The second Republican Presidential Debate yielded several gems from Donald Trump which would have sufficed for the Bonehead Quote of the Week. But one particularly jingoistic exchange showed how woefully out of touch he is with the country he wants to make great again.
Trump chastised former Florida Governor Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish on the campaign trail. In the parlance of Trump, that’s apparently the language of losers and haters:
“We have a country, where, to assimilate, you have to speak English,” Trump said. “This is a country where we speak English, not Spanish.”
Trump is wrong. While this may be a country where he
speaks English, it is increasingly a country where we
Speaking English clearly makes it easier to assimilate into American culture, but it’s debatable whether it’s a necessity. While that statement is colored by the fact that I live in San Antonio, it also adheres to nationwide trends.
There are now more Spanish speakers in the United States than any country except Mexico, according to a study released earlier this year by the Instituto Cervantes
. Over 41 million people in the U.S. speak Spanish, even more than in Spain.
Even Trump's own party (if indeed he is a Republican) understands the need for more Latino outreach, not less.
Republicans have responded to the State of the Union address in both English and Spanish since 2011. Reince Preibus, who chairs the Republican Party, has hammered home the point that the party needs to embrace Latinos, not push them away.
“No party can fully represent the American people if it doesn’t build relationships with the Hispanic community,” Priebus wrote in a 2013 op-ed in National Review
. “In working to earn Hispanics’ trust, though, Republicans have to remember that it’s not just about what we say, but how we say it.”
Given many Republicans’ actions and rhetoric, some of them apparently never got the message. The Donald is clearly one of them.