While the U.S. government might not be holding Ted Cruz accountable for *checks notes* anything he’s done wrong in recent months, Twitter users refuse to let the Texas senator off the hook.
Since the violent insurrection at the U.S. capitol on Jan. 6, Cruz has come under continual fire on the social media platform from fellow politicians like Beto O’Rourke and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, celebrities like Seth Rogen, and countless other disappointed Americans.
The Texas senator memorably stuck by Donald Trump’s side after the 2020 election and supported dangerous, baseless claims that the race was “stolen.” Cruz’s stubborn, irresponsible actions led many to believe that, like Trump, he helped inspire the insurrection, and therefore, he should be held accountable.
Now, Cruz is being criticized for abandoning his state in its time of need. Mere days after extreme weather hit Texas — leaving millions of residents with no power, no heat, no water, and burst pipes causing significant damage — Cruz was seen jetting off to Cancun, Mexico, with his family. His latest lack of leadership and blatant disregard for the very communities he was elected to serve and protect has inspired another round of Twitter backlash — one that should be hard to recover
When the going gets tough, Ted Cruz gets going
When photos of Ted Cruz at the airport — along with confirmation that he and his family flew to Cancun for a few days to visit a resort — began circulating on social media Thursday morning, users were quick to call the senator out for his outrageous hypocrisy, lack of empathy, and ridiculously poor leadership.
Ted Cruz, along with the hashtag #VoteHimOut, quickly started trending on Twitter, where people posted side-by-side images of Cruz on a plane with massive lines at Texas grocery stores, shared harrowing personal experiences from the storm, and made pleas for the senator to resign immediately.
Audio from Feb. 15, in which Cruz can be heard encouraging Texans to stay home and not risk anyone’s safety (before directly defying his own advice and leaving the state for a leisurely trip) is also gaining attention.
It isn’t JUST that Ted Cruz left TX during a disaster—though that is bad enough. It’s also that he went on vacation to MX during a pandemic. He defended Trump’s remarks about Mexicans being drug dealers & rapists. Funny how MX is the first place he escapes to when shit gets hard.
— Tina Vasquez (@TheTinaVasquez) February 18, 2021
Holy shit Ted Cruz is in Cancun while folks in Texas are freezing to death. This is how the rich and powerful will approach climate change, denying it and running from the deadly fallout.
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) February 18, 2021
You would think that the representative of those without heat and power during a winter storm would be experiencing sleepless nights organizing logistical support for those suffering. Days would be dedicated to delivering blankets and wood. Instead, Ted Cruz is flying to Cancun.
— Cooper Hefner (@cooperhefner) February 18, 2021
If you don’t care about helping people, don’t run for public office. There are plenty of other ways to be a grifter that don’t involve such high stakes. Ted Cruz should go find one. Maybe he can start a fake university.
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) February 18, 2021
Family stands together in the storms and tough times.
Don’t be a Fled Cruz.
— Charles Booker (@Booker4KY) February 18, 2021
While Cruz was packing, making his way to the airport, and flying away from the problems in Texas, Beto O’Rourke — the Democratic candidate who ran against Cruz in the 2018 U.S. Senate election — stuck by his home state, tweeted out resources and ways to help those in need, and made his own efforts to provide relief.
On Wednesday night, O’Rourke and volunteers made over 151,000 calls to senior citizens in Texas to ensure those without power could get the required assistance. “One of our vols talked to a man stranded at home w/out power in Killeen, hadn’t eaten in 2 days, got him a ride to a warming center and a hot meal,” O’Rourke tweeted, announcing that he and his team would continue making calls on Thursday.
The contrast between O’Rourke and Cruz’s actions in this crisis has led many to compare the two on Twitter, and when O’Rourke spoke on MSNBC Thursday morning he didn’t shy away from calling for Cruz to be held accountable.
“It tells me that unless we hold those who are responsible accountable for what they did — yes that means Donald Trump, but it also means the junior senator from the state of Texas, who I understand is vacationing in Cancun right now when people are literally freezing to death in the state that he was elected to represent and serve,” O’Rourke said.
After hours of being roasted on Twitter, Cruz booked a flight back from Cancun to Houston. He later released a statement claiming that he only flew to Cancun to drop off his kids. Yes, that’s right. He blamed his own children.
“With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon,” the statement reads. OK, Cruz. First of all, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic so maybe be a good dad by telling your girls it’s not safe to take a vacation. And secondly, you also have a duty to be a good senator to an entire state full of people in need.
While Cruz may return to the state he abandoned, he’s has already made it abundantly clear where his priorities lie. And that Twitter users are working hard to make sure that isn’t forgotten.
