“Making a Pledge: A Cruz In Mixing Apples and Oranges”


Doc X MD Storyoid©:  As a noun, a pledge is to make a solemn promise, vow, word, commitment, assurance, oath, and guarantee.  As a verb it’s to follow through for all to see.

The candidate field of the 2016 Republican Presidential primary was asked during the first Republican debate  Aug 6, 2015, hosted by Fox News and set at Quicken Loans Arena, to pledge to support the party’s nominee by the debate’s ending bell. All but Donald Trump immediately said yes. After reflection, Trump eventually agreed as well. 

On July 20th at the Republican National Convention Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex), whose speech was initially warmly received by the conventioneers, left the stage some twenty minutes later amid widespread heckling and boos (to be fair not only the delegates from New York were involved) when he did not complete his pledge to support Donald Trump as the party’s nominee. 

Given a second chance, after 24 hours of reflection to endorse, Ted Cruz spoke to the Texas delegation without endorsing Trump. Cruz cited not just constitutional issues but family slurs retweeted  by Trump as well, as rationale for you and me.

Cruz isn’t the only former primary rival to balk at an endorsement – Fl. Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) haven’t either.

But Cruz’s decision stands out since the other three didn’t officially attend the convention, despite it being in Kasich’s home state. With full disclosure, Kasich didn’t speak in the convention hall but did visit some state delegation events as a teaser.

Doc X MD Feelingoid©: The 3 minute Doc X MD funny feelings:©  “Integrity,” “Polarized Thinking,” and “Beneffectance”  help us understand the learning lesson Ted Cruz unconsciously taught us about the consequences of not keeping  a pledge when we mix Apples and Oranges. 

The Apples are what, as Americans, we consider in upholding the constitution, voting on our conscience, and protecting the honor and safety of our family as clearly sacrosanct, untouchable and protected challenges.

The Oranges are our inescapable responsibilities that when making a pledge we need to recognize and control our behavioral bias regarding Integrity, Polarized Thinking, and Beneffectance from any platform dais. First, Integrity – When staying in integrity, mistakes are inevitable. Erasers remind us of that since our youth.

We minimize integrity breakdowns when we eliminate the tendency to make cost benefit analyses on our word after we have already given it and that’s the rock-hard truth.  

Self-reflection, identifying, and assessing all consequences before our word is given is critical in keeping our pledge. As tough as it may be, remaining steadfast by our values and principles before giving our word is the mark of a real leader’s edge. 

Second, Polarized Thinking – Polarized Thinking impacts how we envision ourselves all day long… critical internal voices say… “I’m the best, you’re the worst” and “I’m right, you’re wrong.” When we demonize or idolize, we eliminate the middle ground. It’s all or nothing. It’s black or white. There is no shade of gray. When we scapegoat and play the blame-game, we eliminate the space for compromise. There is no room to talk. There is nowhere to go. To be polarized is to be paralyzed in what we do and say.

Third, Beneffectance – Beneffectance gives us unconscious permission to consistently exaggerate our own importance, believe we have more impact on the opinions of folks than others, and brag that we’re the focus of everyone’s remarks.  So we normally have an illusion of control over situations and events in folk’s lives that fuel us as aspiring leaders to imagine our roles provide all the answers and crucial sparks.

Doc X MD Opinioniod ©:  Regardless of political affiliation, it’s indefensible to argue against upholding the constitution, not voting on our conscience, or not protecting the honor and safety of our family.

But consider that’s NOT the real lesson we learn from Ted Cruz trying to mix apples and oranges for all of us to see.

Whether one is a Donald Trump supporter or not, his actions are, and have been, well known – a campaign where business acumen and targeted confrontation has often been shown. The message is BEFORE ANY PLEDGE IS MADE we have the duty to consider the possibilities ahead.

The greatest position of strength for Ted Cruz to speak from on issues he aspires to protect and promulgate comes WHEN a pledge is asked of him to make NOT after he’s made it and discovers that he hasn’t considered all the possibilities that he might dread.

It’s a funny feeling to know being in Integrity, controlling Polarized Thinking, and managing Beneffectance BEFORE we give a pledge isn’t being a “goody two SHOES!” Rather keeping our pledged word, or cleaning the mess of saying we should have reflected on all possibilities before our pledge was given when we hadn’t, is an admission of fault where no one can LOSE. 

The 2016 Republican Convention has taught us shared learning – that mixing apples and oranges requires timely reflection at pledge making time otherwise there are avoidable consequences that truly BRUISE for each and every one of us, regardless of party affiliation, including the Conservative Republican Senator from Texas, Rafael Edward “Ted” CRUZ…


Doc X MD