It’s easy to forget that one of the main reasons Donald Trump is president is that he won the Republican Party’s nomination—handily. If you go back in that fantasy time machine where President Obama is still in office and Donald Trump is smacking around GOP candidates, you’ll recall that Princeton’s top debater, and all-around sack of waste, Sen. Ted Cruz got his ass handed to him all of the time. That’s because Ted Cruz is not only terribly unlikeable, he’s also filled with worthless ideas—not unlike other big brains in the Republican Party.* Wednesday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders took on Sen. Ted Cruz in a debate about the big tax-overhaul being discussed in our country. Sen. Cruz’s position, as is his Party’s position as well as the President’s position, is that we need to give the wealthiest people in the country huge tax breaks. They want to do this because they believe that their power exists solely as a result of that money. And they’re right; because their ideas are shit and the evidential record proves that out. This one exchange gave us all a chance to remember what we like about Bernie Sanders and how special it is to watch Ted Cruz wilt under the pressure of someone with real passion and ideas (and ideals).
While Cruz attempted the old Socratic trick of creating consensus by asking relatively rhetorical no-brainer questions (do you believe small businesses should be relieved of some of their tax burdens? Do you think lower income homes should pay less taxes?), Sen. Sanders reminded little Teddy that this wasn’t an insecure prospective-freshman at Princeton he was debating with.
Sanders: Before we talk about the small business, will you agree with me that it makes no sense to lower the tax rates of the highest income people in this country?
Cruz: I don’t agree with that.
Sanders: Would you agree with me that thousands of people will die if we cut Medicaid by a trillion dollars and throw 15 million people off their health insurance that they have? That’s not Bernie Sanders. That’s a number of studies saying that. To answer your question, if the question is should we support small businesses and low-income people, with assistance? Of course, we should. That’s the tax reform we should do. I don’t want to write them a check, we could lower taxes. But what you are doing is saying we’re going to help a lower income person, a small business over here, but we’re going to tie it to the fact that 80% of the benefits are going to the top 1%. Work with me on a tax proposal where 80% of the benefits go to the working class and middle class of this country.
[Applause break] The best part of the applause break is watching Cruz feeling bad. He feels so bad!
*See Newt Gingrich
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.