Republican voters have different responses to the victory of Ted Cruz over Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, and others. Anything could happen in the next primaries.
But no matter what happens, a sea-shift has occurred in voters’ attitudes. The winner in Iowa is the American people because the victory of Ted Cruz (no matter what you think of him) represents a cultural revolution. The winner in Iowa was the most vocal and notorious opponent of ethanol subsidies of all the candidates!
Here’s a video showing Cruz not backing down.
Rand Paul was also an opponent of ethanol subsidies, but he didn’t get nearly as much media coverage. Trump made an issue of ethanol by emphatically supporting it and using the issue against Cruz. But it didn’t put him in the number one position with Iowans. In fact, I’m seeing reports that Cruz was the beneficiary of record caucus turnout.
Perhaps you have never driven through Iowa of other big corn states. The western states are dotted with billboards extolling the government’s ethanol subsidy as a blessing to the local economy. Maybe the government does not merely subsidize ethanol and force us to hurt our cars by using it, but also budgets for state propaganda (in which case, government, despite its record of incompetence, shows uncanny awareness of what it is doing). Or maybe big agri-corporations consider it a wise investment to advertise for the subsidies. Either way, I suspect many Iowans have had years of exposure to that corporate welfare propaganda.
And yet the candidate best known for promising to end the subsidies won the caucus. A majority of Iowa voters either voted for Ted Cruz on principle (the government should not be subsidizing industries) or because they realized that the “gift” of ethanol subsidies came at the price of a million other regulations that cost Iowans dearly.
I have no idea if Ted Cruz would or should win. But this is an amazing and important precedent. It gives me hope that Americans might someday oppose big government.