Ted Cruz basketball

A basketball hoop in Spanish is, “aro de baloncesto” The word, “aro” means “hoop” or “ring.”

Senator Ted Cruz is being lambasted for describing a basketball “hoop” as a “ring.” His only “error” therein is word choice. We Americans are so unilnguistic that we are unforgiving if the sound of a word reaching our eardrums is slightly off-kilter. In this case, it caused us to become unhinged.

Despite the fact that Senator Marco Rubio derisively has said that Cruz “doesn’t even speak Spanish,” it is unreasonable to suppose that Cruz is not bilingual. Contrary to his usual, disdain for silly sleights, Cruz immediately and pitifully responded, on the spot, to Rubio’s obviously false dig at Cruz’s ethnic pride: “¿Quieres que te conteste en español, ahora mismo?” (Do you want me to answer you in Spanish right now?)

Most bilingual people would recognize Rubio’s intention: to shame Cruz for not being as fluent in both languages as is Rubio himself. Rubio grew up with two, Spanish-speaking, immigrant parents. By the time he went to school, he was fully fluent in Spanish and presumably English. Cruz father is a Spanish-speaking immigrant; his mother, presumably, is an English-speaking American. With English dominant in Canada (his birthplace) and the U.S., it is likely that Cruz understands his father’s Spanish perfectly, but is not quite confident in speaking it himself.

Nevertheless, it is obvious that – just as with anyone else who speaks more than one language – words of similar meaning in another language can sometimes become confused while speaking. Cruz is obviously aware of this, and could explain the “ring” thing as due to its linguistic versatility. Instead, it appears he would rather take the kidding than call attention to his “otherness,” which he may consider a worse danger to his political ambition.

This defense of Ted Cruz has nothing to do with my political feelings. As a matter of fact, I fully endorse John Boehner’s description of Cruz: “Lucifer in the flesh.” Might that translate to, “Cruzifer?”

***** ***** *****

One day, Ted Cruz slipped on a ring.

The hoop failed to make our boy sing.

The folks wondered why

Ted Cruz did not cry.

He knew that they were the same thing!

Curtis W. Long

Curtis W. Long

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