TEDx Cruz: Creatively destructing the presidency

imageSo let me start with a story.  The story is about some events that occurred in my life — (laughter) — and some emotions I had as a result — (applause).  One day I was watching Oprah and thinking to myself, “what a change-maker!”  You know, because she made change.  And I wondered how I could make change, too.  How could I be a thought-leader?  An influencer?  That night at supper, I asked my wife Heidi, “Heidi, hon, do I remind you of Oprah?”  But she didn’t answer because when I talk, which she prefers I don’t, she pretends not to hear.  That was all the encouragement I needed, so I decided to run for president.

Turns out it takes a lot of positive thinking to manifest the highest office in the United States of America.  I had already been elected to the Senate in 2012 when a bunch of Texans sneezed and accidentally marked the bubble next to my name, but with the decline in bee populations, I couldn’t guarantee that there would be as much ambient pollen in 2016.  So I needed a backup plan, a life hack, a philosophy of government.

(Applause)

I took my wife Heidi out for brunch.  “Heidi, what’s my philosophy of government?” I inquired, but she merely murmured “open the hangar, here comes the plane!” and spooned my IHOP® Berries & Cream Belgian Waffle into my waiting mouth.  So I decided that a small government would be best.  But how small?  Out I went to the tiny 2500 square foot garage behind my Houston home, where I like to relax when I get anxious about the thought that my two beautiful daughters may one day have Tumblr accounts that list their pronouns as “whatever, dude” and their genders as “FUCK THE BINARY.”  Like so many innovators before me, I knew I needed to build something that didn’t already exist, using only my ingenuity and a large amount of seed money from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s lawyer.  I began to tinker and tweak and disrupt until I had the most minuscule political structure imaginable, and then, using nuclear particles, zapped away until it was a nano-government.  I was very proud of the thing I had innovated and went to show Heidi, but she had carved “NOT NOW TED” in her bedroom door with a knife that had been used to brutally murder two California college students in September 1969, so I decided to try her again later.

(Laughter)

The best thing about my small government is that it can be exported.  As an expert once said, size is inversely proportional to efficiency, and my government doesn’t have much size.  You could pack twelve of them into a three-ounce bottle, pop it in your carry-on, install them in a village like Africa, and be back in D.C. in time to vote on an abortion ban.  You could take them on mission trips, drop them from helicopters into densely forested areas of third-world countries, send them in envelopes along with a donation to an orphanage where all the children look very sad, but grateful for your help.  I’m telling you — these things are a game-changer.  I have a hundred or so in the pocket of my suit coat right now — I bet you couldn’t even tell!  That’s how small my government is, although the effect is exaggerated by my oversized and ill-fitting jacket.  Isn’t it great?  Heidi picked it out.

(Applause)

What I always say is, you can be whatever you believe in, and believe in whatever you are, if you only get in touch with the reptilian monster deep within.  America was once a superpower; now less so.  Once there were many trees here and there are currently fewer.  Even the bees said, “no thanks, Obama!” and packed up their wee apian suitcases, and moved somewhere with weaker central governance.  They send me postcards — I just got one last week, all the way from Antarctica.  It said: “Hi Ted!  Climate change isn’t caused by human activity.  Ice caps beautiful; if you want to see for yourself, better come soon.  Good luck with the campaign.”  I thought that was super.  Bees!  Who else  has that kind of diversity in their voter base?  And there’s virtually no taxation in Antarctica.  That’s the kind of innovative continent we need: icy, impenetrable, inaccessible, lethal.  That’s my dream.  Won’t you join me?  Won’t you all be the change I want to see?

(Laughter)

Thank you, and God bless.

(Ed. note: For more on the increasingly innovative vocabulary of neoliberalism, Keywords for the Age of Austerity.  For more on Ted Cruz, his college roommate.)

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