This isn’t Cruz’s first Twitter beef
The thing about Ted Cruz is it’s not his first time at the center of negative Twitter discourse. He’s been down this road before, but he’s nearly mastered the slimy art of waiting however long it takes until the blowback and anger against him fade, and carrying on as usual until he inspires another outrage. The key word there is nearly.
While Cruz may have sparked his fair share of controversy and tirelessly supported a twice impeached president over the years, it seems people have reached their breaking point in regards to the Texas senator and are no longer willing to let him off the hook for his harmful transgressions.
While O’Rourke has been trying to hold Cruz accountable for years, we saw a new level of rallying against the Cruz after the Capitol riots. For weeks O’Rourke repeatedly reminded Twitter users that the senator played a part in inspiring the violent acts.
Don’t let him change the subject. Ted Cruz is guilty of trying to overturn a lawfully decided election, of helping to incite a violent insurrection that resulted in the deaths of five people including a police officer, and of pursuing sedition for his own political gain. Resign. https://t.co/KOx1KxgVkG
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) January 10, 2021
O’Rourke continuously called on senators to hold Ted Cruz, and Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, accountable for sedition. He asked that Cruz not be allowed to attend the inauguration, and also called the Texas senator out for repeatedly trying to deflect and change the subject.
O’Rourke’s intense, unwavering commitment to hold Cruz accountable and remind the American people of his wrongdoings was a rare sight to behold. But O’Rourke wasn’t alone. Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez was also a crucial voice in condemning the Texas senator this year, and she made sure to weigh in on his vacation to Cancun.
Sen. Cruz, you must accept responsibility for how your craven, self-serving actions contributed to the deaths of four people yesterday. And how you fundraised off this riot.
Both you and Senator Hawley must resign. If you do not, the Senate should move for your expulsion. https://t.co/O2m6T59LYP
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 7, 2021
Oh – you’re accusing me of lying?
Isn’t this you? Your campaign sent out this fundraising message as people were sieging the Capitol. You claimed to be “leading the fight to reject electors.”
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 7, 2021
Nice tweet Sen. Cruz! Quick question: do you also believe the Geneva Convention was about the views of the citizens of Geneva?
Asking for everyone who believes US Senators should be competent and not undermine our elections to incite insurrection against the United States https://t.co/mMf8iDo72G
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 21, 2021
If Sen. Cruz had resigned back in January after helping gin up a violent insurrection that killed several people, he could’ve taken his vacation in peace. Texans should continue to demand his resignation.
But don’t blame me for this, my points are on Amtrak! 🚊 https://t.co/CAWCgtxQ73
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 18, 2021
When social media has turned on Cruz in the past, he’s sought out distractions in hopes of regaining control of the narrative long enough for people to move past their anger. That’s how he found himself in a days-long Twitter back-and-forth with actor Seth Rogen in January.
After Rogen tweeted saying Cruz is “a fascist piece of shit,” the senator called him a moron, attacked Democrats, and tried to bring up cancel culture. But Rogen refused to back down and let Cruz change the subject, and he took the opportunity to once again remind Twitter users that Cruz helped inspire the deadly insurrection.
O’Rouke was right there with Rogen to hold Cruz accountable, tweeting, “Don’t let him change the subject. Ted Cruz is guilty of trying to overturn a lawfully decided election, of helping to incite a violent insurrection that resulted in the deaths of five people including a police officer, and of pursuing sedition for his own political gain. Resign.”
Twitter accountability isn’t enough, but it is something
While calling out someone like Cruz on social media doesn’t produce the desired effects that large-scale accountability on a government level would, it still raises awareness and puts on the public pressure.
Had the masses not sounded off on Twitter when Cruz hightailed it out of Texas to seek warmth and relaxation, would anyone really have known he was gone? Would he have booked a flight back? Would the argument that he’s an unfit leader have been made even stronger? No.
In January Ted Cruz helped incite a deadly insurrection that also nearly killed his congressional colleagues.
In February Ted Cruz bailed during a deadly blackout that has already killed dozens of his Texas constituents.
In March Ted Cruz should be expelled from Congress.
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) February 18, 2021
Twitter accountability isn’t enough, especially when used against people like Cruz who aren’t easily shamed. Real, impactful action is required to get poor leaders out of office and make them take responsibility for their actions, but this can help inspire more influential change.
On the heels of Trump’s acquittal, at a time when holding people government leaders properly accountable seems like one of the most challenging tasks in the world, raising hell on Twitter is a simple, important step to help educate people and ensure that wrongdoings aren’t forgotten.
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