Five Reasons Ted Cruz Should Stay Canadian
Last year, it was revealed that Sen. Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada, actually holds Canadian citizenship.
Cruz subsequently made headlines -- it was a slow news cycle by all accounts -- last August, by vowing to renounce his Canadian citizenship. After all, the theory goes you can't run for president if you are also a citizen of another country (Though that rule is blown to smithereens if you look at where Sen. John McCain was born or simply type "Obama not American" into a search engine, but we digress.)
So Cruz announced that he wanted nothing to do with the land of John Candy and Canadian bacon. He's going to formally get rid of his Canadian citizenship any day now. But we urge Mr. Cruz to think again. There are five reasonably good reasons he should grab that Canadian citizenship and hug it tight.
5. Canadians seem uncool, but the country produces some awfully nifty people. Aside from the late, great aforementioned John Candy, Canada is the place a lot of really interesting people come from, such as musicians Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Leonard Cohen, writers including Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje (he's the guy that wrote The English Patient, and trust us the book is much better than the movie) and Alice Munro. There's director Sara Polley (and if you haven't seen her documentary Stories We Tell, see it now), Red Pollard, the jockey who rode Seabiscuit, and astronaut Chris Hadfield - all Canadian.
Our point, aside from the joy of thinking about all these wonderful Canadians, is that Canada has come up with a lot of really nifty people. Cruz seems like he's definitely got presidential ambitions, but if we have to hear from him for a campaign season, it would be really nice if he could break out the guitar and sing a chorus of "Old Man," or write a campaign speech that reads like one of the great Canadians wrote it. If we must hear from him, it would be nice if he let his inner Canuck flag fly.
4. He could expand his legal knowledge. Cruz is pretty impressively educated when it comes to the law. He got spit out from Princeton University cum laude with a Bachelor of the Arts before moving on to Harvard Law. While there he was primary editor of the Harvard Law Review (which is fancy as it sounds) and he was described as off-the-charts brilliant.
Of course all that legalese brilliance led to a political career that started with him being elected senator in 2012, but if he stays Canadian, Cruz could expand his knowledge of the whole Canadian system of government and learn how the law works within a federal parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy.
Cruz came up so fast in U.S. politics that we are confident he will do well in the non-American part of North America. Give him a year and he'll be in the House of Commons, and we lay odds he'll be putting Canadian Prime Minister on his resume and hanging out with the Queen within five years, max. For a man as good at this stuff as he is, this is too good a chance to miss. As much as some people long to see Cruz on a presidential ballot box here, we think it would be right nifty if he went Canadian. We just want him well-rounded is all. 3. Oh, the Canadian joke possibilities. There are things you can say as a Canadian that you can't say if you're not. If Cruz stays Canadian it will allow him to throw in an "Eh" at the end of a sentence every so often (which will be totally endearing if he should, you know, run for some high-level political office, one with a fancy house or something.) He will be able to tell moose jokes!
Example: What did the bartender say to the doctor moose and the tap dancing moose when they walked into the bar with a can of maple syrup? Hey! How'd you get the maple syrup to walk on its own like that, Eh?
The above joke doesn't really make sense and is barely funny, but we're pretty sure that if Cruz tells it while he's still Canadian it will be hilarious. Best. Joke. Ever. But if he tells it after he's stopped having any secret allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II it totally won't work.
2. Double Thanksgiving. If he stays Canadian he might have to deal with a bevy of Democrats fussing over that dual citizenship thing, but he will also have the chance to have two Thanksgivings! Cruz's parents split up when he was in law school, so most likely he's already used to the concept of the rotating Thanksgiving, wherein the child of divorced parents, no matter the age, has at least two and occasionally three Thanksgivings to attend on that fateful Thursday. But let's face it, Thanksgiving is the best excuse we've ever come up with to celebrate a day of pie, turkey, family togetherness, large glasses of wine and more pie. It's one of the best days of the year, and if Cruz stays Canadian, he'd get to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving in October and it would act as warm-up for the real one.
1. It'll be good for him. Of course we shouldn't live by stereotypes, but it is a truth universally acknowledged that Canadians are polite, tolerant, civic minded and pretty darn friendly. While we loved Cruz's rendition of Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham in his non-filibuster to hold up the Affordable Care Act, it might broaden his horizons to hang out with people who are generally in favor of public healthcare, gun control, legalizing gay marriage and the redistribution of wealth.
Maybe he doesn't come back from his experience completely changed, but at this point it would be cool to see a politician lean a little toward being an actual moderate. Or maybe he goes up there to learn about his citizenship and learns to love the world of maple leaves and polite people. We hear its lovely up in Canada this time of year with all that snow. Besides, everyone loves Canadians. Surely that'll do him some favors in politics.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.