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Only Three of Twenty Presidential Candidates Are Message Carriers


One of the most powerful – if not THE most powerful – political themes in American politics is “send them a message.” Yet, in an election year when the “them” in Washington are the target of voter wrath from both Left and Right, only three of the 20+ candidates running for President are “message carriers.”

The three message carriers; Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republicans Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have different messages, but they have one thing in common – voting for them is a clear rejection of the status quo in their parties, and in the conduct of the federal government.

While their opponents may occasionally attempt to image themselves as the candidates of change, none at this point in the campaign claims to stand for a radical change in how Washington’s ruling elite conduct the affairs of government.

Indeed, Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, the leading Democrat and Republican candidates, routinely claim to be “the adults in the room” suggesting that those who demand radical reform are at best adolescent and at worst throwing childish tantrums.

But when the message carriers start to move poll numbers or win primaries the establishment candidates are forced to listen and react, and as much as they want to convince voters to reject the demand for radical change Cruz, Trump and Sanders are carrying, Bush and Clinton are being forced to listen and respond.

Sanders has been pushing Clinton steadily leftward as he turns out thousands of energized far-Left voters for rallies that should scare the dickens out of Hillary’s Wall Street and Silicon Valley funders as she embraces and surpasses his radical income redistribution rhetoric.

As soon as Senator Sanders’ progressive campaign began to get traction in Iowa and New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton made a major economic policy speech at The New School in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, a bastion of liberal education and social thought. "I believe we have to build a growth and fairness economy. You can't have one without the other," she said in a speech that would have done 1930’s leftwing populist demagogue Huey “Kingfish” Long proud.

Donald Trump has likewise tapped into a populist demand for radical change similar to the one that powered Ross Perot’s 1992 run for President, and that some believe deprived George H.W. Bush of a second term and led to the election of Bill Clinton and the creation of Hillary Clinton as a national political figure.

When the Chairman of the Republican National Committee calls Donald Trump, allegedly to tell him to "tone it down" regarding his controversial comments on illegal immigration, Trump’s message is being received loud and clear.  

Likewise when establishment neo-con Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina complains Trump has “hijacked” the agenda and establishment Republicans should “push back,” Trump’s message is getting through.

So far only Jeb Bush has accepted Graham’s advice, the rest of the Republican field has either agreed with Trump or kept silent, as they looked with envy at the thousands of rally participants Trump has turned out and wondered how they can tap into Trump’s message without drawing the ire of the establishment media.

And Trump’s populist message that Obama and the establishment politicians of both parties are terrible negotiators may get new life as the media cycle turns to the Iran deal and foreign policy.

In contrast to the (so far) narrow focus of the Trump message, Ted Cruz has a much broader and coherent message; the worldview of America’s country class and limited government constitutional conservatives.

Cruz’s message of getting government back within strict constitutional limits is a sharp contrast to the status quo worldview of the progressive Big Government establishment of both political parties. And in contrast to their reaction to Trump, nearly all of Republican presidential candidates have been forced to respond and frame at least part of their campaign rhetoric in constitutional terms – even Jeb Bush.

Prior to Ted Cruz’s entry into the Republican race you would have been hard pressed to find a mention of the Constitution in a Jeb Bush speech – despite the fact that Bush once served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center.

Indeed, his “Right to Rise” allied Super PAC announcement carried nary a mention of putting the federal government back inside strict constitutional limits – it was all about using the government to manipulate the economy to achieve a Republican version of Bernie Sanders’ economic fairness.

After the Cruz announcement practically every Republican has been forced to talk about the Constitution, even Bush, who made it a point prior to the Supreme Court’s decision mandating same-sex “marriage” in all states to say he did not believe there was a constitutional right to such “marriages.”

Likewise, Scott Walker devoted part of the closing of his announcement to constitutional conservative themes – themes that were pretty much the exclusive territory of Ted Cruz until he started rising in the polls wherever he appeared and talked about them.

Of course being a message carrier doesn’t mean the candidate will automatically win their Party’s nomination or be elected President: William Jennings Bryan carried the populist message in the Democratic Party in the 1896, 1900 and 1908 elections and never achieved the presidency and Ronald Reagan was the conservative message carrier in two elections before he was elected President in 1980.

And a message isn’t always necessary to win an election; as we saw with the campaigns of Jerry Ford, Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney a content-free campaign was enough to at least win the nomination, if not the general election.

“Send them a message” may be the most powerful theme in American politics, and right now the messages of Sanders, Trump and Cruz are resonating and driving the debate, but they still have to translate the message voters are sending through them into a technically proficient campaign to win and become President. 

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Ted Cruz is a true Constitutinalist

Regarding Equal Rights Under the 1st Amendment

Conservatives and liberals agree corporate media is biased and dispute which newspapers and broadcast networks are prejudiced. But both political persuasions purchase ads with the corporate media to promote candidates and issues. Hence editorials for or against candidates and issues, by the staffs of corporate media, must have political value.

