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Feb 19

Written by: Diana West
Friday, February 19, 2016 7:06 AM 

Pt. 5 is here.

In addressing the Rubio-Cruz exchange over/in Spanish at last week's debate in South Carolina, Allan Wall notes that Sen. Cruz has a Spanish-language campaign website and Donald Trump "apparently" does not.

Having searched to the best of my ability, I can say that Trump does not have such a site. It would not make sense for him to have one, given his bell-clear statements on the importance of speaking English as a matter of assimilation for immigrants, and to set a good example as candidates -- this, memorably to Jeb!, who, like Cruz, has a Spanish-language campaign site, too.

As Trump has said, "This is a country where we speak English, not Spanish." Or so we should. Just as there can be no country without a border (#TrumpWall2016), there can be no common bonds without a common language -- surely, not without the assumption of a common language -- and, above all, a common language used in politics.

Wall, himself a Spanish teacher and husband to a Mexican wife, picked up on a moment in the last debate where Cruz zapped Rubio for, as Wall puts it, "Hispandering," but then failed to make a case for the importance -- the primacy -- of English in these United States. Wall writes:

The political use of the Spanish language is a negative development in the U.S. politics. It’s not that I’m against Americans learning Spanish. As I said, I teach Spanish, and I believe some Americans should learn Spanish.

What I object to is the idea that Americans have a civic duty to learn Spanish and that it should be used by politicians and candidates to communicate with American citizens. It threatens our common political culture.

What happened at this debate is just a small example. Cruz made a great point about Rubio’s Spanish-language Hispandering. I’m sorry he wasn’t able to follow up by emphasizing the necessity of English.

These are good points. My guess is that this is another area where Trump tacks nationalist and Sen. Cruz and Gov. Bush tack the other way -- more globalist. I hope the subject, one of those real litmus tests, comes up on the hustings. In English.

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I don't claim to know the history of Spanish-language US presidential campaign websites, but, for the 2016 record, I don't see Spanish-language websites for Ben Carson, John Kasich, or (unless I missed something) Marco Rubio

Across the aisle, not surprisingly, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton both have Spanish language sites.

 

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