There's a lot of crazy stuff going on in America these days, so I'm not going to claim that this is the craziest. It might be a contender, though. It's closely tied up with a lot of other crazy stuff, certainly. Most of these things are connected.
But it turns out that I didn't know the half of it!
You know that whole 'birther' nonsense? Some people will just never accept a black man as the legitimate President of the United States. He can't be a real American. I mean, just look at him!
Obviously, Barack Obama must have been part of a decades-long plot to put a foreigner in the White House. I mean, what would make more sense in the 1950s than a black kid with a funny name from a broken marriage in a poor, mixed-raced household? He'd be a shoo-in!
But this isn't about logic, and it's certainly not about evidence. It's about racism. Barack Obama simply cannot be the legitimate president. He must be a Kenyan, a Muslim, a 'terrorist,' a socialist, a communist, a fascist - and besides, ACORN must have got him fraudulently elected.
20% of Republicans, even now, think that Obama is the antichrist. I'm not kidding! The antichrist! Twenty percent! One quarter of all Americans think that he might be. I'm embarrassed that so many Americans think that the boogeyman might be real, let alone that they suspect our first black president of being him!
The Kenyan claim is the one you hear the most, because it reminds people that he's, you know, black. My god, people, just look at him! He's black, he's black, he's black! Haven't you seen that??? Open your eyes! It's like racists just can't imagine how white people apparently haven't noticed that.
So along comes Ted Cruz, hero of the Tea Party, who's already running just as fast as he can for the presidency. And, er,... he was, um,... born in Canada (which, unlike Hawaii, is not actually part of the official United States - plus it has socialized medical care, too!).
His father was a Cuban who fought for Fidel Castro in the Cuban Revolution. Oops! In fact, the elder Cruz would have been an illegal immigrant when he arrived in America, except that Cubans are the only Latinos Republicans actually like, so they get an exemption from all that tedious immigration stuff.
(Actually, I don't know what his status would have been in 1957. The law which currently exempts Cubans from much of this stuff dates from 1966. But Cubans have long been favored like this.)
So, what about all that 'birther' stuff now? Yeah, there hasn't been one peep from the Tea Party about Ted Cruz being a foreigner, has there? Well, you know, Cruz just looks like a president, you know what I mean? This fine, upstanding white man is clearly presidential material,... unlike that Kenyan who's currently in the White House. Am I right?
This is crazy. But as it turns out, I hadn't known the half of it:
The state of Texas, home to George Bush, Rick Perry and Louis Gohmert, has seen to inflict on the other forty-nine states yet another right-wing nutjob who calls himself “Ted” Cruz.
“Ted” is not his first name. It is not even either of his given names.
The junior senator from Texas is named Rafael Edward Cruz.
He was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to an American woman and a Cuban father who, at one time, had been a soldier in Fidel Castro’s revolutionary army. The obstetrician attending his birth worked under a national health insurance plan a step beyond the Affordable Care Act that he so vehemently opposes (probably for his own reasons, not for the benefit of his constituents). How’s that for foreign?
So why “Ted”?
Is it so he can call his speeches and fauxlibusters “Ted talks”?
Or is it because of his base?
Is it that the same tea party who cannot accept that someone named “Barack Hussein Obama” could have been born in the united states would have their collective head explode at the notion of a “President Rafael Cruz”?
Funny, isn't it? You know how Republicans are always emphasizing Barack Hussein Obama's middle name? That's a continuing reminder to the American people that Obama isn't really one of us, that he's a 'Kenyan' (i.e. black), not a real American (i.e. white). With a name like "Hussein," why he must be a terrorist, right?
But 'Ted' Cruz? Well, he's just a good ole Texan boy, huh? Hmm,... I wonder how many of these people know what "hypocrisy" means? (Don't worry, I won't ask them to spell it.)
Actually, although I don't know if Cruz will ever play up "Rafael," even in the Spanish press, I have no doubt that Republicans will try to use his half-Cuban ancestry to woo Hispanics in the general election. (They might keep it quiet in the primary, or they might not. As I noted, to Republicans, Cubans are the good Latinos.)
After all, wooing Hispanics has been a concern of Republican political operatives ever since their hysterical anti-immigrant paranoia has started having a negative effect in the polls. They've pretty much given up on African-American votes, but they're still getting a third of Hispanic votes, for some strange reason.
Marco Rubio was their fair-haired Latino, so to speak, until he made the mistake of trying to compromise on immigration reform. It probably would have been a mistake to try to compromise with the Democrats on anything, but immigration is an especially hot-button issue in the GOP. So there's certainly an opening for Rafael Cruz now.
To be clear, I think they're just fooling themselves. But these are the same people who think that Barack Obama only won the presidency because he's black. (Those lucky black people, always getting everything, huh?)
They seem to forget that African-Americans overwhelmingly voted for Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and John Kerry, too - indeed, that they've voted Democratic pretty much since the Republicans adopted their 'Southern strategy' of deliberately wooing white racists. (Gee, do you think there could be a connection there?)
But can you think of any other reason than racism for the difference in how 'Ted' Cruz is treated, as compared to Barack Obama? They're two men with foreign fathers and foreign names (to most Americans, certainly), one of them born in America and the other born in a foreign country.
Yet I haven't seen any hysterics about the actual foreign-born politician, have you? Indeed, I haven't even heard anyone questioning his legitimacy as a presidential candidate, let along imply that he's a foreign operative - or a supernatural operative! - sent to destroy America.