Gee, Brain, what are we going to do tonight?
The same thing we do every night, Pinky-try to take over the world!
-Tagline for Pinky and the Brain (1995-1998)
It’s nothing new. History is full of ambitious people who have attempted global conquest. Alexander the Great tried it. Genghis Khan tried it. Julius Caesar tried it. Napoleon Bonaparte tried it. Adolf Hitler tried it. Che Guevara tried it.
The notion of taking over the world even made its way to popular culture. Planet of the Apes has our very own planet taken over by talking simians. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade follows Nazis and their quest to harness the Arc of the Covenant to use for world domination. The Transformers television series and film of the 1980s had our planet being potentially taken over by alien robots called Decepticons. The Terminator and Matrix movies center on robots and machines gone amok and a fight for survival that ensues. Heck, even Star Wars involved the idea of taking over the world. Of course, the evil empire isn’t happy solely with one world, they’re determined to take over the entire universe. Now that’s ambition.
What all these aforementioned historical and popular culture examples have in common is the fact that in each and every example, the person or persons who tried to take over the world or worlds failed miserably. History does not speak kindly of Adolf Hitler and Napoleon Bonaparte. Che Guevara started out believing himself to be a freedom fighter for the people of the Americas. He ended up being killed participating in guerrilla warfare in Africa. Even in popular culture those that are trying to take over the world are the villains. Try to find someone, anyone, who was rooting for Darth Vader to kill Luke on the platform in Cloud City. You can’t. That person doesn’t exist.
All of this information is lost on somebody like Ted Cruz. This past month, Cruz has been a one-man wrecking ball doing his best to singlehandedly destroy both the American as well as the global economy as a way to booster his own standing in the world. He almost did it, too. He led his cohorts yesterday in the Senate to actually put their vote on record for a global economic collapse rather than open the government and raising the debt ceiling. Thanks to this vote, Senators Rand Paul and Marco Rubio can effectively kiss their 2016 presidential aspirations goodbye. Wanting the entire global financial system to crash to prove a political point is not a strong selling point in a general election.
Cruz also successfully led his cuckoo bananas Tea Party House caucus to vote for the shutdown and then act outraged when national parks and monuments were closed due to said shutdown. It was like watching sheep being led to slaughter. None of the Tea Party members knew what the endgame was. Louie Gohmert and John McCain are no longer spending Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any day in the congressional cafeteria together. Cruz even managed to bring back everyone’s favorite half-term Alaskan governor to remind us all how she would most likely lose a round of trivia against any of the Kardashians. All these people rallied around Cruz for one reason and one reason only: To try and take over the world.
You see, Ted Cruz represents a real life Brain (although nowhere near as smart) from the hit Warner Brothers Animation show Pinky and the Brain of the mid-1990s. The show centered around a brilliant yet misguided mouse who honestly believed he could take over the world to satisfy his own ego. In the show, Brain needed a patsy and would recruit his friend Pinky to assist him in his attempts at world domination. However, Pinky wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed and inevitably would somehow and someway manage to ruin Brain’s plan at the last possible moment. Despite each and every setback, Brain vowed that the next time he would be successful in his attempt to take over the world.
Ted Cruz, are you making the connection yet?
Knowing Ted, probably not, so we’ll help him out. Those that try to subvert democracy and attempt to attain total power for themselves always fail. Alexander the Great’s empire came crashing down when he suddenly got ill and left no clear line of succession. Julius Caesar’s abuse of power introduced the term backstabbing into modern lore. Napoleon Bonaparte ended up on the island of Elba becoming best friends with a 19th century volleyball. In popular culture, the guy to tries to take total power for himself with little to no regard for those around him is always seen as a villain. Go out onto the streets of every American city (minus the Wall Street neighborhood) and ask how many people think Gordon Gecko is a hero.
By surrounding himself with real life Pinkys, Cruz ensured that his attempt at world domination would fail. In this case, the fact that they opened their mouths to talk was what ultimately ended up hurting his cause. When you have no end goal, you don’t actually admit to the media that you have no end goal. When your party shuts down the government, you don’t cry foul about national parks and monuments being shut down. When veterans are organizing a non-political event, you don’t go and take it over and make it into a political event. When everyone in your party admits they have lost this battle, you don’t go on national television and declare victory.
I remember watching Pinky and the Brain as a teenager and laughing at how foolish Brain was in thinking that his newest scheme would somehow and some way work out in the end. It never did. However Brain was convinced that he could overcome the odds and actually achieve what nobody has ever done: Take over the world. With each failed attempt, Brain seemed more and more determined that with a small tweak here and a minor adjustment there that his next plan would be the one that would finally be successful. Pinky would blindly follow Brain and off they would go to a new adventure each and every episode. After four years, all storylines had been done and Pink and the Brain went off the air.
Thanks to Ted Cruz, we now have a live action show each and every day in the halls of Congress.