I haven’t said much (publicly) about the 2016 U.S. presidential race, and I probably won’t say much more about it after this article, as I want to focus on more fundamental philosophic issues. But I’d like to say a few words about why I unequivocally support Ted Cruz for president and why I think all liberty-loving Americans should as well.

Although not all of Cruz’s ideas are grounded in reality (e.g., he believes rights come from “God”), and although some of them are dangerously false (e.g., he believes a fetus has rights), Cruz regards ideas as important, and he has a body of principles that guide his thinking on political matters. Chief among these is his recognition of the fact that the U.S. Constitution is, as he puts it, “the supreme law of the land” and that the job of the president is to uphold and enforce it. “I will defend the Constitution—all of it,” promises Cruz.

Of course, I and other lovers of liberty take issue with Cruz about what the Constitution means in certain areas and about how best to enforce it. But many of Cruz’s ideas in this regard are substantially if not entirely good. Here are some representative instances. (All quotations are Cruz’s own words unless otherwise noted.)

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech is the lynchpin of a free society. With it, people can work peacefully to secure and maintain freedom; without it, they can’t.

Ted Cruz recognizes the fundamental importance of the right to freedom of speech, and he vows to uphold the First Amendment as a fundamental law of the land. Does he support this right fully and consistently? No. Among other inconsistencies in this area, he supports certain “anti-obscenity” laws. But Cruz’s recognition of the existence and importance of the right to freedom of speech means that when he faces questions about the matter, he will approach them with the aim of understanding how this principle applies in the given context. He will not dismiss the principle as irrelevant or question whether it exists.

All of the other viable candidates in the running for the presidency have demonstrated utter disregard for the right to freedom of speech. And, because this right is the linchpin of a free society, this difference alone disqualifies them and puts Cruz in first place. . . .

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