KNOB CREEK, MS — At a campaign stop in Mississippi, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) sought to clarify comments he recently made comparing himself to Galileo while pontificating that it’s the “global warming alarmists,” in his words, that are the “flat earthers.” Cruz sought to chastise those who believe in climate change being real and exacerbated at the very least by humankind by pointing to “satellite data” he says will “demonstrate that there has been no significant warming whatsoever for 17 years.” Climate scientists were quick to debunk Cruz’s point — one that is often made by those who want to minimize the impact of climate change — as ignoring warming trends for decades leading to the last 17 years, and that a general slowing in the warming of the climate doesn’t mean that climate change isn’t happening.
“Today, the global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-Earthers,” Cruz said in an interview. “It used to be it is accepted scientific wisdom the Earth is flat, and this heretic named Galileo was branded a denier,” said the Texas Republican. Many watching American politics scoffed loudly at such a comparison, considering that peer-reviewed, well-documented evidence exists now that the planet’s climate has been warming for years and years, while there was never any evidence at all that the planet was flat. Cruz’s critics also say he is simply deflecting away from the fact that he is presenting his opinions that fly directly in the face of direct scientific data, and is playing the same shell game with certain facts that many climate deniers do.
At the campaign stop in Knob Creek this week, Cruz sought to clarify his positions on climate change, and his views that it’s the climate “alarmists” who are willfully ignorant, and not those who are turning away from the overwhelming consensus of the climatologists on record. “I think there has been some confusion ever since I officially announced my candidacy,” said Cruz to assembled reporters outside a Knob Creek eatery known for its “72 ounce steak you kill and grill yourself,” according to the restaurant’s flickering neon sign. “I am not running for President of the United States of America,” Cruz told a surprised group of reporters, “I’m running for the President of Opposite America.”
This sent the media members at the press conference into a frenzy of questions. One reporter from The Lafayette Journal and Coupon Book asked Cruz where Opposite America was. “It’s in the hearts and minds of true, God-fearing, ammo stockpiling, red meat eating, anti-Sharia, anti-communist, anti-Democrat, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-poor American Patriot, that’s where,” said Cruz. Another reporter from The Daily Beavertown Gazette asked the Republican if he could describe Opposite America, so that voters could better understand where they live. Cruz smiled, nodded, took a deep breath, and started answering the question.
“Can I describe Opposite America to you? Of course I can, little lady,” said Cruz to the 65-year old, balding man who asked the question. “Opposite America is the America where in 2015 we still believe gun lobby rhetoric that the Founding Fathers envisioned a country armed to the teeth to protect themselves against a government they get to elect themselves. Opposite America is where the definition of ‘freedom’ means not letting two adults marry each other because we find what they do in private to be icky. Opposite America is where racism is dead because have a half-black president while we see story after story of systemic racism in police forces and municipalities targeting poor, black citizens with arbitrary and financially crippling fines,” Cruz was pacing now, evoking an image of a carnival barker and evangelical prophet.
“Opposite America is where climate change isn’t real because you can go outside and it’s snowing in February,” Cruz continued, sweat forming on his brow as he’d mop it off and continue, raising the tone and timbre of his voice as he listed more and more ways Opposite America differs from Real America. “In Opposite America, your government does not rest until all the answers to the questions we have on Benghazi are answered the way we want them to be answered, not the way the facts require them to be answered. Opposite America is where you can buy a gun online from anyone without any background check and that’s cool, but you better not think about showing up to vote unless you have twenty-two extra forms of ID.”
Cruz was frantic now, just listing off various aspects of Opposite America, the country he feels best suited to run. “Women are paid less than men and they just cash their checks, get their hair curlers and Lee press-on nails and shut their mouths. Immigrants have to wait thirty years to get in, pass sixteen different tests and not be from Mexico. There are only two kinds of energy — coal and hippy-dippy-bullshit.” Cruz was almost unhinged at this point, gesticulating wildly. “Taxes are theft! Up is down! Down is up! Blue is green! Red is pancakes!”
After about five minutes the Harvard graduate stopped, composed himself and said, “Opposite America, quite simply put, is the America where Ted Cruz has a shot in hell of actually winning an election outside of an extremely red state filled with low-information voters.” Then Cruz got in his campaign bus and drove off to the next stop.