As I write this post, Ted Cruz is staging a psuedo-filibuster on the floor of the Senate. He stands alone in a room (and party) deeply divided. His effort draws attention to the importance of the individual in the American political system. No system is adequate in its representation of the varying interests of the individuals it is designed to embody, however, some systems allow for the aggrandizement of a single person, if only for a short period of time. This spectacle, in the U.S., takes form in the shape of the filibuster. The filibuster, as a political tool, allows for the direct representation of the minority opinion on their own terms for as long as they can hold the floor. While Mr.Cruz isn’t staging a formal filibuster, he is utilizing the same fundamental idea in his public rebellion.
The filibuster has been used in the past during times of radical political change. Take Strom Thurmond’s famous 24 hour filibuster where he tried to single-handedly kill the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
Most recently, Rand Paul’s filibuster drew national attention for his unwavering pursuit of answers surrounding President Obama’s use of drones domestically and against U.S. citizens.
It does not matter what you think about the substance of the politician’s motives in filibustering, as most filibusters are futile from their inception. What one must grasp is the either irrational or commendable (depending on where you stand) amount of power and attention given to the individual or minority by America’s political system.
I have not forgotten that this is partially a fashion blog. I think it very apt that Mr.Cruz chose to wear a blue tie to work this morning. He, a member of the red (Republican) party, wears a blue (Democratic) colored tie. In a room where his own party stands, as a majority, against him, and his blatant critics on the other side of the isle are undoubtedly praying for him to finish his speech A.S.A.P., Mr.Cruz straddles the line between the two and walks alone in both dress and politics. His enigmatic ideology only emphasizes his individuality in a senate creased and aged by party lines. I’m quite positive that no one will remember the color of his tie when referencing this filibuster, but if it is remembered as a stand for the individual against the divided collective, then it will have been enough.
What I’m reading about today: Ted Cruz’s filibuster