This past Sunday as Ted Cruz visited New Hampshire to do whatever it is a Texas Senator does in New Hampshire in the middle of February on a non-election year, a tiny 3-year old girl put him in his place. Cruz went into a hysterical rant about how awful the world is, as I imagine he was somehow paid to do. Senator’s are basically like anti-hype-men, like a reverse Flavor Flav who just talks about how terrible things are: “Yeah boyeee! We got the worst thing ever going down right here boyee! Obama gonna destroy it all tonight!!! None of ya’ll know what time it is because Obama’s recession sent us backwards like you best believe!! ”
At the actual speech, Cruz talked and talked before he really got into his groove and spewed out some nonesense that led to the following exchange:
Cruz: “The Obama economy is a disaster, Obamacare is a train wreck and the Obama-Clinton foreign policy of leading from behind — the whole world is on fire…”
3-Year Old: “The world is on fire?”
After the laughter from everyone mocking a sincerely worried child died down, Cruz seized the moment to explain to the girl:
The world is on fire. Yes! Your world is on fire. But you know what? Your mommy’s here and everyone’s here to make sure that the world you grow up in is better.
But Cruz should have learned from the girl’s comment rather than jumped on it. He should have realized he was being a jack-ass. While he may have a different opinion than Obama, the world is not on fire – and if the world were on fire, a squirrely Ted Cruz, a weird collection of Maine republicans, and a mom who brings her toddler to a Ted Cruz speech are the last people you’d want to try to put out the flames. You’d be much better off with say a soldier or someone actually trained to fight a fire. I’m not sure anyone at this speech had the strength to even break open the glass case to get to the fire extinguisher. You’d be better off at a John Boehner event because at least then maybe he’d cry and put the fire out.
Saying the world is on fire is not a metaphor, it’s hyperbole. The world is fine and it’s better than it ever has been. Ferguson and Eric Garner created riots, but as a whole police killings of black Americans are down 70% in the last 50 years. The recovery was difficult, but we are expected to reach full employment this year. ISIS is evil, but we had fewer worldwide combat deaths the past decade than any time during the past 100 years.
The world is not on fire. It’s as un-on fire as it has ever been. We have bagels with the cream cheese already inside them, so if you want to get fat combining carbs and dairy without the hard work of spreading cheese, you can. We have millions of people are wearing bands around their wrist that contain as much technology as we used to get to the moon, just so they cant find out how many steps they’ve taken. They usually don’t even walk more steps, but somehow think counting steps they’ve already taken is the same thing as exercising – so they reward themselves with more bacon wrapped pizza. As Louis CK famously said, “Everything’s amazing right now, and nobody is happy.”
Yet Ted Cruz is in Maine talking about how the world is on fire. As if a land filled only with snow, light houses, and L.L. Bean wearing soccer moms has any problems. Maine would only be on fire if someone poured gasoline over all the antique wicker furniture.
Even the video itself makes it clear the world is fine, since one of the audience members/journalists/pimps was wearing a bright green sequins covered hat! You don’t have serious problems if you can discuss them looking like a leprechaun who found his way into the “Bille Jean” music video. No one showed up at the Yalta Convention wearing a novelty sized foam cowboy hat.
That’s why when the girl asked if the world was really on fire, Cruz should have took a step back and realized how ridiculous he was sounding. Politicians in America actually agree on much more than they would ever have you believe, yet we act like one party is pro-murder while the other thinks that instead of sending kids to school we should force them to eat grass as human lawn mowers for the rich.
But in reality the arguments are tiny. Politicians are debating whether or not insurers who demonstrate a valid religious exemption can avoid purchasing health insurance plans that cover a small subset of birth control options. Or they’re yelling about whether or not we should raise taxes on investment gains from 25% to 28%. Such small differences do not mean the world is on fire. But unfortunately, you have to act like it is in order to get ahead in politics.