Ted Cruz is frightening and frightened. This is not a great recipe for seeming "presidential," but — well, have you seen his top competition in the Republican primaries?
Cruz, the starkly conservative U.S. senator from Texas, finished second in Minnesota Republican caucus voting back in March, with about 33,000 votes, and 29 percent of the turnout. It's safe to assume he didn't get too many of those votes from within the city of Minneapolis.
Nor did he, or his advisers, bother to learn much about the state's biggest town during that time. As we heard this week, a top aide informing Cruz on "national security" thinks that Minneapolis has ceded control of its streets to Shariah law.
This isn't exactly true. It isn't at all true. But if you're an adviser for Ted Cruz, you're paid to be right-wing, not right.
Clare Lopez told her lie on something called "Ox in the Afternoon," a St. Cloud-based radio show, where she implied that Minneapolis was setting itself up for a Brussels-style terrorist attack by giving over control of the streets to religious law.
"In Minneapolis, for example," Lopez said, "places where police don't go, because they know they'll be attacked, have been attacked in the past, and places where police know Shariah is being practiced."
Once Clare had established the underlying lie, she expanded.
"Now, Americans might not know this, but, under Shariah, honor killing, female genital mutilation, domestic abuse, underage and polygamous marriage, are all part of Shariah. Those are all part of Shariah."
Lopez went on to imply that Minneapolis was, by allowing the made-up stuff she just talked about, making itself vulnerable to a homegrown terrorist attack.
"Because we have, like Europe, like Western Europe, allowed in, and invited in, populations of Muslim migrants and refugees, who do not have the same worldview — the same principles, the democratic, constitutional principles that we live by in this country — their worldview is completely different than all of that. Because we've invited them in and allowed them not to assimilate, we are inviting the same kind of problems here that we're seeing in places like Brussels, Belgium, and Paris, France."
Those "same kind of problems" she's referring to would be people dead, murdered, in the streets of Minneapolis, where, as the locals have only just learned, Shariah law rules the day.
To paraphrase the scholar and philosopher Clare Lopez: Because we have allowed, and invited, populations of right-wing talking heads on our radio stations — people who do not have the same fact-based principles that we live by in this state — we are inviting in the same kind of problems that we're seeing in places like North Dakota, Wisconsin, and ... well, Ted Cruz, Texas.
In Clare Lopez's version of Minneapolis, the first victim murdered in public is the truth.