, part of his overall stupid strategy of pretending Covid was a minor thing and desperately hoping it would go away so the stock market wouldn’t tank, and two, because I really believe he was too vain to wear a mask in public-- he thought it made him look ridiculous.

Then his rabid followers ret-conned it into 'mask-wearing is for totalitarian commie leftists, and it actually spreads the disease. Also it causes cancer! And makes baby Jesus cry!"

I think a Cruz presidency would have had a somewhat better, more sane response to the Covid crisis and would have resulted in many fewer deaths.

It is said that nobody likes him, but nobody “liked” Nixon either, and he was successful (until he wasn’t).

Definitely a lot more competence in the fundamentals of governing. He is “bad”, but within conventional parameters. Because he was a Senator, I would see a lot more working directly with McConnell to get legislation done. So, effective in that arena, not relying on Presidential Signing Statements, etc.

Also, he is a very educated-smart person, so he probably wouldn’t deny science type stuff to a great degree - he might play to the rubes, but also try to convince them of what is correct. So, his approach to COVID might have been the opposite of Trump. He might have leaned into doing what’s right for the history books.

He might keep ACA, because he wouldn’t be irrationally butthurt that a black man was president. He would keep banging the illegal immigrant drum in order to score politically, but I don’t see him being dumb about it with a wall or muslim bans. He wouldn’t be an isolationist like Trump, so international relations wouldn’t have been a dogs breakfast. No trade wars, probably conventional toughness on Putin and China.

Oh, and unlike Nixon and Trump, probably relatively clean. Although he would probably have had his share of appointees get in trouble, as is the GOP way.

The Republican Party in general went crazy over the ACA before Trump became a “serious” political player. I am quite sure Cruz would have tried to destroy the ACA.

Cruz would have won reelection. He probably would have saved the Senate by at least a seat or two. Would have made the House almost a split.

Trump made the Republican party less competitive in elections, which is also why it has become more openly authoritarian. Cruz would have easily been the most authoritarian minded president since Nixon but he would have played within the rules more than Trump did. He would have at least pretended to be competing in terms of ideas and ideology.

I’ve long maintained that President Cruz would’ve been a worse choice in the long run than President Trump.

It would’ve been quieter, but we’d still have the same conservative justices and probably even more erosion of the barriers between church and state. Cruz would be in his second term now, because he wouldn’t have whipped up the gratuitous hate that inspired 18 million people that didn’t vote Democrat in 2016 to vote him out after one term.

And the erosion of voting rights would still be happening, but quietly, the way it’s been happening for the past 30 years. We’d be less than a decade away from becoming a right wing religious theocracy but there would still be prominent liberals that believed Republicans were acting in good faith.

Trump said the quiet parts out loud, shamelessly and proudly, He ripped off the “cover” off the talking points about small government and personal responsibility and exposed the real game. It can’t be walked back, now everyone with a brain knows that the Republican end game is to destroy democracy in order to remake America as haven for white people that love patriotic Jesus.

This is the hand Trump left them with, and they’ve decided to play it until the bitter end without folding. And they very well might win, which is scary. But it’s not a very good hand, and if it weren’t for Trump they’d have a better hand, plus they’d still be bluffing about the end game.

The world would be a steaming radioactive heap.

Trump did a lot of damage in a short span of time, but he also incited a major backlash against him and the GOP. The backlash against Cruz wouldn’t have been as great, and he would have had more time to boil the frog slowly.

He would have definitely killed the ACA. He would not have antagonized our allies as much, though he’d probably be putty in Putin’s hands. Same tax cuts, same reactionary judges. He’s such an unlikeable dweeb that I can’t see him winning once, let alone twice. I don’t think having Cruz control was ever an option for us.

There is not a chance in hell that Cruz would have voluntarily kept the ACA. He shut down the entire federal government in the fall of 2013 pretty much single handedly as a stunt coinciding with the law going into full effect. He wound up shooting himself in the foot in that regard; the marketplace had some issues in its initial rollout which should have been catnip to conservatives, but no one was talking about it because everyone was pissed off at Cruz for shutting the government down.

The recent feature story in Politico on Nikki Haley mentioned a meeting that she had with Cruz before the South Carolina primary in 2016. She apparently asked Cruz what he would like to be remembered for if he was elected president, and he responded that he wanted to be remembered as the person who repealed every word of Obamacare. About the only endearing thing about Haley that I learned in that piece was that she apparently thought Cruz was absolutely loathsome; she and her staff apparently literally burst out laughing after he left at what a cartoon of a human being he came off as.

Immediately upon inauguration, Cruz’s real father, Tsathoggua, the Sleeper of N’kai, will emerge from below the White House Rose Garden and demand his tribute in terms of the first born children of all Republicans, consuming them with a monstrous, slobbering relish while Cruz stands aside with his wife and children awkwardly trying to distance themselves from him and Formless Spawn prowl around the grounds. Vice President Santorum stands to the other side, quivering in apoplectic rigidity that his own deity, Shub-Niggurath, was not invited to the party.

