Senator Ted Cruz addressed the crowd at CPAC Texas on Friday morning, and was met with standing applause from those in the crowd welcoming their hometown hero. He launched into his speech with a welcome to "the land of the free and the home of the brave," and recognized the symbols and images in the room that to him and the patriots he was speaking to hold up as badges of honor to that freedom.
The Biden administration, he said, sees those in the room as "radicals" because they flaunt these symbols, such as the Gadsden flag, which was recently identified by the FBI as an extremist symbol.
Cruz spoke to the concerns of so many Americans, the rising costs of groceries, gasoline, and other items, joking that "it's so bad Antifa can't afford bricks" and "Eric Swalwell can't afford Chinese dinners."
"How bad is it?" A man heckled from the crowd.
"It's so bad AOC can't afford fake handcuffs," Cruz said.
At each turn, Cruz played to the base, addressing their concerns, and speaking about the confusion engendered by the administration. He slammed the administration's weak-kneed response to the threats from Chinese state media regarding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Taiwan visit.
"I'm not fan of Pelosi," Cruz said, "but the only answer to an enemy of America threatening to murder the Speaker of the House in the United States is: 'that would be an act of war and the result would be devastating!'"
The administration, he said, "is making America and the entire world far less safe."
It's not just the administration's foreign policy that Cruz takes issue with, but the academic and institutional failures, that lure children into alternate pronouns.
"I talked recently with a college kid at one of these schools, who said in each class, before any student speaks, they're required to introduce themselves, say their name, and say 'my pronouns are."
For his part, Cruz said "my name is Ted Cruz, and my pronouns are kiss my a**!'"
He doesn't believe biological males should play in women's sports, he wants the crisis at the border highlighted, and he is exuberant in the coming changes in the political landscape of South Texas, which he said will be sending three Hispanic, conservative women to Congress.
He dares the Democrat political establishment to tell these women that there's no crisis at the US-Mexico border.
"We spend too much time talking with the same 2.6 million people watching Fox News, and God knows the choir needs preaching," he said. "But we also need to be talking to young people. With Hispanics and African Americans."
The crowd cheered at this, at the idea of opening up the Republican party to more people who are in search of independence, who don't want to be talked down to by elites in power, and who want to stake a claim to the promises of American liberty and freedom.