Mark Cuban’s dunk on Ted Cruz shows why the Right is losing the Cancel Culture Wars

by | Jul 27, 2020 | Dallas, Politics

In the absence of NBA action, Mark Cuban found a new sport — dunking on Sen. Ted Cruz. The recent viral Twitter exchange between Cruz and Cuban was more than just another public take down of America’s most sanctimonious senator, it was a colorful illustration of why conservatives are losing the cancel culture wars.

Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks can be described as a maverick himself when it comes to being outspoken. He will pay the fine to speak his mind, on or off the court. So when Twitter conservatives took a break from complaining about cancel culture to call for a boycott of Cuban’s companies he provided a link to the full list. 

Cruz, ever seeking new opportunities for self-ownership, voluntarily stepped onto Cuban’s court. But instead of challenging Cuban one on one he pulled the Twitter version of an intentional foul — he shared a screenshot of Cuban’s tweet to call him out without tagging Cuban. In social media this is a sleight to deny a notification or traffic back to the original author.

Cruz used Cuban’s tweet to show his approval of a conservative boycott of the NBA over player protests. Cuban shot back “Have some balls for once @tedcruz. Speak to me. It’s my tweet.” After some virtue signaling from Cruz about China, Cuban tweeted:

“I can say Black Lives Matter. I can say there is systemic racism in this country. I can say there is a Pandemic that you have done little to end…” He followed by questioning why Ted Cruz takes, “such pride in standing up to and speaking truth to the Chinese, but you have no ability to stand up to and speak the truth to @realdonaldtrump ?”

Cruz initially stood up to candidate Donald Trump for making negative comments about his wife’s looks and threatening to “spill the beans” on her, but ultimately, Cruz benched himself and now plays 6th man for Team Trump. Turns out he’s a pretty lousy friend too. He volunteered Congressman Jim Jordan to wrestle “Hellboy” the ripped demon comic character, after the actor, Ron Perlman called Jordan ugly on Twitter. Who does that?

The bottom line is conservatives like Ted Cruz complain about “cancel culture” when it affects the things they care about like sports. But that’s also the reason they will fail, because those things are fun and people actually like them. And when large companies make decisions like giving millions to Black Lives Matter causes or letting management kneel with players it’s not a politician with his finger in the wind, those are data driven decisions. Available polling shows major support for Black Lives Matter and the issues the movement raises. Just before Cruz vowed he “won’t buy anymore” Nikes because they were too “woke,” their stock price was $83.95; now even amid a pandemic their price is hovering around $100. The Cruz effect?

Ted is the guy who checks in late in the game simply to foul and run out the clock. And speaking of running out the clock, if his own term limit amendment were in effect his Senate career would end in 2024, just in time to make another run for President. Cuban has also toyed with the idea. He actually has some experience in his starring role as the President of the United States in Sharknado 3, “saving countless lives and altering the world to a new terrifying threat.” Sounds like just what America needs. We know what happened the last time Ted Cruz took his shot against a billionaire, say-what-he-thinks celebrity — he got rejected.

Photos: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons and  Samuel Corum/Getty Images

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Joe Deshotel is originally from Beaumont, Texas, but a combination of live music, politics, and natural beauty brought him to Austin in 2010. He has over a decade of experience in public policy that covers federal, state, and local government and has worked on a number of successful election campaigns. He continues to consult on Democratic campaigns and serves as the Chair of Austin’s Community Development Commission which advocates for affordable housing and solutions for homelessness.

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