By Joel Gilbert

Ted Cruz’s endorsement of Trump was the courageous right move both for Cruz’s brand and for the country. But let me digress… I participated in the Cruz for President campaign from its beginning, initially as a videographer, shooting hours of footage of Cruz and interviews with his family that was used throughout the campaign. I attended the Cruz for President branding conference, along with about 15 others, where we contributed ideas to help formulate the campaign’s marketing strategy. I settled into a role as a media advisor and writer for the campaign, submitting promotional ideas, op-eds, and written material for speeches and debates. I designed the "Courageous Conservatives" official Cruz campaign poster, and independently produced an animated Star Wars parody supporting Cruz, The Constitution Strikes Back, that went viral.

The more I got to know Ted, the stronger I believed he could unite the country and restore the Constitution usurped by Obama and the radical Left. To me and his many followers, Ted was a special person on a special mission to defend liberty. I never wavered in my support, so like the many others who believed in Ted Cruz's ideals, I was disappointed with his “non-endorsement” of Donald Trump at the Republican convention. In my view, this was a decision that didn’t fit his brand, but I recognized that Ted was a little shell shocked from a brutal campaign and being on the road for over a year. I hoped he would reconsider.

I knew that many Cruz donors and supporters had communicated their disappointment directly to Ted, expressing their desire that he reverse course and endorse the nominee. A month ago, I decided to chime in too. I sent an email to Ted sharing my opinion that his non-endorsement of Donald Trump was a “Christie hugs Obama” moment for grass roots Republicans, essentially a “betrayal”. I maintained that as he told his supporters the election was about defending the Constitution, choosing Supreme Court justices, and the future of liberty, it appeared hypocritical that in the end he would withhold endorsement for personal reasons. I added that his base felt Cruz had abandoned the high principles he had us all believe in. I advised Ted to endorse Donald Trump as soon as possible, and stated my belief that the grass roots would appreciate him for coming on board and likely forgive the temporary non-endorsement. I argued that this was the only path forward for the country as well as for Ted politically.

Cruz knows more than anyone that liberty hangs in the balance. In his Facebook post, he told the story of why he is endorsing Trump: "By any measure Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable - that’s why I have always been #NeverHillary. For anyone concerned about the Bill of Rights - free speech, religious liberty, the Second Amendment - the Supreme Court hangs in the balance”. Cruz continued, “We are only one justice away from losing our most basic rights, and the next President will appoint as many as four new justices. We know, without a doubt, that every Clinton appointee would be a left-wing ideologue." Cruz added, "If Clinton wins, we know - with 100% certainty - that she would deliver on her left-wing promises, with devastating results for our country. If you don’t want to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for Trump.”

That’s the Ted Cruz the grass roots loves, welcome back Felito! Now Cruz supporters, those Constitutionalists and Libertarians still waiting at the station, can come on board the Trump train. Cruz made it clear there is simply no other choice.

Cruz’s move to endorse Trump is the most courageous and the best political "recalculation" a politician has made in years. Ted Cruz reaffirmed his brand, to defend the Constitution and liberty above all else. Politically, Cruz has everything to gain and nothing to lose from his Trump endorsement, it makes perfect sense. The Trump endorsement puts him in a position to be a leader in the Senate with a Trump win, or the leader of the opposition if Hillary wins. If Trump wins without Cruz's endorsement, Pence is the likely successor, with Cruz getting the #NeverChristie cold shoulder from the grass roots. If Trump wins with Cruz's endorsement, Cruz will have a great shot at becoming the next nominee. However, if Hillary wins with no Cruz endorsement of Trump, Cruz would likely have been held accountable by the grass roots and may even have been run out of the US Senate in 2018 by angry Texas Republicans.

When Cruz dropped out of the Presidential race, it wasn't even a question that I would support Donald Trump because, as Cruz articulated, the Constitution is under assault by the Democrat party, which has become a radical socialist party. Their first goal is to attack the First Amendment and limit free speech. I was targeted earlier this year for investigation by three Democrats on the Federal Election Commission for producing a film exposing Barack Obama’s real personal background, Dreams from My Real Father. The FEC investigation did not proceed due to a 3-3 tie vote with Republican commissioners, but I have no doubt a President Hillary Clinton would seek to add a seventh commissioner to the FEC to “break the ties”.  Conservative radio talk show host Steve Deace, who criticized Cruz’s endorsement of Trump, is just the kind of person whose free speech would be targeted in Hillary's Liberal Fascist state, all in the name of “fairness.” The Clintons have been targeting Conservative talk radio since they occupied the White House in the 1990’s.  Now, with the mainstream print and television media in their pocket, talk radio is the last bastion of free speech and Deace is in the crosshairs along with myself.

The #NeverTrump Republicans who reject Trump for not being the perfect Conservative should ask themselves: Would Marco Rubio, who sold out the minute he got to Washington, have been a perfect Conservative nominee? Would they be "#NeverRubio? What about Jeb Bush or Chris Christie? Perfect Conservatives? Even Ronald Reagan was not a perfect conservative. The reality is that Hillary Clinton and the radical Left have an agenda that includes eliminating our borders and flooding the country with illegals, ruling by executive order, and canceling Constitutional amendment after amendment. They are Ameriphobes. A President Hillary Clinton would likely cement an era of permanent Liberal Fascism that Obama started. So, there is no other choice except Trump/Pence. Its time all Cruz supporters, Constitutionalists, Libertarians, and NeverTrumpers jump on the Trump train. As Ted Cruz said time and again during the campaign, this is our fight!