Thursday, January 21, 2016

Conservative Family Values and Reality: The Secret Ted Cruz's Mother Tried to Hide

by Nomad

The Party of Personal Responsibility

Recently, during the Republican debates, Presidential candidate, and Senator Ted Cruz, while taking a swing at front-runner Donald Trump, attempted to employ his brand of divisive politics by slighting New York values, presumably as a contrast to the true values of the heartland.

Along with faith and patriotism, one of those values Cruz says he prizes above all else is family. As defined by conservatives. that's a mother, father, and children under the same roof. Except for abstinence-endorsing Bristol Palin, single mothers with children born out of wedlock are strictly unwelcome. This is, after all, the party of personal responsibility.    
That's why the details of Cruz's family history come as a bit of a shock. Although the facts have been camouflaged and dates have been skillfully blurred or altered if one account is correct, the unofficial story is a different -and much more interesting- one.

Most of us know by now, at least, some of the story about Cruz's parents. His mother was American and his father was Cuban (alongside Castro) who had left prior to the fall of the dictator 
When questions about Ted Cruz's ineligibility to hold high office were raised, he has cited his mother's American citizenship which was a qualification he refused to recognize when it came to Obama.

Buried in the Past

Here's the odd part.
On Ted Cruz's birth certificate, his mother's name is given as Eleanor Darragh Wilson, though her maiden name was actually Darragh. So where does Wilson come from?

It was, in fact, the surname of her first husband, Alan Wilson.
(Before he met Eleanor, Ted's father Rafael Cruz had been also married to one Julia Ann Garza in 1959. Before divorcing, the pair had had two daughters.)

Journalist Maria Recio found the Fort Worth-native Alan Wilson who now lives in the UK. Until she mentioned the fact, Wilson had actually never had a clue about his connections to the presidential candidate. He was also unaware that his name had been used on Ted Cruz's birth certificate.

The timeline runs as follows:

Eleanor Darragh and Alan Wilson met at Rice University in Houston in the 1950s when she was studying mathematics and he was a Ph.D. student in mathematics. They married in 1956 after Eleanor, then 21, graduated from Rice. After a few years working in the U.S, the couple moved to the UK.

One fact emerged from the interview that must be a sigh of relief for the Cruz campaign. Wilson confirms that neither he nor his wife took British citizenship despite living some time in London.

When the reporter told Alan Wilson that Eleanor had used his last name on Ted Cruz’s birth certificate, he was at a loss to understand why.
His feelings?  Wilson said, “I don’t have any feelings about it.”  

A Time for Truth

There is another bit of news that is less appetizing. In Cruz's autobiography,  “A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America,” Ted Cruz casually mentions Wilson's name. Wilson is not really a part of the family legend. 
Cruz also revealed in his book that his mother had given birth to a son, Michael Wilson, in 1965, who had died a crib death later in the year.
He wrote:
“Losing Michael to crib death broke my mother’s heart, and had a profound effect on her, so much so that I never even knew that I had had a brother until I was a teenager and my mother told me the story.”
There might have been other reasons his mother didn't mention until Cruz was much older. 
He also added,
“And the heartbreak also ended her marriage.”
There's a small problem with that poignant tale, however. As one-half of that marriage, Wilson flatly denies this version is the truth. The claim came as a complete surprise because, at least according to Wilson, the actual story is very different.

He alleges that he and Eleanor were already divorced and she was living on her own when she became pregnant. Furthermore, he flatly denies paternity for the baby. He is sure that he was not the father of the child. 

This must have been a serious problem for the young woman, particularly since she was a Catholic who was divorced and with child.
Like the US, abortion was both illegal and risky at that time in the UK. For a price, a desperate woman might have been able to find a way to get the procedure done but there was a lethal risk. In 1966 up to 40 women a year in the UK died from the complications of unsafe abortion.
Eleanor, by Wilson's testimony, asked him if she could use his surname on baby Michael's birth certificate. When the baby died not long after, Alan Wilson had never even met the child.

While it is only one person's version of events, it certainly has a sense of reality.  For instance, after the divorce, he saw his ex-wife quite by chance while both were being treated at the same hospital. When a nurse told him that "his wife" was at the hospital, Wilson was a little surprised. He hadn't known at that time she was pregnant.

He told the reporter that he was certain beyond any doubt, that they were divorced at that time. Sometime about 1963, by his best guess.

That jars with Cruz's own account.
Although Cruz in his book cites 1965 for Michael Wilson’s birth and death, London records ... show that a Michael Wilson was born and died in 1966 and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery in Kensington, a London neighborhood.
If Wilson- who presumably has no reason to lie- is correct then, Cruz's account is definitely wrong. Claiming that the death of the baby was the cause of the divorce is clearly more than misleading. It's an outright lie to hide the fact that a child was born and sadly died out of wedlock.

The rest of the story is pretty well-established, at least in parts. We know that Eleanor Wilson left England sometime after the death of Michael and returned to the United States.
It was there that she met Rafael Cruz, whom she married in 1969. Ted Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, in 1970.

Instead of talking about the lives his parents led before they married, Ted likes to skip to a more uplifting message.In speeches he has said:
“There are people who wonder if faith is real. I can tell you, in my family there’s not a second of doubt, because were it not for the transformative love of Jesus Christ, I would have been saved and I would have been raised by a single mom without my father in the household.”
Given that last line, it's no wonder he wouldn't want to discuss the possibility his mom might once have been a divorced and pregnant woman and at least for a time "a single mom without a father in the household."