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Journalist alleges Ted Cruz loves Wagner

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:09 pm
by alberich00
Dear members of (and visitors to) the discussion forum:

By now, everybody, at least in the USA, knows that Ted Cruz (Republican) is the first person in the USA to announce their candidacy for the presidency of the USA, 2016. I post the following not for your edification, but only for your amusement (or not). I was reading our local Stuart, Florida newspaper's commentary section some days ago and found a satirical piece on Ted Cruz by Washington Post reporter Esther Cepeda. Here is my initial query to Ms. Cepeda to learn the source of her remark that Ted Cruz loves Wagner:

"Dear Ms. Cepeda:

I just read your opinion piece about Ted Cruz, evidently published by
the Chicago Sun-Times, which begins with the remark “… Rafael Edward
‘Ted’ Cruz, native of Canada, junior senator of Texas, and lover of
Wagner … .”

I have googled Ted Cruz / Richard Wagner and can’t find any citation
referencing such a link. Can you tell me your source?

I ask because I am the author of the world’s most comprehensive (and
hopefully, most conceptually coherent) website on Richard Wagner’s
music-drama “The Ring of the Nibelung” (at, and I’m
dying of curiosity.

When a journalist cites Richard Wagner as part of a critique of a
right-wing [politician] ... like Cruz, that
journalist normally can expect a visceral response of disgust from
progressives (among whom I include myself) who think first of Wagner’s
notorious anti-Semitism, and secondarily of his alleged
ultra-Nationalism. The first accusation is correct, but the second is
off the mark because Wagner was as critical of his fellow Germans as any
other group, and tended throughout his life to favor left-wing political
ideology. He hated the German military-industrial state.


Thanks in advance for any tips you can give me re the source of your
remark that Cruz thinks he’s a Wagnerian.


Your friend from Wagnerheim,

Paul Brian Heise"

Well, Ms. Cepeda just got back to me with a link to a Washington Post article on Ted Cruz
which she claims as her source for alleging that Ted
Cruz loves Wagner. Let me say in advance that Cepeda's article on Cruz
was mostly flip, and I suppose we can't expect very high standards of
journalism re truth/falsehood in such a satiric piece, but nonetheless
she got back to me, and her source doesn't even remotely suggest Cruz
is, or was, a fan of Wagner. As a high school student he merely engaged
in a revenge prank against a high school whose members had stolen his
own school's flag, by goo-ing up the interior of one of their buildings,
and playing the "Ride of the Valkyries" on a tape player in his car as
he and his gang were making their escape, a piece which they like
everybody else of the time thought of not as anything Wagnerian but
merely Robert Duvall's attack piece from "Apocalypse Now."

Here is Ms. Cepeda's response and her link to the Washington Post article about Cruz:

"Hi there,

Cruz' delight in Wagner is noted here: ... ow-it-all/

I hope this helps.


Esther J. Cepeda"

Here's my response to her response:

Dear Esther:

Thanks for your reply, and the link.

Actually, I had finally discovered this link in the interim, and now I
know your source. I suspected this might be your source when I found it,
because I could find nothing else on the net re this subject.

However, Cruz’s use of “The Ride of the Valkyries” from Wagner’s “Ring”
as a getaway tune for his high school prank doesn’t remotely suggest
that Cruz is a lover of Wagner. “The Ride of the Valkyries” is very
widely known (especially thanks to “Apocalypse Now”) as the perfect
piece to get the juices surging by millions of people who know nothing
of Wagner and couldn’t give a hoot about him as an artist.

Well, I guess I’d be interested to know whether Cruz’s interest in
Wagner goes beyond a one-off case related to a prank from high school.

Let me know if you ever come across any info to that effect.

And thanks again for getting back to me. I’ve been a lifelong reader of
the Washington Post, having been born in Takoma Park, MD, and having
grown up and lived most of my life in Annapolis, MD.

Your friend from,


I apologize for this in advance, but a little levity ain't such a bad thing, once in awhile. Enjoy!

Yours from

Paul alias alberich00