1D10/2D20 SAN loss for anyone attending in person, 2/1D10+1 loss viewing on television.


And don’t forget, we would’ve had Vice-President Fiorina. Maybe. I always thought he gave her the VP slot to trick her into baby-sitting for him. I think he would’ve dumped her for a white guy after he clinched the nomination.

Seriously, remember when she went on national TV like some sort of demented Maria von Trapp and sang a little song about Ted Cruz’s daughters? I don’t know what they were thinking, that Republican women wanted to see her maternal side? It was possibly the most cringeworthy thing ever.

And I’m not playing the embedded video, it was horrifying the first time and I just ate dinner.

One thing for sure, birther-ism would have made a comeback, just from the opposite side (given that Cruz was born in Canada.)

Cruz would have touted human rights a whole lot more than Trump, IMHO. Trump was almost allergic to human rights and was perfectly comfortable with Uighurs being squashed under the boot of the CCP in the Xinjiang camps.

With Cruz being reelected and the Republicans hanging on to Senate by a hair, there would be a real risk that Breyer would be replaced by a conservative, just like Ginsburg was. It’s easy to see health issues taking Breyer out of SCOTUS before January 2025. Plus a lot more circuit and district judges being replaced in the two years of 2021-2022.

Hillary and Trump have both shown that you can’t win with a substantial dislikability index. Y’all might not have liked Good Ol’ Joe, but no one had a visceral illogical hatred of him either.

Cruz creates a visceral hatred among a significant number of voters, including myself.The mixed metaphors over Harry Potter and Star Trek and whatever that was supposed to be a witty 'splaining away of his Cancun Trip just makes me want to punch that swarmy pie hole of his.


But Trump (or Trump Jr.) has bigger downside risks. I believe DJT really wanted to be President for Life. But four years is not long enough to take a real bite out of democracy. Russia still had a free press after Putin’s first term. After the second, it started taking hits.

On this factor, I think you’re wrong. Here in Canada, we have conservative politicians who are all keen to duplicate the GOP “Party of Stupid” success, but even the worst of them were smart enough to realize that the pandemic was a real problem when Trump was still going out of his way to downplay it. I can’t imagine Cruz, as loathsome as he is as a person, actually being stupider than Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

We still have some mask-holes, but the vast majority of them seem to be copy-cats inspired by the Trumpista mask-holes from down south. Had the US had even a Doug Ford-level sensible response from the president, I think mask-wearing would have been much less of an issue. Any mask-holes that still bucked the trend would be the typical crazy fringe that exists no matter what you do, it would not be the 30-40% of the population you see in the US.

Fiorina falls off the stage. No one cares.

I think Cruz would have been way more successful in destroying the ACA. Part of the problems the GOP had with it is that they had no alternative and Trump had no direction (he wanted ACA gone, but he also wanted something “better” to put his name on, and he had his internal, bizarre, ever changing timelines. Remember he was “unpredictable”) so from day-to-day, the GOP couldn’t align behind anything. Cruz, OTOH, would have just wanted the ACA gone. That’s much easier. Quick party alignment. The lie to people “the tax cuts will make up for your medical costs.” And it’s gone.

Pretty much the same for all GOP policies (to the extent they have them), he probably would have been much more effective in getting things done.
Much, much fewer racial hate crimes. Cruz would probably have continued with the GOP standard ignoring of the white supremacists with the occasional dog whistle instead of out and out encouraging them like Trump did. Same erosion of voting rights. I would also bet on increase in LGBTQA+ hate crimes. The tie to the “religious right” would be what it was during the Bush43 era, not what it is today - very strong, but not out and out pathological.

Much better on an international front. World leaders wouldn’t like him (the man seems to be a charisma vacuum), but they wouldn’t find him an idiot. He wouldn’t antagonize allies and he probably wouldn’t fall for Putin either.

Covid would have been handled better - far, far fewer deaths. But then, there are very few people who could/would have handled the pandemic worse than trump did.

Cruz is evil, but he’s smart, and he isn’t a science-denier as far as I know. I agree that he would’ve handled the COVID-19 pandemic much, much better.

He wouldn’t have been feared by Republicans in Congress (Al Franken: “I like Ted Cruz better than most of his Republican colleagues, and I hate Ted Cruz”) the way Trump was, so he might not have been able to get as much legislation that he favored passed, but we’d still be stuck, most likely, with the same tax cuts, sea of red ink and conservative judges. Similar policies to those of Trump pretty much across the board, I suspect.

Not sure if he would’ve won reelection, but I think he would have. The economy would’ve been doing a lot better last year because of his better handling of the pandemic, and that, despite his personal unattractiveness, would probably have been enough to get him a second term.

Fortunately, he couldn’t pardon himself for state criminal offenses: Ted Cruz–Zodiac Killer meme - Wikipedia