opinion Ted Cruz Is No Leonidas

Ted Cruz Is No Leonidas

Ted Cruz is No Leonidas
Credit: Wikimedia Commons, illustration by Greek Reporter

Opinion by Mark Arey

Ted Cruz wants you to think he is a hero. His appearance on the floor of the Senate and his appearance at the inauguration sporting the Gonzales Flag on his facemask have raised more than a few eyebrows. It seems that Senator Cruz wants to be identified with the brave Texans who stood their ground in 1835 at the beginning of the Texan Revolution. Perhaps he wants to be seen as a potential new Leonidas, who led the legendary 300 Spartans against Xerxes at the Battle of Thermopylae.

But Cruz is no Leonidas. More of an Ephialtes, the Greek who betrayed his countrymen to Xerxes, leading the Persians in an end run that led to the Spartans’ death. Cruz led his own end run around the Constitution (Josh Hawley, too), seeking to ingratiate himself to his very own Xerxes, Donald Trump, (who had been called a new “Cyrus” by his evangelical enablers … an irony if ever there was).

Should Ted Cruz and His Colleagues Use Greek Symbols?

Ted Cruz, the whiz kid of the Constitution, is a traitor to his oath, and a seditionist of the most unctuous variety. He [mis]appropriates images and slogans of heroism, hoping they will give his lickspittle sycophancy the veneer of courage and patriotism. It was Leonidas who first said the famous “μολὼν λαβέ” – “come and take [them],” rejecting any surrender of freedom by refusing to give up the fight. In recent decades, this defiance has been misused by those who think it is some kind of brave defence of their Second Amendment “right” to own more firepower than their local police station. Nothing could be further from the truth. “Μολὼν λαβέ” was never about hanging on to weapons that have nothing to do with safeguarding the republic. The Heroes of Thermopylae gave their lives for their countrymen. They did not attack them with flagpoles, fire extinguishers and bear spray.

Those brave Greeks who held the line at Thermopylae have inspired countless defenders of life and liberty through the centuries, not the least, the heroes of 1821 who fought for the Independence of Greece two hundred years ago. These patriots, like their American counterparts a few decades earlier, rejected autocracy over democracy. Whether the kings of the West or the Sultans of the East, free people rose up against autocrats. They didn’t rise up to ensconce them.

But Senator Cruz does not understand the symbols he employs. He wants only to appear courageous, even as his craven political aspirations move him against the interests of the Republic. His mask is more than hypocrisy. He insults the Lone Star State, even as he reminds us that he truly is no Leonidas. He is a true Ephialtes, which means “nightmare” in Greek. We can’t wake up from him soon enough.

Mark Arey is an author and proud Philhellene residing in New Mexico. To learn more about his work visit


Related Posts

President Anastasiades Welcomes New Cyprus Peace Talks

Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades on Thursday hailed the United Nations bid to resume peace talks over his divided island.

Greek-American Yannis Dimoulis Creates Community Through Comedy

Designer Yannis Dimoulis uses his platform of over 23,000 followers to explore the often-comedic nuances of being Greek-American.

Greek War of Independence: The Unsung Heroes

The Greek War of Independence had many heroes. The first names that come to mind are: Kolokotronis, Karaiskakis, Papaflessas, Bouboulina, Diakos, Kanaris