Why Ted Cruz's Porn Scandal Should Actually Infuriate You

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A former Republican presidential candidate is in hot water Tuesday after allegedly "liking" sexually explicit content on social media. Ted Cruz's Twitter porn scandal is kind of hilariously ironic, because it goes against the conservative's most publicly defended beliefs, but that's exactly what makes it so infuriating too.

Sometime on Sept. 11, someone with access to Ted Cruz's personal Twitter account liked a post by another account named Sexuall Posts, which included an attached pornographic video. Since most people have their liked Tweets publicly visible on their profile, it didn't take long for someone to notice Cruz's activity, which seemed pretty out of character for the conservative senator. People saved receipts and spread the news far and wide — by Tuesday morning, the blunder was widely reported across social media with the help of screenshots from Cruz's Likes page.

The screenshots don't appear to be fake either. Catherine Frazier, Cruz's senior communications advisor, tweeted Tuesday morning that "the offensive tweet posted on @tedcruz account earlier has been removed by staff and reported to Twitter." Frazier's update includes two important inferences to be drawn: that the team isn't trying to deny the reality of the screenshots, and that other members of Cruz's team have access to his personal Twitter account. It's possible that a staffer was perusing the wrong account and created the controversy, and that Cruz personally has nothing to do with it.

But even if Cruz isn't directly involved, this is a PR nightmare for a legislator who's made his career off of "family values." Cruz has been a fierce advocate against marriage equality and once urged people to "fall to [their] knees and pray" against same-sex marriage legalization as the Supreme Court was ruling on the topic back in 2015. He also worked to uphold a Texas law that prohibits the sale of dildos in order to protect "public morals." In 2012, the Texas GOP platform advocated against sexual and reproductive freedom, promoting causes such as parental consent for abortion and abstinence-only education; Cruz, in the midst of his Senate run, spoke at the state's Republican convention.

Cruz's activities in his off hours shouldn't be much of anyone's concern. Frankly if he does watch porn, it would almost be a relief to know he's a normal human male and not an anti-sex cyborg. But living a public life that's so openly scornful of sexual freedom, while also indulging in the modern conveniences of online porn in private, just isn't fair. Even if it was one of his staffers who accidentally committed the offense, it's still disquieting that Cruz wouldn't police his own employees' sexual habits as thoroughly as he tries to police those of the American people.

Cruz has spent his career judging people for their sexual preferences and trying to vilify sexuality, instead of just being real and honest with Americans about their desires and preferences. People, and especially politicians, shouldn't get to espouse virtuosity and sanctimony, make other people feel inferior for having sexual urges, then go home at the end of the day and live hypocritically to those beliefs.

Some people may have taken comfort in Cruz's hard-line, anti-sex agenda, but it might not hold up against this scandal. This is exactly the kind of thing that can get spun into a political disaster and get someone thrown out of office. Cruz is already facing a tough Senate race in 2018, and this could bring him one step closer to losing his seat.

Of course, Donald Trump taught the country that sexual scandals might not be the end-all-be-all of a politician's career anymore, but given how adamant Cruz has been against sex over the years, it seems like this incident might really come back to bite him. For those who already disagreed with Cruz's restrictive definition of sexuality, karma has rarely been so lovely.