By James Branson

We’ve developed an outsized interest in the 2016 US Presidential Election here at Heaps Gay, probably because it’s just so damn interesting. And scary: the main candidates on the Republican side are of the evangelical-let’s-ban-abortion-and-end-gay-marriage type.

Of course, Donald Trump’s candidacy has been the real kicker. The real estate billionaire is a walking soundbite – even though the soundbites are generally heinous.

So, it was with much fanfare and relief from many quarters that the walking toupee stumbled at the first hurdle, coming in second at the Iowa Caucus.

All I’ve seen on my social media feed is widespread joy that the wall-buildin’, Mexican-hatin’ Trump is on his way down.

Which would all be well and good, if the guy who won wasn’t many times worse than Trump. By almost every measure, Ted Cruz, who won Iowa quite handily, leans to the right of the Donald. And leaning to Donald’s right is a tough ask.

Cruz is vehemently anti-abortion, and during his time as the solicitor-general in Texas, he worked hard to make access to safe and legal abortions as difficult as possible. He has also spent a large portion of his time in the US Senate campaigning to defund planned parenthood, the Government organisation that helps with family planning.

Cruz has also called for a “carpet bombing of Iraq and Syria, something that could be considered a war crime by the UN, if it were ever carried out.

But wait, there’s more. He’s the worst denier of climate change in the entire US Senate.

Perhaps most importantly, Cruz has campaigned heavily on the promise of overturning the US Supreme Court’s legalisation of same-sex marriage, and has stridently opposed laws protecting LGBTQI people from workplace discrimination.

So, while Donald Trump may be getting all the headlines, with his high-octane public appearances and gravity-defying haircut, the man who actually beat him yesterday is a much scarier proposition.

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