Texas Sen. Ted Cruz calls himself "just a geeky lawyer from Texas." But love him or hate him, there is no doubt he has struck a nerve with his forthright stands on issues like defunding Obamacare, gun control and federal spending.

Cruz was asked about his image during the recent Western Conservative Summit in Denver. Besides a basic tutorial on the difference between republics and tyranny, Cruz' response provides an illuminating sample of the independent spirit that increasingly seems to be exemplified in the Lone Star State.