Jan Mickelson should be radioactive. Just last week, the conservative Iowa radio host issued a ringing endorsement for enslaving undocumented immigrants who refuse to leave the country. Mickelson thinks the United States should give any resident without the appropriate paperwork two months to leave. If they don't, Mickelson says, they should become the property of the state in which they reside, where the could be put to work on projects like building a wall on the United States border with Mexico. After being pushed by a caller about his idea, Mickelson asked "What's wrong with slavery?"
Mickelson's idea is completely reprehensible. The thing is though that Mickelson, although a troll, is seen as an influential voice in his home state, appealing to the same crowd that listens to firebrand Iowa U.S. Representative Steve King. Because Iowa has an outsized influence in the presidential nominating process thanks to its first-in-the-nation caucus, candidates such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz need the influential on their sides. That's why the junior senator went on Mickelson's radio show Friday, the same week that the host endorsed the government slavery.
Cruz's time with Mickelson was great if you lack human empathy, and horrifying when you consider that people like Dan Rather consider him to be a smart money dark horse to win the Republican presidential nomination.
“You know, it’s amazing what the media chooses to get offended by,” Cruz told Mickelson, who'd asked him about using the term "anchor baby" to describe American children. “They don’t get offended when an illegal alien murders Kate Steinle in San Francisco. They don’t get offended when the Obama administration releases 104,000 violent criminal illegal aliens. And yet they get offended by people trying to solve real public policy.”
Cruz wants to end birthright citizenship, either by dumping the 14th Amendment — created after the Civil War, in part, to guarantee the citizenship rights of freed slaves — or taking congressional action.
“You know, it is an open legal question whether changing birthright citizenship could be done through statute or could be done through a constitutional amendment,” Cruz said. “There are serious constitutional scholars on both sides of that argument. As a policy matter, I think it is basic common sense that we shouldn’t be incentivizing illegal immigration, that it doesn’t make sense to provide rewards for people to break the law and come here.”
Officially, Cruz was on Mickelson's show to promote his Friday rally in Iowa in support of
continued Christian hegemony religious freedom.
“There is an assault on faith and an assault on religious liberty that we see across this country and it has never been as bad as it is right now,” he said. “Radical atheists and liberals are driving any acknowledgment of God out of the public square.”
After the slightest nudge from Mickelson, Cruz reaffirmed his view that a religion practiced by more than 70 percent of Americans is under attack.
“There are these zealots — as you put it, the atheist Taliban — that seek to tear down any acknowledgment of God in the public square, and it’s contrary to our Constitution, it’s contrary to who we are as a people.”
Cruz would later have one of those bizarre experiences that happens when campaigning in Iowa. Friday afternoon, while grilling at the pork tent at the Iowa State Fair, Cruz went through an extended exchange with Oscar-nominated actress Ellen Page, who questioned the senator about members of the LGBTQ community being persecuted in the workplace.
"Well, what we’re seeing right now, we’re seeing Bible-believing Christians being persecuted for living according to their faith," Cruz told Page as ABC News cameras rolled. Page was in Iowa as part of a project for Vice, the network reported.
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"You’re discriminating against LGBT people," Page responded to Cruz. "Well, would you use that argument in segregation?"
"Now I’m happy to answer your question, but not to have a back-and-forth debate," Cruz said, before continuing to argue with Page for more than five minutes about hypothetical gay florists, among other things.
(h/t Right Wing Watch)