11 Reasons Why Ted Cruz Should Shut the Hell Up About “New York Values”

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Ted Cruz should just shut the hell up about “New York values.”

Seriously.  Not just because Donald Trump owned him in the Republican debate Thursday night by pointing to 9/11.  And not just because of the brutal hypocrisy of decrying New York values on the one hand, and on the other relying on New York money and undisclosed Goldman Sach “loans” to fund your campaign.

Rather, Cruz should just shut up because he’s wrong about New York values.  Indeed, even if you look only at the kinds of “traditional values” that Cruz reveres, New York actually blows out his home state of Canada Texas.

Now, let me be clear: I like Texas.  (And Canada, for that matter!)  Love the riverwalk, Austin is very nice, I like barbecue, big fan of Friday Night Lights.  All good stuff.  As a great New Yorker once said, “this isn’t personal, it’s business.”

But in Biblical terms, which he should understand, Cruz threw the first stone. So let’s see how Texas versus New York shakes out on traditional values like marriage, chastity, life, law-and-order, and charity:

1.  Texans are more likely to get divorced.

We start with one of the most fundamental of values: marriage. Now, Ted Cruz might not like ALL marriages — if you catch my subtle drift — but he certainly would say that getting, and staying, married shows a sound value system.  And yet, Texas has a higher divorce rate and more divorced people than New York, which actually has the second-lowest percentage of divorced residents in the country — after, you’ll never guess, New Jersey!.

2.  Texans are more likely to beat their wives.

Why are so many more Texas marriages breaking up? Maybe it’s because Texas has the eighth highest domestic violence rate in America, well above New York.  Seems to me that the “family value” of “not hitting your spouse” is setting the bar kind of low, but at least New York clears it, and Texas doesn’t.

3.  Texans are more likely to be sex offenders.

Speaking of setting the bar low, Texas has one of the highest rates of registered sex offenders in the country.  Indeed, according to Parents for Megans Law, Texas has the most registered sex offenders of any state in the country.  It’s not clear from the data whether Texas breeds sex offenders, or whether sex offenders from around the country flock to the state for the barbecue, warm weather, prevalence of white windowless vans, or what, but whatever the reason Texas, with only 40% more people, has over twice as many sex offenders as New York.

4.  Texas has a higher teen pregnancy rate….

I’m sure that Ted Cruz is a big proponent of chastity as a value, and Texas is also one of the country’s leading advocates of “abstinence-only” sex education teaching.  But it’s not working so well — Texas has the third-highest rate of teen pregnancy in the country.

5.  …And a higher rate of births out-of-wedlock.

Abstinence strikes again — Texas has one of the highest rates of births to unmarried women in the country, much higher than in New York. Now, I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with an unmarried woman having a baby, but my guess is that Ted Cruz probably does.  If so, he should do something about that.

6.  Texans don’t live as long.  

If you value “life,” then you should probably value a longer life than a shorter life.  And yet, New York outranks Texas on every indicator on lifespan, with a lower infant death rate and a longer life expectancy. Indeed, New Yorkers have the sixth-highest life expectancy in the country; Texas ranks 30th.

7.  Maybe that’s because Texas has a higher violent crime rate….

Okay, Texans get divorced more, diddle the kids more, get teens pregnant more, and die earlier. But, surely, Texas is safer, right? All those guns?  Not so much —  according to Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics, Texas has a higher rate of violent crime than New York, including twice the rate of forcible rape. Shouldn’t “not raping people” count as one of those “values” Ted Cruz talks about?

8…And a higher murder rate…

Maybe it’s the heat. Or all that flatness. Or all the guns.  But Texas also has a vastly higher murder rate than New York.  Again, “not murdering people” seems kind of like an important value, almost like one of those “Commandments” that I read about somewhere.

9.  …And a higher suicide rate.

If Texans aren’t killing each other, they’re killing themselves — Texas has a much higher suicide rate than New York.  In fact, even with all those tall buildings and bridges, New York has the second-lowest suicide rate in the country!

10.  Finally, Texans care less for the needy…

Certainly, we can all agree that taking care of those less fortunate is a cornerstone of our values system.  Ted Cruz would probably call it “being a good Christian.” So why is it that even though Texas has a higher poverty rate than New York, Texans give less to charity than New Yorkers?

11.  ….And are more dependent on the federal government.

This one’s going to hurt.  Guess which of the two states gets more in federal tax dollars than it puts in?  Yeah, it’s Texas, which is one of those “taker” states, getting about $1.50 in federal money for every dollar of taxes paid.  Texans can thank New Yorkers for their generosity, since we pay more than we get — about 80 cents back on every tax dollar.  You’re welcome, Texas.  We know you need it more than us, with all those poor people who aren’t getting any charity….

So on all these measures, New York out-values Texas.  And that’s using only the “traditional” values that Ted Cruz is probably referring to: marriage, chastity, law-and-order, life, charity, all that stuff.  Let’s not even mention the values that might be considered more “partisan,” like how Texas is a bigger polluter, has more accidental gun deaths, is less tolerant, and, frankly, dumber. Okay, let’s sort of mention them.

Frankly, I would think that Ted Cruz wouldn’t want to remind voters that they’re making a choice between a Texan like him and a New Yorker like Donald Trump (or Hillary Clinton, or even Brooklyn native Bernie Sanders!).  After all, both New York and Texas have a presidential track record, contributing presidents from both parties.  But Texas saddled us with LBJ and two Bushes, a dismal bipartisan record of two one-termers and another who has been disavowed by his own party.

How about New York?  Well, we didn’t get off to such a good start in the 19th century with Fillmore and Van Buren, but the 20th century track record was, ummm,  pretty good: two Roosevelts, one Republican, one Democrat, one on Mt. Rushmore, the other memorialized on the D.C. mall.

But Ted Cruz might not be aware of presidential history.  After all, they don’t study that so much in Calgary.

Joseph Rand is the author of the Move to SUMA blog about his experiences moving to the New York suburbs. The caricature is credited to DonkeyHotey, who identifies it as based on a Creative Commons licensed photo from Gage Skidmore’s Flickr photo stream  and was found through a Google search of images licensed for non-commercial use.  If the photo is not available for non-commercial use, please advise and we will remove the picture. 

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