The year is 1988. A cramped double in 1937 Hall. Half of the room looks like pretty standard college dorm fare: there’s a Jimi Hendrix poster on the wall, a few textbooks strewn around a desk, an unmade bed. Ted’s roommate, CRAIG MAZIN, sits sideways in his desk chair on that side, looking anxiously at the door. On Ted’s side, immaculately folded sheets adorned with bald eagles cover his bed. An enormous American flag and a framed copy of the Constitution occupy the wall above it. Three different translations of the Bible sit on his bedside table. In his closet are 13 identical outfits of khakis and blue dress shirts.
Enter TED CRUZ. He walks in briskly with an oversized backpack and closes the door with excessive force. He doesn’t look like a sweaty bulldog with a heart condition yet, but his chin has already begun to assume its final form. He is wearing khakis and a blue dress shirt.
CRAIG: Hey. Listen, Ted, I need to talk to you about something.
TED: If you have something to say, make it quick. I am in the process of preparing for the greatest debate performance of my life.
CRAIG: I’ve been getting complaints from some of the girls on our hall. Diana said just last week you were pacing in front of their door in a paisley bathrobe?
TED: Craig, my fellow American. Do you value liberty?
TED: Do you value your freedoms as an American citizen?
CRAIG: I mean, yeah, but–
TED: Craig, were you aware that by freely walking the halls of my own residence, I was exercising my First Amendment right to free speech?
CRAIG: Ted, please don’t do this aga–
TED: There are two types of people in this world, Craig. Those that appreciate their God-given liberties, and Communists. Are you a Communist?
CRAIG: You can’t just turn everything into a deba–
TED: A closing argument. Would you rather live in a world where a man is free to wear whatever he pleases, or a world in which Washington fat cats dictate which government-mandated jumpsuit you’re gonna put on in the morning? Now if that is all, I will be on my way.
CRAIG (visibly irritated): No. That is not all. Dude, I found a loaded gun under your bed yesterday. Be honest with me–are you alright?
TED: I assure you, Craig, that I am quite “alright”. What is not “alright”, in my view, is intruding on my Second Amendment right to bear arms. Not only that, but you have violated my Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure. My father, one of the strongest men I know, did not escape from Cuba at the age of 18 with 100 dollars sewed into his underwear and wash dishes for 50 cents an hour in order for me to stand here and watch you infringe my rights. Consider yourself lucky I don’t take this matter to court.
CRAIG: Ted, I’m not debating you right now. I’m concerned about your mental health. And another thing– you know that toy soldier I’ve had on my desk all semester? I haven’t been able to find it. You don’t know anything about that, do you?
TED: Do you know what those brave soldiers died for in the American Revolution? They died for our rights. They died for our Constitution. Yes, I disposed of your little figurine. But why? I believe it violated my Third Amendment right against having to quarter soldiers in my domicile during peacetime. If you wish to persecute me for living by the laws that our forefathers sacrificed their lives to create, be my guest.
CRAIG: Are you serious? My grandpa gave that to me before he died. It was the only thing I had to remember him by.
The two sit in silence for a moment, glaring at each other. A sudden knock raps on the door. Ted opens it warily. It’s their Residential College Advisor, BRAD. He glares at Ted, who appears nervous.
BRAD: Ted, I’m going to give you one chance to fess up. Someone left sticky notes saying “REPENT OR BURN IN HELL” on every door on our hall and slid dozens of hand-annotated copies of the Bible under people’s’ doors. Was it you?
TED: Brad, I don’t need to answer to you. The only one who can judge me is a higher power. A force as holy as He is wise. If you can get Ronald Reagan on the phone, be my guest. But as for now, I’ll invoke my Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. If you’ll excuse me, I must be going. Those troglodytes at Yale are due for a trouncing.
Ted brushes past Brad, closing the door a little too hard on his way out. As the door slams shut, a huge pile of Bibles falls out of Ted’s closet.
Craig’s eyes are fixed on the framed Constitution above Ted’s bed, but he is stares into a space far beyond it. He looks tired. So very, very tired.