Ted Cruz appeared on the “The Late Show with Steven Colbert” last night and was booed over his remarks about gay marriage (watch above). Colbert had to turn to the crowd and ask them not to boo his guest, even though they disagreed with him. Some reflections on this appearance:
1. It is amazing how quickly the crowd turned on Cruz after he expressed reluctance about gay marriage, but it’s not surprising. We already knew this, but this is just more evidence that there is no silent majority out there supporting the Christian view of marriage. A majority of Americans and popular culture have turned decisively against supporters of traditional marriage. So much so, that even to mention a pro-traditional marriage stance will get you booed and jeered on late night TV–and that’s pretty hard to do in venues that are noted for their airy, insubstantial fare. But this is the world that we now live in.
2. Colbert treated Cruz tougher than any other politician he’s interviewed. There weren’t many laughs as Colbert grilled Cruz. As Russell Berman observes at The Atlantic:
Yet even by Colbert’s standards, his interview with Cruz featured much tougher treatment than any of his other political interviews to date. When he hosted Jeb Bush on his debut show, he mixed in some serious queries with a number of gags. Colbert steered almost completely clear of politics in his moving interview with Biden. And when Bernie Sanders appeared on the show last week, Colbert gave him space to deliver his campaign talking points with little interruption.
Indeed, Colbert seems to be developing a habit of revealing his attitude toward a politician in the different ways he shows them off his stage. Concluding his interview with Bush, he told him, by way of a compliment, that he might possibly vote for him. Colbert said goodbye to Biden by practically pleading with him to run for president. With Cruz, there were no deadpan, and no praise. “I really appreciated you sharing your views with us,” Colbert said, “and good luck with the campaign.”
I’m sure this appearance will be a lesson for conservatives who are considering an invitation to appear on this program.
3. It is going to be increasingly difficult for traditional marriage proponents to run for national office. That view of marriage–even though it was very recently the majority view–has fallen into disrepute. And that means that any faithful Christian running for office will have a de facto religious test applied to him or her on this issue. Christian or not, this issue will make the 2016 general election campaign difficult for whoever wins the GOP nomination.