So I ask Congressmen and Senators, why are corporate media exempt from campaign laws that regulate and restrict participation by individuals and groups? I do not believe Democrats or Republicans can defend that position.

Senator Ted Cruz proposed the following Bill in 2014:

S 2416 Free All Speech Act of 2014

2d Session
S. 2416

To apply laws that restrict the political speech of American citizens to media corporations.

JUNE 3, 2014

Mr. CRUZ introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


To apply laws that restrict the political speech of American citizens to media corporations.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ‘Free All Speech Act of 2014’.


(a) In General- Any law that restricts the political speech of American citizens shall apply with equal force to media corporations, such as the New York Times, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), and the CBS Television Network.

(b) No Application to American Citizens if Application to Media Corporations Found Unconstitutional- To the extent that the application of a law to a media corporation under subsection (a) is found unconstitutional, such law shall have no force or effect with respect to American citizens.

As you may guess, the news media did not report about this proposed bill!

Support for Ted Cruz and Donald Trump

I support Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. I am so happy that we finally have Republicans who are not afraid of the press or the liberals of both parties and can powerfully articulate the conservative message.

There are 4.

You left out Dr. Ben Carson. He is a real possibility and should be included as someone outside the box.

Alredy chosen

The Republican party elite have already chosen the candidate they will force upon the voters. Jeb Bush, with Rubio as Veep., will be the losing ticket they put forth. They can cancel the debates right now; we the people have no say in the matter. I guess the theory is; If by chance the Republicans win the Presidency, at least we'll have "Liberal-lite"!

Republican Candidates

Hot Air reported that the two candidates most feared by Democrats are Bush and Rubio. Small wonder, since their leanings are most likely of Republican Candidates to draw Democrat votes from the Democrat Candidate (in other words their positions are closest to Democrat positions)!

Democrat picks

Exactly right. Bush and Rubio will be closest to Democrat positions. And watch whom the Lame Stream Media will praise and tell you who they "can work with." That will be the candidate to avoid like poison.

Hello? Rand Paul?

Leaving Rand Paul off of the list destroys the authors' credibility.

Rand Paul's Message

We would agree that Senator Rand Paul has a message and it is one we like and agree with, however he hasn't been a "message carrier" like Trump, Cruz and Sanders. To be a "message carrier" you have to campaign almost exclusively on your message and in our view he hasn't been campaigning on it the way Trump, Cruz and Sanders have; rallying thousands of citizens to his cause, shaking the foundations of the Washington establishment and driving his opponents to respond. We hope he gets in the game and generates the same kind of enthusiasm for his challenge to the political elite as have Cruz, Trump and Sanders because his liberty-oriented message is one that needs to be carried to Washington on behalf of the millions of Americans who share it.

Will a 'real' true conservative please stand up?

I like this article a lot. I think Richard puts things into perspective very well.

I will caste a vote for the person (if there is one) who convinces me that …. 'voting for them is a clear rejection of the status quo in their parties, and in the conduct of the federal government.'

I volunteered and was willing to die for my country (glad I didn't.) I will no longer vote for anyone that doesn't convince me that he or she is willing to do the same!

Rand Paul left off the list??

If anyone has proven to reject the status quo, it is him, more than any of these others. Where are their legendary filibusters (only Cruz, but not since Obamacare) and how many acts have they sponsored to rein in Obama or to correct other things that are coming off the rails in this country? Cruz was down with TPP until he changed his mind and he was for the USA Freedom Act when Rand was pointing out that it did not go far enough to protect our individual liberties. And as far as Bernie Sanders, give me a break. He is a self-proclaimed socialist. The only difference between him and Obama and Hillary is the "self-proclaimed" part. Trump has only distinguished himself from some Republicans because only some (RINOS)are in favor of Amnesty/path to citizenship. Cruz and Paul have not blasted him for his comments because they agree with his stance.

Rand Paul Ted Cruz Donald Trump

These Guys are true conservatives who want to change the Washington establishment when elected to the White House. They know how to reach out to the voters and what matters to change the status quo in the country.
Senator Ted Cruz took on Obama care and the IRS. Senator Rand Paul is taking on the NSA to rein in on the government illegal infringement on the rights and privacy of American citizens emails and phone records which is illegal spying. Mr. Donald Trump is taking on illegal immigration because Mr. Trump knows that some illegal aliens who come through our borders are criminals, drug dealers, and rapists who come into this country to break our laws and think they can get away with it, they are right because they have the far left liberals who support their actions and habits.Mr. Trump who is leading in the polls will win Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in the debates because the Clinton a Democrat and Sanders an Independent Socialist have no chance of winning a Republican majority because Hillary and Sanders views is to turn this country into European style Socialist and welfare State. Americans are tired with the old politics and policies of the status quo of this country and want change that will bring economic recovery to our country, strengthen our military, rein in on Islamic Extremists Jihads terrorist groups.