I'll never forget meeting former Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
It was at my first professional job in Marble Falls, a bustling little town smack in the middle of the lakes in the Hill Country. It's beautiful, and I encourage anyone to visit if they enjoy relaxing and scenic vacations.
She was passing through town late one summer on a, sort of, goodbye tour. It was 2012, and she had already announced her pending exit from Senate life.
Though we may not have seen eye-to-eye on many things, I respected her for her respect of the job. She worked to get things done, a real woman of the people who was the first Texas senator to receive more than 4 million votes in a single election.
Ever since Kay Bailey left, I lament the fact that Sen. Ted Cruz was the one to pick up her torch. He barely deserves to see its light, much less hold it forth.
His government shutdown antics display his lack of respect for the position he holds and a willingness to hold the governmental process hostage due to a belief held, strongly, by a minority of Republican lawmakers.
Cruz speaks to voters as if they are little children who he is protecting from the monsters under the D.C. bed. I can't stand it.
He deserves to be voted out, but he does not deserve this nonsense over his citizenship. It is downright ridiculous.
And yes, it is the same as the fiction drawn on the walls of far-right political blogs about President Barack Obama's supposedly fake birth certificate. This is not only because both involve the same, loud-mouth, delusional character that is Donald Trump at the center, but both are born out of the same underlying, borderline racist, fear that too many Americans have with anything conceived as foreign.
The record states this much about Cruz: in December of 1970, the cries of Rafael Edward first burst forth from a hospital in Calgary. Yes, that is the Canadian City of Calgary, located in the province Alberta.
His mother, Eleanor Elizabeth, was born in Delaware, located in the cradle of America. She received a degree from Rice University in mathematics.
His father, Rafael, was born in Cuba. He worked his way to acceptance at the University of Texas in Austin, where he later claimed asylum to avoid returning the political discord in his home country.
That's the same discord that gave us Fidel Castro. I guess you could say that Ted's father was somewhat of a refugee, though he doesn't fit the exact idea of one. Besides, we can examine hypocrisies and double-standards at a different time.
Rafael did eventually become a naturalized U.S. citizen, but he was not when Ted was born in Calgary. He and his wife, who, again, is 100 percent American, were in Canada working seismic-data processing for oil drilling.
By at least 1974, when Ted was four years old, the family moved down to Texas. So the Senator, born to an American woman and, essentially, a Cuban-American, has spent at least 40 years of his life living, studying, working, and breathing in America.
What's the problem with his citizenship again?
True, Cruz did have dual-citizenship growing up, having been born in Canada. But he renounced his Canadian citizenship. It doesn't take mathematicians like Cruz's parents to understand that two minus one equals one, American citizenship.
But that's not enough for the Donald, is it? Oh no, you can't just be American. You have to be super-American, or the most American-est of all to be the GOP nominee.
I find it funny that Trump never brought this up when it wasn't clear that Cruz was on his way to winning the Iowa Caucuses. It's interesting that now, with two weeks to go before voting starts there, some lawyer in Texas has brought a suit over Cruz's involvement in the race.
Now, there's a reason for them to fear Cruz, so they're trying to transfer that fear into one their voters can understand. It's a fear of anything remotely foreign that plagues parts of this country.
It's that last name, Cruz, that can get those ideas worked up. If it was Krantz, or the English version of the name, Cross, none of this would have ever come up.
Even if it still did, in the same desperate attempt by Trump to keep voters from jumping off of his yacht and onto the Cruz ship (see what I did there?), this argument would have long been gone.
The Obama birtherism would be dead for similar reasons. Let's just say it involves skin tones.
John McCain wasn't born inside of America. He was born at a Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone, but I bet none of you ever heard that brought up.
I will never vote for Cruz, as I think his ideas are exactly what America does not need. But I can't stand by while people take shots at him over a last name, all for the purpose of forwarding their own political agenda.