|Santería practice on church steps, image via Ghost Lounge.|
"You gotta remember. In all fairness, to the best of my knowledge, not too many evangelicals come out of Cuba, OK? Just remember that, OK? Just remember," he told the crowd in Council Bluffs, Iowa. "When you're casting your ballot, remember."No indeed! What kind of religion comes out of Cuba? Something they don't hear much about in Council Bluffs, I bet!
I mean obviously I'm just kidding about the Santería, and Trump knows nothing whatever about cigar-smoking priestesses and Babalú-Ayé and the other orishas, but he does know exactly what he's doing with his still more ignorant audience, and it does have a distinct racist smell. What he's talking about to Council Bluffs is himself, not Cruz, and his own bizarre claim to be a Christian of the type the Council Bluffs Taliban recognize as one of their own.
He's saying, "Don't pay attention to my ignorance of the Bible, or my wives in their décolleté, look into my German blue eyes."
It's enough to make you want to vote for Cruz—though Cruz is in fact the whitest kind of Cuban you ever want to meet—both his father's parents were Spanish immigrants, born in the Canary Islands, and his US-born mother's name, Darragh, is Irish. It's pretty clear that no Mexican Americans or Puerto Ricans are likely to vote for him, or for Rubio either—and even the conservative Miami Cuban community generally prefers J.E.B. Bush to either, with pretty good reason. You know what I'd use to explain voting for J.E.B., in some horrible imaginary case in which I really had no recourse other than to vote for him? That I believe he would at some point be capable of embarrassment. Not shame, which would be better, but at least embarrassment.
Trump, in contrast, is literally incapable of embarrassment, and Cruz is as well. Rubio too, though he covers it up by looking as if he's dying of embarrassment at all times. Trump and Cruz are going to have an argument about who is a crazier adherent of a Dominionist sect holding that the Constitution is a biblically inspired document forbidding the separation of church and state. "I'm sorry, Donald, but I'm far crazier than you. My father has anointed me the Messiah of America, and I believe him." "Nonsense, Ted, you couldn't possibly be as crazy as I am. After all your family comes from Cuba."
Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names.