Sen. Cruz should be imitated, not vilified

Texans are lucky.

They have a United States senator like Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care: Trump eases rules on insurance outside ObamaCare | HHS office on religious rights gets 300 complaints in a month | GOP chair eyes opioid bill vote by Memorial Day HHS official put on leave amid probe into social media posts Trump, Pence to address CPAC this week MORE, who has the courage of his convictions to stand up and fight for what he believes in, even if it rankles the Republican Party leadership in Washington or other politicians in Texas.

For 21 hours, countless Texans and Americans were riveted to their TVs as Cruz (R-Texas) helped shine a renewed spotlight on the fraud being perpetrated upon the nation by ObamaCare.

With less than a week to go before the healthcare law is supposed to open its doors for business, Cruz took control of the floor of the United States Senate and accomplished what few senators in history have done — he captivated our nation and he made people pay attention.

As we face the dawn of the most fundamental shift of the role of government in our nation’s history, Cruz reminded us of just how disgraceful ObamaCare is.

For conservatives, the government takeover of healthcare represents an ideological and philosophical red line that dramatically alters the relationship between the people and their government.

That is why it is so disturbing that instead of standing and fighting with Cruz, establishment Republicans in Texas and Washington abandoned both their principles and a man strong enough and determined enough to fight for his.

Cruz should be imitated, not vilified.

The Republican Party’s strength and leadership is derived from the people — not the other way around.

Those who abandoned Cruz at this crucial moment not only abandoned one of the conservative movement’s strongest voices in Washington but, more importantly, they turned their backs on the people who elected them, many of whom will soon be forced onto the rolls of ObamaCare as employers drop health benefits and the government punishes those who do not enroll in a health plan.

Cruz’s speech reminds us that the time-tested principles of the Republican Party — less taxing, less spending, less government and more freedom — still matter to millions of hard-working families in Texas and around the country.

The party of Ronald Reagan has always been the party of freedom. It’s why during the Clinton administration Republicans stood together nearly unified as they defeated that generation’s attempt at a government healthcare takeover.

Shockingly, the ideals and principles that unified our party for decades have seemingly now fragmented us.

Cruz understands that freedom matters, that the Affordable Care Act betrays the American ideal, and that it needs to be stopped before it starts.

It’s beyond sad that the establishment has lost its way and lost its will to fight for ideas and principles that matter.

I’m proud of Cruz and those few conservative Republicans — like Sens Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioColbert: Students taking action on gun violence 'give me hope' Lawmakers feel pressure on guns Florida lawmaker's aide fired after claiming shooting survivors were 'actors' MORE (Fla.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe 14 GOP senators who voted against Trump’s immigration framework Prison sentencing bill advances over Sessions objections Grassley ‘incensed’ by Sessions criticism of proposed sentencing reform legislation MORE (Utah) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulDem wins Kentucky state House seat in district Trump won by 49 points GOP's tax reform bait-and-switch will widen inequality Pentagon budget euphoria could be short-lived MORE (Ky.) — who are willing to stand strong and fight for the ideals they campaigned on and that have always made our nation great.

We need more senators like Ted Cruz and fewer politicians who are more interested in protecting their jobs than doing the very jobs they were entrusted to perform.

Thank you, Sen. Cruz, for being willing to fight for your beliefs and for a better tomorrow.

Mack represented Florida’s 14th Congressional District from 2005 to 2013.