Look, I will be the first person in the world to admit that the optics of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) jetting off to Cancun in the middle of a once in a lifetime winter emergency in his home state of Texas weren’t good.

I don’t think any rationale human being would even bother to argue that the optics weren’t terrible.

Additionally, Cruz didn’t help himself by offering a series of half-explanations and half-excuses. From a purely PR perspective, Cruz completely and totally botched this – no doubt about it.

However, this over-hyped Cruz fiasco is a good reminder of two incredibly important lessons for conservatives going forward.

First, if you are a conservative who finds yourself in hot water with the mob for some half-baked reason – don’t apologize. Never, ever apologize to the mob.

Second, if you are a conservative opinion leader who sees a situation where the mob is coming for one of ours – don’t help the mob. Never, under any circumstance, should conservative thought leaders do the spadework of the left.

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Cruz’s transgressions are entirely about optics. Cruz couldn’t do anything more for Texas by staying in Texas. His only sin was entirely one of perception.

Cruz, and any conservative guilty of a PR only offense, needs to understand that no amount of apologizing will appease the left-wing mob and their allies in the media.

Who do you think would win the Presidency?

The only real option for Cruz in this situation, once he made the decision to make this trip to Cancun, was to fight back.

Instead of offering a series of half-baked excuses and kinda-sorta apologies, Cruz should have told the left and the media to shove it. He should have focused on the fact that there was nothing more Cruz could do from Texas than he could do from a hotel in Mexico.

He should have pointed out the absolute hypocrisy of the left – Democrat after Democrat have flaunted their own COVID shutdown regulations. Cruz should make it clear that he won’t take criticism from these hypocrites.

If the shoe were on the other foot, and it was a Democratic member from Texas who flew to Cancun this wouldn’t even be a national story.

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The media would actually be doing the spin for the Democrat – explaining to viewers and readers how overblown the story was and how there was nothing that the member could further do for Texas by staying in Texas.

So lesson 1 is never apologize to the mob.

Lesson 2, for conservative thought leaders, is just as important as lesson 1:  in the event that someone from our side finds themselves in a “scandal” that has nothing to do with actual policy and only to do with optics – never, under any circumstances, do the work of the left by attacking one of our own.

This honestly shouldn’t be so hard to comprehend, and indeed I find it perplexing that this lesson even needs to be taught to the folks on our side. The left doesn’t need anyone to teach them this lesson.

Not only will they never participate in the character assassination of one of their own embroiled in a purely PR crisis, they’re reticent to even criticize one of their own when their actions ended up killing people (see NY Governor Andrew Cuomo).

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The left realizes that the job of attacking the left is best left up to their opponents on the right.

Too many on our side, however, don’t comprehend this and rush to be the first to “condemn” someone on our side who is guilty of nothing more than offending the sensibilities of those on the left.

Almost every single time that Donald Trump said something that the left declared was offensive, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, and a hoard of spineless Republicans would rush to find a microphone or a reporter so they could “denounce” the comments.

This behavior was and is as idiotic as it is self-defeating.

Ted Cruz should probably have avoided this entire dustup by not going to Cancun to begin with – and someone on his staff should have made the case to him that the downside way outweighed the upside.

Once the decision to go was made, however, Cruz shouldn’t have apologized and no one on our side should have piled on.

We will never make the left happy. No matter how much we apologize or how often we are willing to condemn one of our own – so don’t bother trying.

This piece originally appeared in ThePoliticalInsider.com and is used by permission.

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